Miscellaneous questions/comments


Sat, Dec 9, 11:27 a.m. - If you were forced to get a physics equation tattooed on your forehead, what would it be?

Tattooed on my forehead? Yech. I'm not a big fan of tattoos, let alone on my forehead. So, it is difficult for me to imagine a situation in which I would agree to this.

If your question is simply, ``What is my favorite equation in physics?'' then, hmm, so many possibilities. Maybe $S = k_Bln\Omega$ -- the idea that you can deal with thermodynamics simply by thinking of probabilities (and considering that those probabilities are ridiculous) is really pretty amazing.

(Of course, $E = mc^2/\sqrt{1 - u^2/c^2}$ ranks up there as well, considering that it is the principle behind how stars work and how the heavier elements were all formed. But $E = mc^2$ is so heavily discussed that it would seem almost trite as a forehead tatoo.)


Sun, Nov 12, 12:56 p.m. - What are the names/emails of the TAs that run the help sessions on Wednesday and Sunday? I know that the TAs were busy for part of last Sunday's help session, so I would like to email them ahead of time if possible. Is that okay?

Umm ... we're not going to post the email addresses of TAs on the questions board. Sorry.

Having said that, Ben contacted them to make sure that things are go for tonight (Sunday) from 8 - 10 p.m. So, there shouldn't be any problem.


Sat, Nov 11, 11:59 a.m. - For the third test, I was wondering whether the whole table of thermodynamic properties of solids would be included ( including the ideal solid data) or whether we needed that for our notecard. Similarly, constants like avagadro's # and Kb will they be given to us too.

We won't put the entire table on the test, but we will provide you with anything from those tables that you need (along with several that you don't need).

The ideal solid stuff isn't really ``data'' -- it is a formula (i.e., specific heat = 3R). I'd put that on your 3x5 card.

Constants like Avogadro's number and $k_B$ will be provided.


Wed, Nov 8, 7:13 a.m. - http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/physics/courses/phys211/problem19-2/problem19-2.htm does not work on Bucknell's Windows desktop computers.

It works fine on my computer and it is a Windows computer. I walked over the library and hopped on to one of the Windows desktop computers there, and it worked fine on that one as well. The only time I have ever had difficulty with any of these videos on a Windows computer was when I was off-campus, and I got it to work even there by running a VPN that connects to Bucknell's network. But if you are on-campus, that shouldn't be an issue.

So, I suspect that there is an issue with the computer that you are using. Where are you located, what version of Windows, what type of computer? Presumably, if you contact the Tech Desk at the library, they should be able to help you get this working.

By the way, I have heard a couple of cases of people saying that these videos don't work on MacIntosh computers. When I was at the library, I also logged on to a Mac there and tried the videos, using Safari and VLN (or whatever that video viewer on Macs is) and it worked fine on the Mac as well.


Sun, Nov 5, 8:14 p.m. - There are no TAs here for the 8 PM to 10 PM Sunday PHYS 211 help session in Olin 264. Help!

FYI, Ben contact the help session TAs immediately after getting this post. Hopefully, they showed up shortly afterward.


Wed, Oct 25, 7:00 a.m. -

FYI, there have been several questions/comments posted in the past few weeks that have been completely blank. So, if you posted something and haven't gotten a response from us, perhaps your post is one of the blank ones that we are getting.


Thu, Oct 19, 7:14 a.m. - Should my calculator be in Radian or degree for the test.

It depends on what you are taking the cosine, sine ... of. If it is an angle in degrees, then your calculator should be in degrees. If it is an angle in radians or the cos of omegat + phi, then radians


Thu, Oct 12, 10:03 p.m. - Can you please post the objectives from Unit 2 reviewed during the review session from Thursday?

The objectives are already posted. We always post objectives at the beginning of each unit. See the handouts page and scroll down to the Unit 2 section.


Sun, Oct 8, 1:15 a.m. - Sat, Sep 30, 8:12 p.m. - [Empty post] Mon, Oct 2, 8:29 p.m. - [Empty post] Sun, Oct 8, 1:15 a.m. - [Empty post]

FYI, there were three recent posts to the Questions board that had no text in them. Either someone is clicking submit on the questions page without actually asking a question, or someone is trying again to put some hidden HTML code onto our pages, and our program is intercepting that code. (That kind of thing is no longer possible on our questions board.)


