8.01L - Physics IFall 2015

Lecturer: Prof. Alan Guth
Recitation Instructors: Prof. Richard Milner, Prof. Min Chen, Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero
Lab Instructor: TBA
TA: Lina Necib

Class Schedule

Physics 1 R01 TR 9:00 Milner Room 32-082  
Lecture MWF 11:00 am Room 6-120 R02 TR 10:00 Milner Room 32-082  
R03 TR 11:00 Chen Room 32-082  
R04 TR 12:00 Chen Room 32-082
R05 TR 1:00 Jarillo-Herrero Room 32-082
  R06 TR 2:00 Jarillo-Herrero Room 32-082


TUE 09/29/2015: Details about transferring from 8.01 to 8.01L
Dear 8.01 Students,
I'd like to give you a few more details about switching from 8.01 to 8.01L.
First, let me remind you that in order to keep open your option to switch to 8.01L, you should take the 8.01L Exam 1, which is being given this evening, Tuesday Sept 29, 7:30-9:30 pm, in Walker Memorial Room 50-340. You do not need to register for this exam, and you are not making any commitments by taking it. You can just show up, and we will give you the exam and grade it. I should add that for students in 8.01L with conflicts on Tuesday night, we are arranging for them to take the exam at a different time. If any of you would like to take the exam but have a conflict, please send me an email. Let me know what 2-hour blocks of time you have during the day (8 am to 5 pm) on Wednesday. If you have none, then please tell me about Thursday.
If you are taking the exam, be sure to look at our website (web.mit.edu/8.01L/www) for information about the exam. Note that we are not using Stellar. All the files on web.mit.edu/8.01L/www should be open to you except the class contact list; the Busza/Cartwright/Guth Study Guide requires an MIT certificate, but you should be able to access it. If you have any problems with the website, email me.
The exam will cover the material on Problem Set 1 and Problem Set 2. The website includes two practice exams with solutions, and a formula sheet. There will be no calculators. You should be aware that in 8.01L we have discussed uniform circular motion, which I believe is not discussed until later in 8.01.
If you take the 8.01L Exam 1, you will have until Add Date (Oct 9) to decide whether to actually switch to 8.01L. If you do, your Problem Set grades for all problem sets you have handed in will transfer to 8.01L. You will not be asked to hand in the corresponding 8.01L problem sets, but you will need to carefully go over the corresponding 8.01L problem sets, making sure that you know how to do those problems. For Exam 1, your grade for the record will be the higher of the grades that you received for the 8.01 and 8.01L versions of the exam.
Best wishes, and let me know if you have further questions.
— Alan Guth —

MON 09/28/2015: Solutions to practice exams now posted
Dear 8.01L Students,
Sorry that I was late, but there was less time between my meetings than I expected. But the solutions to both practice exams are now posted online for you to study from.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —

MON 09/28/2015: Alan Guth's office hour today delayed by 30 minutes
Dear 8.01L Students,
As I mentioned in lecture today, my office hour today will be from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, in the usual room, 6-322. See you then.
— Alan Guth —

SAT 09/26/2015: Review Session, Problem Set 2 Solutions
Dear 8.01L Students,
Let me remind you that there will be an (optional) review session for Exam 1 tomorrow, Sunday 9/27/15, at 2:00 pm, in 6-120, run by Prof. Chen. It is planned for about 2 hours, but the timing is flexible --- it will depend partly on how many questions you have.
In addition, I want to let you know that the solutions to Problem Set 2 are now posted.
When you study for the exam, I recommend that you pay a lot of attention to the two sets of problem set solutions. Lina and I have put a lot or work into making the solutions pedagogically useful. We have tried to explain not just the mechanics of solving each problem, but also how to understand the method in terms of the basic principles.
When you go over the solutions, it is all too easy to say to yourself "oh, I know that," and "oh, I know that, too," etc. Ideally that might be true, but I recommend the following test: imagine that you are sitting next to the dumbest student in the world, and that it is your job to explain to the student every detail of the logic. Go over in your head exactly what you would tell this student.
If you fully understand how to do the problems on the two problem sets, you will be in great shape for the exam Tuesday night.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —

