the green flash

Physics 8: The Physics of Everyday Life

Spring Term, 2006

Class meets TTh 2:00 to 3:20 PM, Warren Lecture Hall (WLH) 2005.
A discussion session meets Wednesday: 4:00 to 4:50 PM in Center 214
A problem session meets Wednesday: 7:00 to 7:50 PM in CSB 002
See The UCSD Time Schedule for enrollment information.
Also see the Academic Calendar for information on class dates and holidays.

Final Exam Study Guide

Extra Credit Project

Selected Student Questions/Observations

Midterm Key

Midterm Study Guide

Course Outline

Syllabus (PDF)



WebCT Access Instructions

Physics 8 WebCT Page

Professor and Teaching Assistant Contact Info


Tom Murphy
SERF Buliding (930), Room 336, 534-1844
Office hours: Thursday 11:00 AM to noon
Office hours also by appointment (e-mail, phone, personal, drop by)

Teaching Assistant:

Matthew LeBourgeois
Office hours: W 2:00–3:00 PM, Mayer Hall 2101

Course Textbook

How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life, Third Edition, by Louis A. Bloomfield, John Wiley & Sons, New York, is required for the course.

Electronic Transmitter Required

Students are asked to purchase a transmitter to interface with the voting system in place in the lecture hall (learn more about the transmitter). This will allow for interactive classes and also measure classroom participation (optional part of grade). The transmitters are available at the bookstore for $34 new, $26 used. At the end of the term, the used book tent sometimes buys back transmitters in working order (for about half-price). You must get one of the 13-button transmitters: the older 6-button transmitters will no longer work in this particular lecture hall. See the Transmitter Registration Instructions for how to register your transmitter for this class.

Here are instructions for the "clicker".

The goals of this class are:

Toward the first goal, you will each be asked to submit a bi-weekly question/observation about the world around us. For more information on this process, see the following description and examples of how this process works.

Recommended Books

Light and Color in the Outdoors, M. G. J. Minnaert, L. Seymour, Springer Verlag, 1993, ISBN: 0387979352; A classic book revealing the richness of nature's myriad visual phenomena

Color and Light in Nature, David K. Lynch, William Livingston, Cambridge Univ Press, ISBN: 0521775043; A modern version of Minnaert's classic book

Selected Websites

Good physics intro website with a math refresher

Interactive Periodic Table of the Elements

Cow in Motion JAVA applet of one-dimensional motion