Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


When this course was taught in 1999, we used:

Amazon logo Ohanian, Hans C. Physics. Vol. 1. 2nd ed., expanded. New York, NY: Norton, 1989. ISBN: 9780393957501.

This OCW site has been updated to refer to the most recent version:

Amazon logo Ohanian, Hans C., and John T. Markert. Physics for Engineers and Scientists. Vol. 1. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Norton, 2007. ISBN: 9780393930030. (Available Fall 2006.)

Lectures - Homework - Solutions - Quizzes - Exams

There will be ten homework assignments, a dozen short quizzes (during recitation), three exams (during regular lecture hours), and a final exam. The quizzes will be given about once per week on days specified by your instructor. Only four, randomly selected, problems of each assignment will be graded. The graded homework, quizzes and exams will be returned in recitations (a missed homework, quiz, or exam counts as a zero). Only in case of verifiable illness can you be excused by Professor Koster from taking an exam (except the final exam). If at all possible, this should be done before the exam. Exams can cover any material from the lectures and the assignments. There are no make-up exams.

Grade Computation

For each of the three exams you can score a maximum of 100 points, for the final exam 200 points, for all the quizzes combined 100 points and for your homework 100 points. The grading of the quizzes and the homework will differ somewhat for different recitation sections. To promote fairness, at the end of the course the average quiz and homework grades will be normalized for each section by comparing them with the results of the exams. Your final course grade is based on the sum of all your scores.


There are 26 recitation sections. If you want to change, for whatever reason, please go to the physics education office.

Academic Behavior and Honesty

During quizzes and exams exchange of information with others is unacceptable. So is the use of notes or other materials, unless explicitly authorized. You will not be allowed to use calculators (they will not be needed). Anyone suspected of violating these guidelines will be charged with academic dishonesty and subject to MIT's disciplinary procedures.

MIT's academic honesty policy can be found at the following link: MIT Policies and Procedures

Do Yourself (and Me) a Favor

Read about the topics before I discuss them in lectures. It is not necessary that you study them carefully, but at least get the "smell of it". This should make it much easier for you to follow the lectures and that should make them more interesting. On every assignment you will find the relevant reading for the upcoming lectures.