December 6, 2022


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Physics 426 – Advanced Theoretical Physics
SUNY Brockport – Spring 2011
Robert F Szalapski, PhD – Adjunct Lecturer

§ 1. Schedule

Class meets each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 2:30 – 3:30 PM, from 24 January through 6 May, 2011 with the following exceptions: 14 – 18 March is a break week. We have 14 weeks of actual class after subtracting breaks. Tentatively we will use the time as follows:

Chapter Subject Weeks
8–101 Quantum Mechanics 6
7,11,13{}^{2} Classical Mechanics 4
8–10{}^{3} Electrodynamics 4

Chapters refer to the textbooks:

  1. Robert Scherrer, Quantum Mechanics: An Accessible Introduction.

  2. John R. Taylor, Classical Mechanics.

  3. David J. Griffiths, Introduction to Electrodynamics, Third Edition.

The schedule will be adjusted as necessary.

§ 2. Grading

I hope that you will pursue this course with a spirit of exploration and wonder. Grades are required, so we will do the following:

Homework and Quizzes 40%
Midterm Exams 40%
Final Exam 20%

§ 2.1. Homework and Quizzes

Collaboration is essential in science and mathematics, and you should begin now. Multiple problems will be assigned each week. The following approach is highly recommended:

  1. Attempt a draft of the problems on your own.

  2. Get together with your study group and perfect the problems.

  3. Each student is responsible for his or her own write-up.

A subset of the problems will be graded in detail, but a pop quiz would be an alternate form of ensuring that due diligence is given to the assignments. Problems must be legible.

§ 2.2. Exams

Exam dates will be announced in advance. If you know of an absence in advance, please inform me and I will attempt to avoid those dates. We will have one exam for each of the three main subject areas.

§ 3. Office Hours

I will be using the adjunct office, 114 Smith Hall, where I can be found for an hour preceding lecture. Since I teach a second class 10:45 – 11:45 AM I will be on campus most of the day. I will be on campus on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. (I am on the Geneseo campus the other two days. Sometimes I am at Nazareth College too!)

I can be reached by e-mail at If needed I may be able to work via Skype. If we need more options we will proceed from there.

§ 4. Web Site

Please go to my web site,, and create a (free) account. You may create or ignore the profile as you individually choose. When you have created your account, please send an e-mail to, and I will grant you access to the page Students/Physics 426. This page will be password protected. I will be posting good stuff there!

§ 5. Philosophy

You are the most important person in your education. A motivated student can compensate for an inadequate instructor. The best instructor can only work with what the student brings to class. If you take time, when available, to explore, question and try, then you will gain a thorough understanding.

However, I remember every excellent mentor that I have ever had, and I appreciate them deeply. I am passionate about physics and education. If there is something I can do to help you on your own path of discovery, help me to help you. If feedback is required, don’t wait until the semester is completed.

This is an exceptionally wonderful course, and I am looking forward to it!

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