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PHYS 146: Principles of Physics II

Lev Deych

(Submission #69)

Course Description

This class is the second semester of introductory physics course, where new fundamental concepts of classical physics are introduced and discussed. Among main topics studied in this course are electrostatics, magnetostatics, electrodynamic phenomena, nature and properties of light. From fundamental gnoseological perspective the study of electrodynamics and optics exposes students to first steps in still continuing quest for common causes and a unified description of apparently unrelated phenomena. The idea of unity of nature emerged as a main scientific theme of last two centuries as a result of unification of electricity and magnetism into electrodynamics, and reducing optics to electromagnetism. Also, given the fact that no other scientific discipline influenced culture and technology more than electrodynamics, the proposed course will help students to understand how scientific ideas can shape modern society. Interaction between students and teaching staff is organized in the form of three components: lectures, recitations and labs. Students learn material, however, not only during scheduled class times, but also during their preparation for classes. The preparation includes: reading a textbook and additional reading materials, solving homework problems, performing other assignments such as preparing talks, writing blogs, etc. as deemed necessary by an instructor. Main goal of lectures is to deliver the main conceptual content of the studied material. Organization of lectures depends on individual styles of professors teaching the course, but active involvement of students in discussion of the subject matter will always be one of the main means of achieving this goal. Recitations play a more technical role: during recitations students sharpen their practical skill in applying new concepts to typical situations occurring in real life or during scientific inquiry. During labs, students are introduced to and obtain hands-on experience of empirical methods of scientific inquiry. They learn to design meaningful scientific experiments, use basic measuring devices and instruments, collect and analyze experimental data to make reasonable scientific inferences. Topics in this class include: Electrostatics: Electric charges and their interaction, Coulomb law, Gauss’s law, electric field, electrostatic potential, potential energy of systems of charges, electrical properties of metals and dielectrics, capacitors and their applications Direct electric current: Electric current, resistance and resistivity, Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s rules Magnetostatics: Magnetic field and magnetic force on charges and currents, the Biot-Savart and Ampere’s laws Electromagnetic phenomena: magnetic induction and Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law, magnetic energy, alternating-current circuits, electromagnetic oscillators and resonance, Maxwell equation and electromagnetic waves Optics: geometric optics and optical instruments, light as electromagnetic wave, polarization, dispersion, diffraction and interference


Area of Knowledge and Inquiry: Natural Science Lab (NS-L)
Context of Experience: Not Applicable
Extended Requirement: Abstract or Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

Additional Course information

Credits: 4
Prerequisites: Phys 145, Math 152 or Math 141,142,143
Existing Course: Existing
Existing Course Number: Phys 146
Course Anticipated to be offered: Every Semester
Other (if specified): 
Number of Sections: 1
Number of Seats: 24


[Justification, Materials, Assessment, Administration (RTF)]   [Syllabus/Syllabi (DOC)]  

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