Physics 2012

General Physics II

Fall 2011

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 12:00-12:50 MWAH 195

Instructor: Alec Habig

Office: MWAH 374

Office Hours:9:00-10:00M, 13:00-14:00M, 14:00-15:00W,

10:00-11:00Th, 9:00-10:00F

Telephone: 726-7214


(or by appointment)

Prerequisites: PHYS 2011, Calculus II (MATH 1297 or 1597). This course requires competency in mathematics through differential and integral calculus.

Text: Halliday, Resnick, & Walker,

Fundamentals of Physics (9th ed.)

Lab Packet, Clicker

Sapling Learning online homework subscription

Additional readings or assignments from other texts or the web might be assigned over the course of the semester, but arrangements will be made so you do not have to buy more books. This stuff is already expensive enough.

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 the following five 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 the mid-term exam or guesstimated upon request.

Homework: written homework assignments are important and will be assigned at least on a weekly basis. Hearing or reading about something does 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. In addition to really helping one learn things, the homework helps the instructor see what areas need more or different explanation.

Online homework will be assigned in conjunction with the reading assignments, due before the class where we talk about the new section. Reading and thinking about something, talking about it in class, then doing the relevant written homework parts really cements the stuff in your head, allowing you to do well on the tests.

Written 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 14:00-15:55 on Thursday, Dec. 22nd. Make-up tests will be available only for documented medical or family reasons or mandatory university-sponsored events necessitating absence

from class.

Class Participation: While it is hard to have class participation in the traditional sense in a large lecture, the act of engaging your brains periodically rather than simply taking notes has been shown to improve learning. Thus, this class will make use of the “clicker” system to give you the means to actively answer questions in class, and a class participation grade will be assigned to encourage you to do so. If you do not already have a clicker from previous classes, the bookstore carries them. Please register your clicker following the instructions on the class website. Points for missed questions can not be made up, but the lowest three scores will be dropped when calculating your grade to cover unforeseen circumstances.

Labs: Completion of all 12 lab experiments and submission of the lab notebook for each lab is a necessary but not sufficient condition for passing the course. Students repeating this course must perform all lab work this semester. Labs do not meet during the first week of classes. Excused absences are granted only for documented illness, family emergency, or required university-sponsored activity. The lab instructor must be notified in advance or as soon as practical in case of emergency. Make-up of more than one excused absence from lab during a make-up week requires the instructor's approval. Labs receiving an Unsatisfactory grade must be repaired and resubmitted for re-grading within 7 days of their return. All lab work, including make-up and repairs must be completed and submitted no later than 4:30 pm of the last day of regular classes. Having more than one lab with an Unsatisfactory grade remaining at the end of the semester will result in a failing grade for lab and the course. Since each lab instructor may have slightly varying grading standards, the contribution of lab to the course grade may be scaled according to the overall average grade of your lab instructor

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.

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 semester. Adaptation of methods, materials, or testing may be made as possible to provide for equitable participation.

Standard UMD academic policies: are in force and described online at

Important Dates:

Final Exam, Thursday December 22, 14:00-15:55

Note: the final exam will not be available earlier

Thanksgiving, no class on November 24 & 25



Week 1 (9/7-9/9)

Ch.21 §1-6 Electric Charge

Week 2 (9/12-9/16)

Ch.22 §1-9 Electric fields

Week 3 (9/19-9/23)

Ch.23 §1-9 Gauss' Law

Week 4 (9/26-9/30)

Ch.24 §1-12 Electric Potential

*Test #1 (9/30)

Week 5 (10/3-10/7)

Ch.25 §1-8 Capacitance

Week 6 (10/10-10/14)

Ch.26 §1-9 Current and Resistance

Week 7 (10/17-10/21)

Ch.27 §1-9 Circuits

Week 8 (10/24-10/28)

*Test #2 (10/24)

Ch.28 §1-10 Magnetic Fields

Week 9 (10/31-11/4)

Ch.29 §1-6 Fields due to Currents

Week 10 (11/7-11/11)

Ch.30 §1-12 Induction and Inductance

Week 11 (11/14-11/18)

Ch.32 §1-11 Maxwell's Equations & Magnetism

*Test #3 (11/18)

Week 12 (11/21-25)

Ch.33 §1-10 Electromagnetic Waves

*11/24&25 Thanksgiving - no class

Week 13 (11/28-12/2)

Ch.34 §1-9 Images

Week 14 (12/5-12/9)

Ch.35 §1-8 Interference

Week 15 (12/12-12/16)

Ch.36 §1-10 Diffraction


Week 16

*Final exam:

Thursday, 12/22, 14:00 - 15:55

Course outline subject to change to meet the needs of the class, especially the test dates might wiggle around to better match what's been covered or not