PHYS 53 - Green Sheet

PHYS 53 - General Physics - Atomic Physics

Instructor: Dr. Ray Kwok
Lectures: Section 3: TR 4:30 – 5:20 am (Sci 258)
Office Hours: MWF 9:20 – 10:00 am, TR 5:20 - 6:00 pm or by appointment
Office: SCI 310
Phone: (408) 924-5252
Textbook: University Physics, Vol.3, Young and Freedman (Addison-Wesley)

Course Description:

This course is the 4th semester in the calculus-based University Physics for science and engineering majors. It is an introduction to quantum physics emphasizing electronic structure of atoms and solids, radiation and relativity.


  • Quantum Physics, Eisberg & Resnick (Wiley & Sons)
  • Modern Physics, Serway, Moses & Moyer (Brooks Cole)
  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers - Elementary Modern Physics, Vol. 2C, Tipler and Mosca (Freeman)
  • Lectures on Physics, Richard Feynman, (Addison-Wesley)


PHYS 70 and 71; or PHYS 50, 51 and 52; CHEM 1A, (with grades of "C-" or better).

Tentative topics:

Tentative topics is listed in my web site under PHYS 53. The list is intended to help students to prepare and review lectures, and not to encourage students to miss classes. Students are responsible for any material presented in lectures even though it might not be on the list. Please review this page from time to time and check out the illustrations linked there. If you find any site relevant to the topics we cover and would like to share with the class, please email me.


homework / classwork 10%, 2 mid-term each 25%, final 40%

Final Letter grades will be assigned roughly according to the following percentage of maximum points earned as long as you pass the Laboratory section as well.

  • A 80% or above
  • B 65 - 80%
  • C 50 - 65%
  • D 35 - 50%
  • F below 35%

Students' responsibilities:

You are expected to come to class & be responsible for understanding all materials presented. If you have to miss a class, make sure you get a copy of the lecture notes from your classmates. If you need extra help to understand my lecture, please come see me.

You are expected to study your lecture notes and the textbook after each class. Pop quizzes will be given to make sure you've developed this study habit.

You are expected to do the homework weekly. Although I highly encourage you study in small groups, that does not mean you split the workload. Understand the homework and write your own solution to the problems.

We all learn from mistakes. It is more important to understand why you cannot solve the problem a certain way than to remember how to solve the problem. Usually there are more than one way to get to the right answer. It is also more important to develop the problem solving skills than to remember the material (although it could be helpful).


mid-terms 10/6, 11/10 (tentatively)
final exam 12/15 Thur 2:45 - 5:00 pm
last lecture: 12/8

Honor Code:

"I have read the Honor Code and agree with its provisions. My continued enrollment in this course constitutes full acceptance of this code. I will NOT:

  1. Take an exam in place of someone else, or have someone take an exam in my place
  2. Give information or receive information from another person during an exam
  3. Use more reference material during an exam than is allowed by the instructor
  4. Obtain a copy of an exam prior to the time it is given
  5. Alter an exam after it has been graded and then return it to the instructor for re-grading
  6. Leave the exam room without returning the exam to the instructor."


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) to establish a record of their disability.

For More Information, contact:

Ray Kwok at SJSU