MON 09/21/2015: Tutoring sessions
Dear 8.01L Students,
Our tutoring signup system is now in place at https://801l_tutoring.youcanbook.me/, thanks to Lina Necib. Initially Alberto Hernandez will be holding tutoring sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 4:00 pm, and Lina Necib will have tutoring sessions on Thursday at 3:00 pm, and Friday at 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. All tutoring sessions will be one hour long, or more realistically 50 minutes, starting 5 minutes after the hour and ending 5 minutes before. Each tutoring session will be limited to three students. The sessions will take place in Room 8-320.
You can sign up by clicking on the desired hour, and then it will ask for your name and email address, and give you a place to enter a note if you want. You will be sent an email confirming your appointment, and giving you a link to use to cancel if you change your mind.
If you have trouble with the website, please email Lina Necib, lnecib@mit.edu. If you want tutoring but cannot find an existing slot that meets your schedule, you should also email Lina Necib, and let her know when you are available. We will try to accommodate you if we can. You should also remember that I and each of the recitation instructors have office hours. Mine is on Mondays 4:30-5:30 pm in Room 6-322, Prof. Milner's is on Wednesdays 4-5 pm in Room 26-411, Prof. Chen's is on Thursdays 3:30-4:30 pm in Room 24-504, and Prof. Jarillo-Herrero's is on Thursdays 3-4 pm in Room 13-2017.
Additionally, homework help and additional tutoring is available through the Tutorial Services Room (http://ome.mit.edu/programs-services/ome-tutorial-services-room), which is run by the Office of Minority Education (though all students are welcome to attend). You can request an appointment at this website: http://ome.mit.edu/programs-services/request-appointment.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —

WED 09/16/2015: Tutoring, and a few Problem Set 1 clarifications
Dear 8.01L Students,
First, let me announce that tutoring will start tomorrow. From 3:00 to 4:00 pm, Lina Necib will be tutoring in Room 8-320. From 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Alberto Hernandez will be tutoring in the same room. Tutoring differs from office hours in that you must sign up in advance. That we can assure that at most 3 students will be part of any tutoring session. In the future we expect to have a web signup system, but for tomorrow we will resort to old-fashioned email. If you want to participate in Lina's session at 3:00 pm, email her at lina.necib@gmail.com. If you want to participate in Alberto's session at 4:00 pm, write to him at a_h@mit.edu.
I also wanted to add clarifications to two problems on the Problem Set. On Problem 1-6, it says "calculate the ratio of the time he is above y_max/2 to the time it takes him to go from the floor to that height." Here, "that height" refers to y_max/2.
In Problem 1-2(c), you are asked to calculate the average velocity, averaged "over time" and "over distance". In this case there are only two velocities that occur during the 100 meter run. To average "over time" is to compute a weighted average of the two velocities, weighting them proportionally to the amount of time the runner spends at each velocity. To average "over distance" is also to compute a weighted average, in this case weighting each velocity proportionally to the amount of distance over which the athlete ran at that velocity.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —

MON 09/14/2015: Min Chen's office hour
Dear 8.01L Students,
Prof. Min Chen's weekly office hour will be on Thursdays, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, in his office, 24-504.
— Alan Guth —

MON 09/14/2015: My office hour
Dear 8.01L Students,
We decided in lecture today that my office hour will be on Mondays, from 4:30 - 5:30 pm, in my office, 6-322.
Should we start today? Why not? If you would like to talk with me, please come by between 4:30 and 5:30.
— Alan Guth —

SUN 09/13/2015: Pablo Jarillo-Herrero office hour
Dear 8.01L Students,
Hi all,
My office hours will be Thursdays 3-4pm, right after my 2pm recitation. It'll take me a few minutes to walk back from Stata to my office (13-2017), but I'll try to be there by 3:05pm at the latest. All students (not just R05 and R06 sections) are welcome.
Due to a conference I'm attending, I will not have office hours this Thursday Sep 17 (Prof. Milner will teach my recitations). Hopefully see many of you the following one. Feel free to email me though and I'll try to reply on the breaks.
Best regards,

SUN 09/13/2015: Richard Milner office hour
Dear 8.01L Students,
Weekly office hour on Wednesday at 4 PM in 26-411
— Richard Milner —

SUN 09/13/2015: Recommended problems and lecture slides are posted
Dear 8.01L Students,
There are two additions to our website, http://web.mit.edu/8.01L/www: the lecture slides from last Wed and Fri, and also the first set of Recommended Problems.
The purpose of these recommended problems is described in its prologue:

  These recommended problems are a new and essentially experimental component of the course, to replace the use of Mastering Physics in previous years. They are likely to evolve as the course progresses, so your feedback will be particularly relevant here. The goal is to give you access to problems with instant feedback, mostly problems from the MITx 8.01 website. There will also be recommended problems from the Busza/Cartwright/Guth Study Guide, where at least the answers and in some cases fully worked solutions will be available. The problems are entirely optional, and will have no effect on your grades. We are in fact not keeping any record of your work on the 8.01 website.
  The due dates that you will see on the 8.01 website are intended for the 8.01 class, and will NOT be relevant to us. Since our schedule is more leisurely than that of 8.01, the problems that we will be doing on the 8.01 website will often be in ``post-due-date'' mode, which means that answers will be readily available. It is highly recommended, however, that you try the problems before looking at the answers.
  The current plan is to use these problems as a first look at the topic that we are about to start, with relatively easy exercises that allow you to make sure that you have mastered the basics. The weekly problem sets will be at the opposite end of the learning cycle, challenging you with problems that help develop a full understanding and a strong skill at inventive problem-solving. Thus, Problem Set 1 focuses on motion in one dimension, a topic which I hope to finish in lecture on Mon 9/14/15 or Wed 9/16/15. These recommended problems focus on vectors and motion in two or three dimensions, a topic that we will probably begin in lecture on Wed 9/16/15.
I hope that many of you will find this useful.
See you tomorrow in lecture,
— Alan Guth —

