Brian M. Davies, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Physics at Western Illinois University


Physics 101 (Fall 2016) - Introduction to Astronomy   Syllabus   Class Notes   Sky and weather links   Writing assignment and movies

The next exam will be this Thursday, Dec. 1, and it will cover Chapters 10, 11, and 12.

There is a new, free resource for this class. The Openstax Astronomy book has now been put online. Although it is still a draft version, it is nearly complete and might be a good substitute for your textbook if you didn't buy one. See https://openstax.org/details/books/astronomy
Click on "download a PDF" and you will get a 173 MB pdf file. The entire book is 1240 pages long, much longer than our book, so I will try to look at it and give you some guidance about any readings, so they aren't too long.

The textbook for Fall 2016 and for Spring 2017 will be "Discovering the Essential Universe” by Neil F. Comins, 6th edition, 2015. This should be available for purchase at the Union Bookstore and at Chapman's Bookstore, or online. I will not use any supplements to the book, so a used copy without supplements may be the least expensive option. I will also put up notes and links to the material in the first few chapters, so you may wait a week or so before deciding to buy this. Older editions of this are on reserve in the Physical Science Library (across the hall from the classroom). These older editions are very similar to the current edition, and won't contain some discoveries of the past few years, but by paying attention in class, you will hear about these recent discoveries (mostly related to the Solar System).


Physics 124 (Fall 2016) - General Physics I   Syllabus   Homework assignments  

Homework for Ch. 13 is due next Monday, Dec. 5.

The Physics Tutoring Center is located in Currens 515 (southeast corner on the top floor). It will be open from noon until 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The tutors are upper-level physics majors and graduate students who can help you with your homework and with general physics questions.


Physics 427 (Fall 2016) - Advanced Electronics   Syllabus  


Courses taught previously at WIU (last time taught at WIU) [number of times taught at WIU]:
Physics 101 (Spring 2016) [15]  -  Introduction to Astronomy  
Syllabus   Class Notes   Sky and weather links   Writing assignment and movies 
Physics 124 (Fall 2015)     [13]  -  General Physics I   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Wave simulations and other resources
Physics 125 (Spring 2016) [13]  -  General Physics II   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Additional Resources   Nuclear lectures (PowerPoint)
Physics 312 (Spring 2010)  [3]  -  Engineering Mechanics   Syllabus   Homework assignments
Physics 327 (Spring 2006)  [1]  -  Electronics   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Books on reserve   Errata for the textbook 
Physics 354 (Spring 2010)  [3]  -  Thermodynamics   Syllabus   Homework Assignments
Physics 427 (Fall 2014)       [6]  -  Advanced Electronics   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Books on reserve   Errata for Diefenderfer's book (no longer used in this course, but may be available on reserve) 
Physics 428 (Fall 2005)       [2]  -  Applied Optics  Syllabus   Homework Assignments   Animations and simulations   Errata for Hecht's 4th edition 
Physics 470 (Fall 2011)       [4]  -  Modern Experimental Physics   Syllabus   Books on reserve
Physics 482 (Spring 2016)  [3]  -  Science in Context (for science education majors) - uses Western Online
                                                      cross-listed as Bio/Chem/Phys 482   Syllabus (without schedule)   Schedule
Physics 577 (Spring 2006)  [1]  -  independent study - Advanced Optics - homework and activities


ISAAPT - the Illinois section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) - I served as the IL section Newsletter editor for a few years, and previously served as a member of the IL section Executive Council (our leadership group in Illinois) for six years. I organized the Spring 2007 meeting and the Spring 2013 meeting of the Illinois section, which were held here at the WIU Physics Dept. In the summer of 2007 I was invited to the American Center for Physics to participate in an AAPT Governance Retreat. In 2009 I received the Distinguished Service Citation from the ISAAPT (photo here).  My service as the President of the Illinois section for 2011-2012 is documented on the web site (officers of ISAAPT in 2012 with photos).

My prior professional work experience.
Major grants and contracts.
My publication list (this is on a non-WIU web site and is incomplete)


Miscellaneous stuff:

Talking points about the advanced lab.

Links to online resources and some physics journals of interest to physics students.

Since 2011, I have been very active in developing the Macomb Food Co-op (which has an online market at http://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/macomb/ and has a store at 211 S. McArthur here in Macomb).

For the panel discussion (April 22, 2010) of the film Carbon Nation, I mentioned the material summarized in this file:
Clarifying the Coal Question, which was a presentation given to the Sustainability Brown Bag seminar series, on Feb. 17, 2009 (summary form only)