Fri, Sep 22, 10:25 a.m. - If I got minus 15 on the last test, do I have to get most if not all the possible points on the remaining tests to finish with at least an A-? (Obviously I'm going to try to get them all right but yah know)

Minus 15??? We must have really hated your responses to give you negative points on the test!

I'm guessing that by ``minus 15'' you actually mean ''plus 85'' points, correct? That's actually quite a good score on this exam, considering an average of 77 for the entire course.

As for finishing the course with at least an A-, if you look at the course information sheet, you'll see that we guarantee that if you get 90% of the total points for the course, you'll get at least an A-. 90% of 730 points is 657 total points. So, you can get ``minus 73'' points altogether and still get an A-. So, yes, you are still in the running.


Mon, Sep 18, 3:08 p.m. - I was wondering if I need to add prefix's or conversion factors to my card or whether these will be provided.

Yes, you should know the prefixes (prefices? prefoxen?). If we give you something in centimeters, you need to know how to convert to meters. Other prefoxen: milli, micro, kilo, mega, giga, maybe nano.

As for conversion factors, any non-trivial ones will be provided. (I.e., we will assume that you know how many inches are in a foot, but we would provide how many km are in a mile.


Mon, Sep 18, 12:13 p.m. - Do we need to concern ourselves with the physics history mentioned in 1.2 in the textbook?

The only history that you need is stuff that we discuss in lecture, problem session or reading quizzes/drills.


Fri, Sep 15, 9:07 p.m. - Fun fact: B.o.B (who preformed at Fall Fest) apparently believes the earth is flat. What's a good, simple, easy to understand argument you give to someone to prove that earth isn't flat?

Several approaches:


Mon, Sept 11, 5:32 p.m. - What is the only possible way to throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you without hitting or bouncing off anything and with no strings attached to it?

First, whoever submitted this post included a Trojan Horse (or whatever this kind of attack is called) at the bottom of the post. I'm not sure what the attack would have done to computers of anyone who viewed this web page, but we won't find out. We have put safeguards in place to catch this kind of thing.

Having said this, I have to say that I REALLY don't appreciate someone using the PHYS 211 Questions board to attack us. I am going to trust that this is a one-time attempt by a hacker (who may or may not even be a student in this course) to see what kind of mischief that they can cause. But if this continues, we might have to take down the entire Questions board, which would be a shame. So, whether or not this was a harmless prank or a serious attempt to damage other people's computers, please don't do this again.

Now, answering the question ... Either:


Sun, Sep 10, 9:51 a.m. - Where can I find the "Non-conservative Work and Energy" handout for the reading on Tuesday, September 12?

Thank you for posting this question -- I had neglected to post that handout.

That has now been corrected. The handout can be found on the ``Handouts'' page.


Sun, Sep 3, 5:17 p.m. - The video demonstration for lecture 3 "Video Example #1" will not open in QuickTime. Is there specific software needed for the video?

If you are on a Windows computer, Windows media should be able to play it. If on a Mac, there is a program that will play it, but I forget the name. The people at the Tech desk should be able to help you figure out what Mac program to use.


Sun, Sep 3, 4:49 p.m. - Where can we find the notes (concept tests and examples) from each day's class?

They can be found on the calendar page. Click on "August", then look for the lecture whose notes you want, then click on the blue "Lecture 1" or "Lecture 2" etc. Then scroll down to "Lecture materials" and click on the appropriate item below that.


Mon, Aug 28, 10:35 p.m. - What is the max amount of points you can receive on a problems session quiz? Thanks

Five. If you are in problem session and take the quiz, you get at least 1/5 for trying it. If you try it and are mostly hopelessly lost, you will probably get 2/5. If you have some reasonable ideas about how to do it, but there is a major flaw in your approach, you will get 3/5. If you are mostly right but make a small mistake, you will get 4/5. And, of course, 5/5 if completely correct, showing all work (see our policy) and putting correct units on the answer.