General information

Adding 50, 51, 52

Instructors do not distribute add codes under any circumstances.

Physics 50, 51 and 52 are in extremely high demand and typically fill up.

If you are blocked during the advance registration period, then you should follow these instructions.

Because 2a, 2b, 50, 51 and 52 have labs and are in extremely high demand, it is simply too late to add the courses after the first day of class. Seats WILL NOT open up. The department will reach its enrollment limit 1 or 2 days after the semester begins, which means NO ADD CODES WILL BE GIVEN OUT after that time. The best thing to do is to add the class during your advanced registration period. Even if you waitlist, you can us know you're interested by filling in the web form available from the Physics Department Website.


The Physics 50W workshop is NOT required, but we offer it because it helps. Many students find it useful because they don't have their own study groups outside of class.

Switching sections of lecture or lab

If you are enrolled in Physics 2a, 2b, 50, 51 or 52 and wish to change sections of lecture or lab, you must re-add with a permission number (a.k.a. "add code"). Because we are so full, you run the very real risk of losing your seat entirely if you try to switch sections. Do not hope for "seats to open up" because labs and lectures will only be getting fuller. I can't save your seat for you, or just switch your lab section for you. I can over-enroll lectures slightly in anticipation of a few people dropping out just before the deadline, but lab enrollment capacities must be strictly enforced.

Physics 50/51/52 vs. Physics 2a/2b

Physics 50 is not the same course as Physics 2a. Physics 2a is algebra-based and does not have calculus as a pre-requisite. Physics 2a covers more topics than 50 does, albeit at a less quantitative level. The big difference between the two is that 2a covers thermodynamics and 50 does not.

Physics 2a/2b are taken by students majoring in the biological sciences, aviation, and industrial technology. Physics 2a does not serve as a pre-requisite for Physics 51, but Physics 50 sometimes can substitute for 2a. Your degree program may or may not allow you to substitute Physics 50 for Physics 2a. It is best to ask your major adviser or your department chair whether this substitution is permissible. It is not my decision whether these are interchangeable in your degree program. Your major adviser must indicate that she approves of the substitution by specifying this on your major form.