SAT 09/12/2015: Class Contact List is posted
Dear 8.01L Students,
The class contact list is now available, linked to the course web page at http://web.mit.edu/8.01L/www. It should be accessible to all registered students and listeners, and to course staff. Access requires an MIT certificate to identify yourself.
For those of you who are not already on the list, I strongly encourage you to join. Don't be bashful! I will paste below a copy of the email with the instructions for joining.
For those of you who are on the list, please let me know if you would like to make any changes to your entry. Any time during the term, if you would like to make changes, just send me an email.
And if you have any trouble accessing the site, send me email about that, too.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —

FRI 09/11/2015: Joining the MITx 8.01 website
Dear 8.01L Students,
As I mentioned in lecture and posted on the website, this year we will not be using Mastering Physics, but instead I will be posting a list each week of recommended problems for you to look at, which will mostly (and maybe entirely) come from the MITx website for 8.01. Your interaction with the 8.01 website will not be recorded, so it will not count in any way towards your grade in 8.01L. I think that most of you will find, however, that the instant feedback of online problems can be very helpful in your learning.
You will soon receive an email from the website, signed by Saif Rayyan, inviting you to join the site. From what I gather, you will be instructed to go to the following website to register:
The registration will only be open for about a week, so don't delay. You will need a browser that has MIT certificates installed (to test if that is the case you can go to http://web.mit.edu/certificates/test/).
If you have any problems accessing the site, you can email Saif Rayyan directly at srayyan@mit.edu.
I hope you find this useful. I will have the first list of recommended problems posted sometime this weekend.
— Alan Guth —

THURS 09/10/2015: Class Contact List
Dear 8.01L Students,
As I mentioned briefly in class, I would like to set up a class contact list. Classes are more fun and productive when students know each other and work together. To make it easier for this to happen, I have found it useful to set up a class contact list on the web. The goal is simply to make it easier for you to find each other. This could lead to regular meetings to work on problem sets in groups, or maybe just to occasional conversations. Don't feel that you have to be interested in a study group to sign up. If you want other students to know who you are, that's reason enough. If you are interested, please enter the information that you would like posted on the form below, and email it back to me. The web page will be visible only to other students in the class. Participation is completely voluntary, so you can skip this if you want, but I would encourage you to put yourself on the contact list.
There is a place for comments, which may seem a bit vague. You can put whatever you want, including nothing at all. You might indicate if you are looking for a study group. You might be inspired by some samples from the past:

  "I start psets early, available most evenings from 4pm, also 1 to 2:30pm on T,Th. Like ice cream."
  "I'd like to start problem sets at least a little early. I live in Boston, but I have a car."
  "Usually like to do pset for XXXX on sun or mon."
I might add that if you send something and then don't like the way it looks, you should feel free to send me corrections, or ask me to take it down altogether. I will act on your requests as quickly as I can.
Best wishes,
— Alan Guth —
Phone (leave blank if you never answer it):
Living Group:
Do you have any objections to my posting your photo with the class contact list? Yes or No?
[If you send this form back but don't answer this question, I will assume you have no objection.]
(If you give permission to post your photo, I have photos of almost all of you from the registrar. If you would prefer that I post a different photo, or if you are not officially registered, then feel free to attach a photo to your email. I can crop and rescale them, so anything will do.)

TUES 09/08/2015: Decision on Mastering Physics
Decision: We will not be using Mastering Physics this year, but instead we will post lists of recommended problems from the MITx 8.01 website, and possibly other sources. We will, however, set up a Mastering Physics class, so that any students who want to purchase access to it, for the extra problems or for online access to the textbook, will be able to do so.

FRI 09/04/2015: Uncertainty about Mastering Physics
Sorry, but things are still in a state of flux for 2015. We may or may not be using Mastering Physics. It should be settled in a day or two (i.e., by Saturday or Sunday, 9/6 or 9/7/15). In the meantime, we recommend that you not invest money in this product. If you have by any chance already purchased Mastering Physics, try to return it if you can. If you have invested money in Mastering Physics and cannot get it back, please let me (Alan Guth) know, and I'll see what I can do.