Physics 7C:
Electromagnetic waves, physical optics, relativity and quantum physics
General Information

Electromagnetic waves, physical optics, relativity and quantum physics

To hold your place in the class you need to attend your first discussion section (according to telebears) meeting after the first lecture of your section of the class!

Course Web Page

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: in 4 LeConte
    • Cohn 11:10 am -12 noon, MWF
    • Orenstein 8:00 am -9:30, TTh
  • Discussion Sections:
    • You need to go to the discussion section you have signed up for in telebears. Please sign up for a discussion section that corresponds to the main lecture you are in, e.g. if you are section 1 (Cohn), please sign up for a discussion section 1xx (where xx are numbers), if you are in section 2 (Orenstein), please sign up for a discussion section 2xx.
    • To hold your place in the class you need to attend your first discussion section meeting after the first lecture of your section of the class.
    • A table of who is teaching what (as of 5PM, Jan. 21):
      Sec. #TimePlaceGSI or StatusReader
      101M 9-1041 EvansIlya Osipenkov Hongkai Wong
      102M 10-11C320 CheitIlya Osipenkov Hongkai Wong
      103Tu 1-245 EvansMatthew BrunnerHongkai Wong
      104Tu 2-341 EvansBrad ZamftHongkai Wong
      105W 1-241 EvansChris HerdmanHongkai Wong
      106W 12-1329 LeConteChris HerdmanJonathan Petrie
      107Th 2-351 EvansChris HerdmanJonathan Petrie
      108F 9-1061 EvansCLOSED*  
      201M 11-1247 EvansCLOSED*  
      202M 1-239 EvansBrad ZamftJonathan Petrie
      203Tu 11-12B56 HildebrandCLOSED*  
      204Tu 2-335 EvansCLOSED*  
      205W 12-139 EvansBrad ZamftHongkai Wong
      206Th 10-113102 EtcheverryNadav Ben-BarakJonathan Petrie
      207Th 1-235 EvansMichael GaryJonathan Petrie
      208F 10-1161 EvansIlya OsipenkovJonathan Petrie
      *If your section is closed, you need to find another section.

Contact Information
Listed here (to contact instructors/GSIs/readers/Physics Dept.).

7A-7B Math 1A-1B, Math 53,54 (Math 54 must be taken concurrently, if it has not been completed). It will be possible to transfer between physics 7C and H7C at the beginning of the course.


Giancoli, Physics for Scientist and Engineers, vol. 2, available at the Cal Student Store (campus bookstore), Ned's Bookstore or the Campus Textbook Exchange Bookstore
Physics 7C Lab Manual, available at Copy Central (main one at Bancroft)


  • Labs will be held at HFA D5 (Hearst Field Annex)
  • Students are expected to complete all the labs in the course.
  • There are 7 labs, the weeks of the labs are given in the course outline. You are not required to be at the 7C lab at any time except for the actual experiments, as scheduled in the course outline. Attendance for the purpose of class enrollment during the first week will be taken at discussion sections.
  • You will need to get a lab manual.
    Older ( not necessarily up to date) lab write-ups are online at These cannot substitute for the up to date manual available at copy central.
  • Please finish the pre-lab questions for a given experiment before the lab session.
  • Labs are due the day of the lab. On the lab write ups, please put your name and sid# on each page, and on the front page the lab number, date, your e-mail, lab section # and GSI, and if you did your lab in a section besides your usual one, also the lab section # and gsi of that lab.
  • Each missed lab will drop your grade by 1/3 (i.e. B+ to B, for example), one laboratory will be dropped. For submitted lab reports, GSIs will adhere to the following rubric:
    Score out of 5Meaning
    5Student shows mastery of material and answers all questions
    4Student show good understanding of material with minor flaws, or omits one or two small parts in the writeup
    3Student shows working understanding, but with notable flaws; or, omits a one or two large parts in the writeup
    2Student shows heavily flawed understanding of material, or omits a significant fraction of the writeup
    1Student show little understanding of material, or completes little of the writeup
  • If you absolutely cannot make your scheduled lab, and must attend a different session, perform the following steps:
    • Notify the GSI of your assigned lab section that you cannot attend.
    • Find a lab session with open slots that fits your schedule; refer to the Online Schedule of Classes to see enrollment levels.
    • Notify the GSI of the lab you wish to attend that you will be showing up.
    • It is your responsibility to make sure that your lab writeup reaches your own lab GSI for grading and recording. Either turn it into him the following week or find some other means of getting it to him. Let him know which you plan to do.
  • Material from the laboratories may appear on exams.
  • A table of who is teaching what (as of 5PM, Jan. 21):
    Sec. #TimeGSI or Status
    104Tu 8-11Jim Bosch
    105Tu 11-2Jim Bosch
    106Tu 2-5Chris Herdman
    107W 8-11Vidya Mandiyan
    108W 11-2Sourav Mandal
    109W 2-5Ilya Osipenkov
    110Th 8-11CLOSED*
    111Th 11-2Jim Bosch
    112Th 2-5Brad Zamft
    113F 8-11CLOSED*
    114F 11-2CLOSED*
    115F 2-5Sourav Mandal
    *If your section is closed, you need to find another section.

Syllabus Cards

  • Syllabus cards are available for purchase at Copy Central, 2560 Bancroft Way (near Hearst Gym) starting Jan. 27 and cost $2.75.
  • 7C has a mandatory Syllabus Card that pays for handouts. You will need to do this 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 at 5 pm in the Physics 7C boxes, labeled by discussion section # (restroom corridor in building D HFA, Hearst Field Annex; the access code is 12345*. You might have to try several times to get the door to unlock). Late homeworks are not accepted. Please use 8 1/2" x 11" paper, stapled, with your name and sid# on each page, and the homework number, due date, your email, discussion section number and discussion GSI name as well on the front page.
  • 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

  • Midterms:
    • Cohn's Section: Monday Feb. 24 and Monday April 7, 6-8 pm,
      155 Dwinelle
    • Orenstein's Section: Tuesday Feb. 25 and Tuesday Apr. 8, 6-8 pm,
      first midterm is in 1 LeConte, second midterm is in 1 Pimentel
  • Review sessions:
    Each session may focus on a particular lecture section, as noted below.
    Feb 22 (Sat) and Feb. 23 (Sun), 3-5 pm, 155 Dwinelle
    both sessions will be for both sections, i.e. you can go to both
    April 5 (Sat) and April 6 (Sun), 3-5 pm, 155 Dwinelle
  • Final:
    Exam Group 7-Monday May 19, 12:30-3:30 pm (Cohn)
    Exam Group 21-Sat May 24, 8-11 am (Orenstein)
  • NEW! Finals Review Sessions:
    Both are in 4 Leconte, 6-8PM. Use the southwest entrance (next to the bike racks, underneath the bridge to Birge) for access.
    May 5/17 (Sat) -- Giancoli Ch. 32-37, w/ Brad
    May 5/18 (Sun) -- Giancoli Ch. 38 onward, w/ Ilya
  • Please make sure you are available to take these exams.
  • If you are convinced that a problem has been graded incorrectly, please staple a sheet of paper to the front of the exam that details your argument. Do this for each problem for which you encounter a grading error. Give your paper to your discussion GSI, and he will route it to the graders and deliver it back to you after it has been reevaluated.


  • Homeworks, Discussions, Labs 20%, Midterms 20% each, Final 40%
    Each missed lab will drop your grade by 1/3 (B+ to B for example).
  • You must pass the final in order to pass the course. The exam groups are 7(Cohn) and 21(Orenstein), please make sure you do not have a conflict.

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