Physics H7a:
Honors Mechanics
General Information

Mechanics (or here or here) and waves

Lecture schedule
Dates and topics are here.
Key ideas are outlined here, along with some web sites for further reading (some have more explanation and are thus more elementary, some have discussion of more advanced material).

Announcements will be posted here.

Meeting times

  • Main Lecture 11:10 am -12 noon, MWF, 2 LeConte
  • Discussion Sections: Tues 2-3 (4 Evans) or Thurs 2-3 (385 LeConte) You only need to go to one section a week.
  • Labs with Physics 7A, week days to be determined by Friday Jan. 25.

Contact Information
Listed here (to contact instructor/GSI/reader/Physics Dept.).

High school physics or AP Physics, Math 1A or 1AS; Math 1B or 1BS (may be taken concurrently).
An informal problem set will be given out at the beginning of the course to help me find out what background people have. It will not count towards your grade but you need to complete it in order to take the course. The questionnaire and the informal problem set are prerequisites for enrolling in the course.
There will not be a placement exam, just this informal problem set. It will be possible to transfer between physics 7a and h7a at the beginning of the course.


  • Kleppner and Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics, '73, at the Cal Student Store (campus bookstore), Ned's Bookstore or the Campus Textbook Exchange Bookstore
  • A.P. French, Vibrations and Waves at the Cal Student Store (campus bookstore), Ned's Bookstore, the Campus Textbook Exchange Bookstore, or at
  • Feynman Lectures in Physics, Vol. 2 (We only use this for a week and there are many copies on reserve, so purchasing it isn't necessary.)
  • Morin's Textbook (online, not yet out). More advanced material and lots of interesting (solved) problems. (recommended, not required)
  • J. Marion, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems (recommended, not required, more in depth)
  • Physics of Waves, Georgi (recommended, not required)
    Also at

Students are expected to complete all the labs in the course in physics 7a sections (you have to enroll in one of the 7a lab sections). A signup sheet will be distributed in the first lecture. If you are not certain of which time you would want your lab by the end of the first lecture, you can also sign up at the Thursday section, 2-3 pm in 385 LeConte. Please contact Noah, if you need to sign up after the first lecture and cannot make the Thursday section. Labs (and other things too, make sure you are looking at a lab time!) are listed at this link. Sections which are full may take one or two h7a students, sections which are open may take more. Please list more than one choice for your preferences.

There are six labs, the weeks of the labs are given in the course outline. Older ( not necessarily up to date) copies of the lab write-ups are online at These cannot substitute for the up to date manuals you'll get in section (i.e. you should purchase a syllabus card).

Syllabus Cards
Syllabus cards are available for purchase at Copy Central. H7a has a mandatory Syllabus Card that pays for the experimental descriptions and instructions you will receive from your GSI at the beginning of each laboratory. You will need to turn in this card to Noah to receive the grades from your first midterm.

Problem solving is a big part of what this course is about--how to abstract the basic questions and quantities and then to do calculations with them to get answers. The best way to learn how to do problems is to do a lot of them, and that is what the homeworks will give you a chance to do.
Homeworks are due on Fridays(note change!!) at 5 pm in the Physics 7A and H7A course center (262 LeConte), late homeworks are not accepted. Homework assignments will be available online at
You can discuss the homeworks with classmates, the GSI or instructor, but the work on them should be your own and you should write them up yourselves. The worst two homeworks will be dropped.

Midterms and Final
Feb. 27 and April 17, (note change!), 11:10 am -12 noon for the midterms and May 20 (12:30-3:30) for the final. Please make sure you are available to take these exams.

Homeworks 30%, Midterms 15% each, Labs 5%, Final 35%
You must pass the final in order to pass the course. The exam group is 7 (final exam May 20, 12:30-3:30 pm), please make sure you do not have a conflict.

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