Course: PHY104
Instructor: James Olsen
S 2019

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

Straightforward physics E&M: electric fields, Coulomb’s Law, circuits, magnetic fields and forces, etc.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

One 50-minute lecture a week. If iClicker participation didn’t matter, you could skip the lecture and just read the slides afterward, although demos are a bit fun. The real learning happens in the three 50- minute precepts. Try to get a preceptor who you understand and like. Weekly quizzes are a struggle, but you will make it through. Weekly 3-hour lab was really long and tough because they make you write the reports in a very meticulous and weird way (at least you don’t have to write them outside of class time). Here was my timeline for success: Monday night: read textbook for the week, make flashcards, maybe even start p-set if I’m feeling gutsy Tuesday: go to lecture (study flashcards on way to lecture), finish p-set Wednesday precept: ask questions on p-set Thursday: do practice quiz for next Monday Friday: more questions on p-set if required Saturday-Sunday: STUDY for weekly quiz Monday morning: take quiz

Learning For and From Assignments

Try your hardest on homeworks, and study as much as you can for weekly quizzes. This will really help you do well on the exams (midterm and final). Exams are difficult, but in addition to homeworks and quizzes, you can also do TONS of practice problems from the textbook to prepare. I found the textbook very helpful. In preparation for each exam, I would do 50+ problems. The more problems you do, the better you get. It’s painful but worth it.

External Resources

There are so many online physics resources that you could use, but I would refer to office hours with your preceptor and the textbook for help. This course is taught in a very specific way at Princeton, so outside websites may just confuse you more.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

I have no clue why MAT201 isn’t a prerequisite for this course because it 100% should be. Double integrals are done all the time. Vectors are also used regularly. The folks in the class who hadn’t taken MAT201 yet were really struggling. Make sure you’ve taken AT LEAST MAT201, if not MAT202! Don’t take this course unless it is required for BSE. If you want to be a physics major, take PHY106.
General Physics II

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