Physics 2015

General Physics II

Fall 2016

Monday & Wednesday 12:00-13:50 MWAH 347

Instructor: Alec Habig

Office: MWAH 358

Office Hours: 14:00-15:00M, 10:00-12:00F (or by appointment, especially T/Th)

Telephone: 726-7214


Prerequisites: PHYS 2013, Calculus II (MATH 1297 or 1597).

Co-requisite: PHYS 2016 General Physics Lab II. This must be taken concurrently with lecture.

This course requires competency in mathematics through differential and integral calculus.

Text: Young & Freedman, University Physics (13th ed.)

Lab Packet, Clicker (note: new cloud-based thing!)

Mastering Physics subscription (comes with book)

note that “Mastering” includes an ebook version!

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 (see class website for details). 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. The class grades will be kept on UMD's eGradebook online system so you can have up to the minute access to your scores, although letter grades will only be set periodically as mentioned above.

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 and practicing 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 discussion section time. The final exam is 16:00-17:55 on Monday, December 12th: note that this is a “common” final so not in the time slot you might expect! Make-up tests will be available only for documented medical or family reasons or mandatory university-sponsored events necessitating absence from class.

Class Participation: This is an “Active Learning” section, so you will be doing a lot of work in class. You might be asked to hand in classwork, and this class will also make use of the “clicker” system to give you the means to actively answer questions in class. Since the whole benefit of “Active Learning” comes from being preapred and doing good work in class, 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: The Phys 2016 course is the accompanying laboratory course for this class: you must register for it separately, and it has its own syllabus you should read.

Discussion: You are registered for an accompanying one hour discussion section for this class, meeting sometime on Tuesday. This section is intended to facilitate small-group problem solving, with a better student-teacher ratio than the lecture section and a different instructor for a fresh perspective. Activities in the discussion section contribute 10% of your grade for the whole class.

Students with Disabilities: It is the policy and practice of the University of Minnesota Duluth to create inclusive learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities. If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or your ability to meet course requirements such as time limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources to discuss and arrange reasonable accommodations. Call 218-726-6130 or visit the Disability Resources web site at for more information.

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

Important Dates:

Final Exam, Monday December 12, 16:00-19:55

Note: the final exam will not be available earlier



Week 1 (8/29-8/31)

Ch.21 §1-3 Electric Charge

Week 2 (9/5-9/7)

Labor Day 9/5

Ch.21 §4-7 Electric fields

Week 3 (9/12-9/14)

Ch.22 §1-5 Gauss' Law

Week 4 (9/19-9/21)

Ch.23 §1-5 Electric Potential

*Test #1 (9/23rd-ish)

Week 5 (9/26-9/28)

Ch.24 §1-6 Capacitance

Week 6 (10/3-10/5)

Ch.25 §1-6 Current and Resistance

Week 7 (10/10-10/12)

Ch.26 §1-5 DC Circuits

*Test #2 (10/14th-ish)

Week 8 (10/17-10/19)

Ch.27 §1-9 Magnetic Fields

Week 9 (10/24-10/26)

Ch.28 §1-8 Sources of Magnetic Fields

Fall Break” 10/27-10/28

(doesn't affect this class)

Week 10 (10/31-11/2)

Ch.29 §1-8 Electromagnetic Induction

Week 11 (11/7-11/9)

Ch.30 §1-5 Inductance

*Test #3 (11/11th-ish)

Week 12 (11/14-11/16)

Ch.32 §1-5 Electromagnetic Waves

Week 13 (11/21-11/23)

Ch.33 §1-7 Nature of Light

Thanksgiving Break, 11/24-11/25

(doesn't affect this class)

Week 14 (11/28-11/30)

Ch.34 §1-8 Geometric Optics

Week 15 (12/5-12/7)

Ch.35 §1-5 Interference

Ch.36 §1-8 Diffraction

Week 16

*Final exam:

Monday, 12/12, 16:00 - 17:55

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