California Institute of Technology

Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy

Physics 12a - Waves, Fall Term, 2013

Message Board: 


The final exam is now posted at the exam link below.  The exam will be due on 13 December 2013 at 5:00pm.


The cover page with instructions for the Final Exam is posted at the “Examinations” link below.


Midterm grading – Please consult the posted solutions for the midterm at the “Examinations” link below.  Then arrange to meet with the person(s) who graded the relevant problem to discuss.

Problem 1 – Lena Murchikova

Problem 2 – Matthew Heydeman

Problem 3 – Min-Feng Tu

Problem 4 – Lena Murchikova

If questions/issues remain, please see Dr. Kimble.


For questions about grading, please contact the grader first. If issues remain, please see Dr. Kimble.

            Odd numbered problem sets graded by Min-Feng Tu

Even numbered problem sets graded by Matthew Heydeman


Assignments: reading and homework problems
Materials from class and Links


H. Jeff Kimble
Office: 12-B E. Bridge
Mail Code: 12-33
Phone: x8340
Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, 1:30-3:00pm, or by appointment (email is best)


- Math 1abc and Physics 1abc, or the equivalents
(differential equations, complex numbers, mechanics, special relativity, electromagnetism).


- Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30-11:55 am, 269 Lauritsen
- Other special lecture times as announced here and in class during the term.

Textbook for Phys 12c:

-Waves, Frank S. Crawford, Jr.

Note that this book is out of print, but that permission was received to have it reproduced.

Copies are available in the bookstore.


Recitation leaders and sections:

Elena Murchikova

Recitation section: Wednesday from 4:00-5:00pm (the room is reserved until 6:00pm)

Office: 355 Cahill

Office hours: the hour following the recitation section in Downs 11 or by email appointment


Zitao Wang

Recitation section: Thursday from 7:30-8:30pm (the room is reserved until 9:30pm)

Office: 449 Lauritsen

Office hours: the hour following the recitation section in Downs 11 or by email appointment



Matthew Heydeman

Office: 414 Lauritsen


Min-Feng Tu

Office: 54 Bridge


Please email requests for extensions to the appropriate grader, before the assignment is due.  Meetings with the graders to discuss questions about grading should also be arranged via email.


Problem Sets:

-Posted on the class web page on Friday of each week.

The assignments are due in the Physics 12a IN box in 264 Lauritsen by 5:00pm on the following  Friday. Please put your name clearly written at the top of the first page of your homework set. The graded problem sets will be returned to the Physics 12a OUT box in 264 Lauritsen the following Tuesday morning before class. Solution sets will be posted on the web. You are strongly encouraged to check your work when it is returned to you. Problem sets are essential for mastering the material in this class.



- Times for the midterm and final exams will be posted at the link on the top this page. Both exams will be take-home and limited open-book (only the text and class notes allowed). The final exam will be comprehensive.
- Please do not plan to leave campus for the Christmas Holiday until your final exam is completed and turned in.


- The overall course grade will be determined according to the following weighting: 30% problem sets, 30% midterm exam, 40% final exam.


OFFICIAL policy: Work will be accepted up to one week late at 1/2 credit, with no credit thereafter. Students may request extensions from the grader; extension requests are governed by the honor system!

- One extension is allowed without question (your “silver bullet’ to use whenever you like once during the term).
- Extension requests should be accompanied by a GOOD excuse (e.g., illness).

- Late papers make far more work for the graders, who have their own set of pressures and deadlines as graduate students. There is no entitlement to extensions, so please do not be demanding. But do feel free to contact the graders.

Honor Code:

- Work is governed by the honor system. You may not use sources that contain the answer to a problem or to a very similar problem. Discussion with others is encouraged, but the work you hand in must be your own. In particular, do not use solution sets from previous years, or problem/solution books. Also, exams and their solutions from past years are not to be used in any fashion.


- Ombudsfolk are student volunteers who represent the students of each of the undergraduate houses. They collect suggestions, comments, complaints, etc., and present them to Professor Kimble at two meetings (free lunches!) during the Fall term. Please communicate your concerns to your ombudsperson.

Supplemental materials:

- Supplemental lecture material will be handed out in class and posted on the class web site.

Last Updated: 8 December 2013 by H. J. Kimble