blackboard pix
Link to resources link to students links to gr-qc link to courses link to publications
motors gif

PHYS 195: Waves and Fields

Interference by soap film

Spring 2017

Laissez les bonnes ondes rouler! (Let the the good waves roll!)

- from the Livingston, LA LIGO Observatory (at one time)

Instructor: Seth Major, smajor, 4919, G052
Office Hours:

Thursday 1:30 - ~5:00 PM

Mondays 2 - 4



MWF 10:00-10:50 AM Science Center G041



Halliday, Resnick, Walker, Fundamentals of Physics Extended, 10th Edition (same as Phys 190)

John Taylor, An Introduction to Error Analysis

and K&K and Simmons reading on the 195 eReserves



Tuesday afternoons 1:00 -~4:00 PM with Seth in G030 or nearby lab

Wednesday afternoons 1:00 -~4:00 PM with Viva Horowitz in G030 or nearby lab

Thursday afternoons 1:00 - ~4:00 PM with Adam Lark in G030 or nearby lab



  • Guide 8 is posted.
  • Motor kits were distributed in class on Friday March 8. For information on th emotors see the info sheet(pdf).
  • The grade calculator. Fill in your current and estimated grades the calculator will calculate your estimated grade.
  • The "Official 195 Measurement of g" is 9.800 +/- 0.007 m/s^2.


Course Info:

course syllabus (pdf)

Weekly Guides (pdf):

Guide 1
Guide 2
Guide 3
Guide 4
Guide 5
Guide 6
Guide 7
Guide 8



  • The 3D electric field line viewer: Download from here.
  • Electric motor kits have been distributed. These details include a description of what it is all about and a description of a motor design.
  • The Phet Electric Hockey!
  • Here's the article by Mayo on the energy of waves at sea. For more on ocean waves try this link.
  • The Doppler effect at a train station and as a costume on Big Bang Theory.
  • The Doppler shift for light is used in astronomy. Here is an illustration and info on red and blue shifts. The effect is one technique for finding extra solar planets.
  • An applet demonstrating the Doppler effect for sound (requires java).
  • Here is the Phet simulation of interference.
  • Animations of different types of wave motions.
  • Here's the derivation of the equation of motion for sound.
  • The grade calculator (an excel spreadsheet). Simply fill in your mid-term exam grade, solution set grades (out of 10), and estimates for rest, and the calculator will calculate your estimated grade.
  • There's a Chladni plate picture in the banner of this web page. Wikipedia has more on Ernst and his plates. Here's a page of his notebooks! Of course, YouTube has Chladni plate videos and there's a 2D flaming (!) demonstration shown in this video.
  • Check out this comic on resonance
  • A video of a wine glass orchestra or harp
  • Here is the Phet simulator on resonance, used in the Guide 5 problem set.
  • A resonator exhibit at the Exploratorium.
  • Here's the PhET wave demo.
  • A reconstruction of the black hole merger event that led to the gravitational wave discovery last year.
  • The masses on springs videos: 1 and 2.
  • The Citicorp Center in NYC and the Taipei 101 Tower have tuned mass dampers. I opened class on Monday February 6 asking why the Taipei 101 Tower has a pendulum inside. For more specifics see "Wind and Earthquake Resistant Buildings", some of which is on google books.
  • You can see more of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in this video.There's a 2006 American Journal of Physics article by Green and Unruh on a more careful modeling of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. APS News recently had a piece on this as well, where they remind us that the original accidfent report pointed out the non-resonant behavior of the bridge.
  • Fun can be had exciting the different modes of a suspension bridge. Here's an example at Messiah College.
  • Check out this comic on resonance.
  • In class on Monday, February 6 we went through the late time solution of driven, damped, harmonic motion. Here are the notes (pdf).
  • Millennium Bridge oscillation video. See also a BCC program on this
  • For a review of rotational dynamics see Chapter 10 of HRW.
  • Galileo may have timed the swinging of the chandeliers in the Pisa cathedral. A picture of the ones installed in 1587, at History of Science at UO.
  • Here is the PhET spring mass-on-a-spring demo. Enjoy!
  • Clicker questions from lecture.


Labs (pdf):

Lab 1: Simple Oscillation
Lab 2: Moving Away from Simple Oscillation with a Pendulum
Lab 3: Measuring g with a pendulum
Lab 4: Resonance
Lab 5: Standing Waves
Lab 6: Speed of Sound
Lab 7: Coulomb's Law
Lab 8: Electroscopes
Lab 9: qvB and e/m
Lab 10: Snell's Law
Lab 11: Thin Lenses
Lab 12: Interference and Diffraction


Last modified 10 March 2017

Link to Seth's Net Home Link to Department of Physics link to archives link to gr-qc link to gr-qc/new link to archive form