Contact Information and Office Hours

Office SSC 208, desk next to computer
Email (primary) OR (bkp)
HomePage This page! (
Location of Lab Kaprielian (KAP) Basement (welcome to the dungeon!)
Office Hours T 12-2 p.m. in SGM 412

Please note that these pages are equally applicable for students in any of my 135bL sections. Choose one of the links on the left to navigate through these pages. More additions forthcoming.

Final lab grades should be posted soon outside SGM 407. Your lab written and practical finals are also available there (I'll be turning them in on Friday, 4/28/00). Please remember that your final lab grade was scaled by the Undergraduate Lab Director in order to average them across all the labs. If you have any questions at all about your grades (or comments or requests for future help), please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

Good luck, guys (and thanks for a great semester)!!!

Ricky's Tentative Schedule

Following are the times I will definitely be unavailable during the semester. The open slots are potentially free times so if you'd like to setup an appointment at a time other than my official OH, please use this as a guide (however, please keep in mind that poor grad students, just like ordinary folk, have classes, girlfriends, and beer all vying for our free time, such as it is... so just because it appears open doesn't necessarily mean it's actually free).

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

The Sex Life of an Electron

One night when his charge was pretty high, Micro Henry decided to try to get a cute little coil to let him discharge. He picked up Millie Amp and took her for a ride on his Mega cycle. They rode across the Wheatstone bridge, around by the sine wave, and stopped in a magnetic field by a flowing current.

Micro Henry, attracted by Millie's characteristic curves, soon had her resistance at a minimum and his field was fully excited. He laid her on the ground potential, raised her frequency, lowered her capacitance and pulled out his high voltage probe. He inserted his probe into her test socket, connected them in parallel, and began to short circuit her shunt.

Fully excited Millie Amp exclaimed, "Mho, mho, mho." With his tube operating at its maximum peak current and her coil vibrating from the current flow, she soon reached her maximum peak potential. The excess current flow had gotten her coil hot and Micro Henry started rapidly discharging and soon had drained off every last electron.

They fluxed all night trying various connections and sockets, until Micro Henry's bar magnet had lost all of it's field strength. Afterwards, Millie Amp tried self induction and damaged her solenoid. With his batteries fully discharged, Micro Henry was unable to further excite his generator, so they ended it all by reversing polarity and blowing each other's fuses.

Who's on First, Physics Style

  The teaching experience:

       TA: What went on in this lab?
       Student: What do you mean?
       TA: What did you do in this lab?
       Student: Lab 3.
       TA: And what did you do in lab 3?
       Student: We measured the result.
       TA: Assume I've never seen this lab before, and you're
           going to explain it to me. What would you say?
       Student: (pause) Well, it was all about getting the slope.
       TA: The slope of what?
       Student: The slope of the plot.
       TA: I know that, but you have to assume I've never heard of
           this lab, ok? How would you explain what you did?
       Student: We got the wires and measured at each point.
       TA: Measured what?
       Student: What the meter said.
       TA: (pause) Look. Your report tells me nothing; this could be
           an experiment about baking cakes. What's this number here?
       Student: 5.
       TA: Yes I KNOW it's 5. What did it measure?
       Student: The slope. Of the line.
       TA: What line?
       Student: The line. On the plot. We measured the points and
                plotted them.
       TA: Why?
       Student: (knowing smile) Because that's what the lab said.
       TA: If I was a total stranger, how would you explain this to
       Student: You just connect it up--
       TA: Connect WHAT up?
       Student: The circuit.
       TA: Why?
       Student: I'm sorry, I don't know what you're asking.
       TA: I'm asking: what is this lab all about?
       Student: Well, we put in the wires and got 5.
       TA: 5 what?
       Student: The slope.
       TA: WHAT was it slope?
       Student: 5.
       TA: I KNOW that, but what was it a measurement of?
       Student: The meter.
       TA: (sigh) One more time -- consider me a total stranger. How
           would you explain this to me?
       Student: You just put on the wires and vary the dial until you
                get the readings.
       TA: What dial?
       Student: On the power supply.
       TA: Why was there a power supply?
       Student: Well, for the circuit.
       TA: And what readings are you talking about?
       Student: The readings in the plot.
       TA: They gave you a plot in the lab manual?
       Student: I'm sorry, I don't know what you're asking.
       TA: Where did the plot come from?
       Student: We drew it.
       TA: From what?
       Student: From the experiment.
       TA: The experiment about what?
       Student: About lab 3.
       TA: (expires)

How to Write a College Paper

  1. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.

  2. Read over the assignment carefully, to make certain you understand it.

  3. Walk down to the vending machines and buy some coffee to help you concentrate.

  4. Stop off at the third floor, on the way back and visit with your friend from class. If your friend hasn't started the paper yet either, you can both walk to McDonalds and buy a hamburger to help you concentrate. If your friend shows you his paper, typed, double-spaced,and bound in one of those irritating see-thru plastic folders,drop him.

  5. When you get back to your room, sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.

  6. Read over the assignment again to make absolutely certain you understand it.

  7. You know, you haven't written to that kid you met at camp since fourth grade. You'd better write that letter now and get it our of the way so you can concentrate.

  8. Go look at your teeth in the bathroom mirror.

  9. Listen to one side of your favorite CD and that's it, I mean it, as soon as it's over you are going to start that paper.

  10. Listen to the other side.

  11. Rearrange all of your CDs into alphabetical order.

  12. Phone your friend on the third floor and ask if he's started writing yet. Exchange derogatory remarks about your teacher, the course, the university, the world at large.

  13. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.

  14. Read over the assignment again; roll the words across your tongue; savor its special flavor.

  15. Check the newspaper listings to make sure you aren't missing something truly worthwhile on TV. NOTE: When you have a paper due in less than 12 hours, anything on TV from Masterpiece Theater to Sgt. Preston of the Yukon is truly worthwhile, with these exceptions: a) Pro Bowler's Tour b) any movie starring Don Ameche.

  16. Catch the last hour of Soul Brother of Kung Fu on channel 26.

  17. Phone your friend on the third floor to see if he was watching. Discuss the finer points of the plot.

  18. Go look at your tongue in the bathroom mirror.

  19. Look through your roommate's book of pictures from home. Ask who everyone is.

  20. Sit down and do some serious thinking about your plans for the future.

  21. Open your door and check to see if there are any mysterious trench-coated strangers lurking in the hall.

  22. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.

  23. Read over the assignment one more time, just for the hell of it.

  24. Scoot your chair across the room to the window and watch the sunrise.

  25. Lie face down on the floor and moan.

Doors: The End

Ricky J. Sethi <>
Last modified: Sat Mar 24 12:03:59 PDT 2007