Physics 1204

Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics

Fall 2001

M,W,Th,F 12:00-12:50 MWAH 195

Labs: See

Instructor: Alec Habig

Office: MWAH 384

Office Hours: 13:00-14:00 M

9:00-10:00 W

10:00-11:00 Th

(or by appointment)

Telephone: 726-7214


Text:Paul A. Tipler, Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Vol.2 "Electricity, Magnetism, and Light" 4th ed.

Lab Packet

Tipler Vol.2 & Vol.3 Study Guide (optional)

Note that there is a website for the textbook with many resources at

Course Objectives: This course presents an introduction to electromagnetism and light using calculus. Both the fundamental concepts and basic applications of the physical effects are presented.

The topics to be covered include the following:

Grading: Course grades will be determined based on your performance in the following four areas, with their respective weights:

Letter grades will be assigned based upon the weighted average on a non-competitive curve. In order to keep the students informed as to their progress, a letter grade will be assigned after tests and upon request.

Homework: Homework assignments are important. You will hear about concepts in class. It is expected to have read over the book and/or study guide's section on what will be presented in class before coming to class - lectures will be a lot more useful to you if you read in advance! However, reading and hearing about something alone do not make it sink in. In order to really learn about a topic, you need to practice it. Homework is this practice as applied to the concepts and theory, thus the comparatively large weight in the grade. Labs (see below) apply these concepts to reality. In addition to helping one learn things, the homework helps the instructor see what areas need more or different explanation.

When writing out your homework solutions, include not only the diagrams and equations which lead to the answer, but elaborate on the reasoning that led you to the steps in your answer. Think of the good and bad examples your various textbooks have presented you with. Write your homework problems like the good ones, and remember how frustrating those "the remainder is an exercise left to the reader" passages have been.

Included in the homework score will be occasional in-class assignments.

Homework will be assigned roughly once per week. See for more. The lowest homework score will be dropped.

Tests: There will be three tests during the semester, given during the normal class period. The final exam is 10:00-11:55 on Tuesday, Dec. 18th.

Labs: You have signed up for a lab section in conjunction with this lecture. The labs meet once per week. Please read over the lab in advance. Doing so allows you more time in the lab to practice getting things to actually work instead of floundering about aimlessly. This also allows you time to ask questions about what will be going on in lab before you are there, and to better link what is going on in lecture to the labs.

The lab notebook should be a bound graph paper ruled notebook. These are available at the bookstore.

Note on disabilities: Individuals who have any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the start of the term. Adaptation of methods, materials, or testing will be made where possible to provide for equitable participation.

Course Outline*



Week 1 (9/5-9/7)

Ch.22 §1-7 Discrete electric fields

Week 2 (9/10-9/14)

Ch.23 §1-5 Continuous electric fields

Week 3 (9/17-9/21)

Ch.24 §1-5 Electric Potential

Week 4 (9/24-9/28)

*Test #1 (9/24)

Ch.25 §1-5 Electric Energy, Capacitance

Week 5 (10/1-10/5)

Ch.26 §1-6 Current

Week 6 (10/8-10/12)

Ch.26 §1-6 DC Circuits

Week 7 (10/15-10/19)

*Test #2 (10/15)

Ch.28 §1-4 Magnetic Field

Week 8 (10/22-10/26)

Ch.29 §1-4 Sources of Magnetic Field

Week 9 (10/29-11/2)

Ch.30 §1-4 Magnetic Induction

Week 10 (11/5-11/9)

Ch.30 §4-8 Magnetic Induction

Week 11 (11/12-11/16)

*Test #3 (11/12)

Ch.14 & 32 Waves, Maxwell's laws

Week 12 (11/19-21)

Ch.33 §1-4 Properties of Light

*11/22&23 Thanksgiving - no class

Week 13 (11/26-11/30)

Ch.33 §4-8 Properties of Light

Week 14 (12/3-12/7)

Ch.34 §1-4 Optics, Images

Week 15 (12/10-12/14)

Ch.35 §1-4 Interference, Diffraction


Week 16

*Final exam:

Tuesday, 12/18, 10:00 - 11:55am

*subject to change to meet the needs of the class