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

Physics 101 (Fall 2015) - Introduction to Astronomy   Syllabus   Class Notes   Sky and weather links   Writing assignment and movies 

For some homework, on Thursday I will pass out a magnitude chart which can also be found on  I will ask you to step outside on a clear dark evening and look for the "Northern Cross" which is officially known as Cygnus ("the swan") which is high overhead in late evening this time of year. These charts let us determine how much "light pollution" you have at the location where you view the sky. To find Cygnus, look at this and set the time correctly for when you will look at the sky. You can change it to be black on white if you wish to print the chart on paper. I would like you to report the magnitude (from the charts) that you see at the location you pick (and it can be any location, but tell me where it is). The handout in class will have a form to fill out and return to me.

We will use a new edition of the Astronomy textbook in the fall semester. The textbook for the course is available in the Union Bookstore. You do not need any supplements such as CDs or access codes for my section of this course, so a used copy would be adequate. The book that will be used in Fall 2015 is "Discovering the Essential Universe” by Neil F. Comins, 6th edition, 2015. Be sure to look at the syllabus for exam dates and other important data.

Physics 124 (Fall 2015) - General Physics I   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Wave simulations and other resources

The second homework set is due next Wednesday, Sept. 9. See the link above for the list of exercises.

The Physics Tutoring Center is located in Currens 515 (southeast corner on the top floor). It is 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.

Courses taught previously at WIU (last time taught at WIU) [number of times taught at WIU]:
Physics 101 (Spring 2015) [14]  -  Introduction to Astronomy  
Syllabus   Class Notes   Sky and weather links   Writing assignment and movies 
Physics 124 (Fall 2014)     [12]  -  General Physics I   Syllabus   Homework assignments   Wave simulations and other resources
Physics 125 (Spring 2015) [12]  -  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 2015)  [2]  -  Science in Context (for science education majors) - uses Western Online
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 am serving as the IL section Newsletter editor, 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.

I currently serve as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Macomb Food Co-op (which now has an online market at ).

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)