Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Not open for credit to students with credit for course 1A, 1AH, 5A, or 6A. Special mathematical preparation beyond that necessary for admission to University in freshman standing not required. Topics include planetary motion, Newton laws, gravitation, electricity and magnetism, wave motion, light, sound, and heat, relativity, quantum mechanics, atoms, and subatomic particles. As time permits, development of physical ideas placed in cultural and historical perspective. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 2.0
Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 1.0/ 5
Workload 4.5/ 5
Helpfulness 1.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2022 - This class was a roller coaster. Overall, I had a rather unpleasant experience with it. Nevertheless, I will try to be as nuanced as I can be and start with some positive stuff. As far as required content, this course is incredibly light. The only required assignments are about 7 problem sets, each of which consist of about 10 multiple choice questions. Furthermore, the discussion section is basically set up so you can spend half of it just checking homework answers with your peers, so I wouldn't worry too much about losing points on the problem sets. My TA, Joey, was also extremely helpful and really good at clarifying the intuition behind a lot of the problem set questions. However, I do not believe this is the course you should take if you care about learning physics. Most students (including myself) took this as a prerequisite for psych and will never encounter physics again in their life. Unfortunately, I feel like Dr. Chakravarty knows this and, in turn, puts little effort into the class instead of actually creating an environment conducive to learning. For the most part, lectures were very unclear. Due to this, there were probably only like 20 students (out of like 90 total in the class) actually attending the last few lectures. Some of the concepts were probably pretty simple, but one of the main issues is that he often jumps to certain conclusions and explanations without explaining much of the intuition to us. Keep in mind, this is CONCEPTUAL physics, so the bulk of what we need to actually know is the intuition. Also, I feel like he never really emphasized how certain concepts were actually connected--he only really just laid out some facts about a concept and let it be. In my opinion, the textbook explains the topics better than the professor. In terms of the exams, they are essentially in the same format as the homework, but I feel like there were some really tricky questions. For instance, on the final, there were questions on certain concepts that never appeared even once in the lectures or textbook (which is extremely unfair considering that it was closed-notes/closed-book/no internet). It's weird because some exam questions are basically freebies while others are either phrased very confusingly/vaguely or can only be answered with intuition that you didn't learn in the class. In the end, I started studying about a week prior to both the midterm and final yet got a B+ on both of them. Nevertheless, I acknowledge I might not represent everybody because I never heard much about other students complaining about the difficulty of this class. Don't get me wrong--Dr. Chakravarty is extremely intelligent. However, the problem is that he may be too smart to teach such an introductory course. Ultimately, I much rather would have taken Chem 17 as a psych prerequisite. I've received an A on all the prerequisites (including Psych 100B) except this, which I definitely did not expect. If you want to get a psych prerequisite or GE out of the way, I believe there are alternatives that would be much more valuable and actually promote learning.
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