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PhET




GENERAL PHYSICS II
                                                           

- WELCOME! -

This is the web-page for PHYS 112, General Physics 2 (sections 1-2, fall 2020). Materials on this webpage are meant to supplement information given to you in class itself. I'm not a big fan of OAKS, therefore any on-line supplementary material for the course you need can be found here. To the left and below, you'll find important links/syllabi/etc.

If you'd like to find out more about me or the research we do in my lab, check out my main webpage.

- IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!! -

Class Scheduling -- This class is officially listed as a "hybrid" course, but the administration has already announced that the first 3 weeks of the semester AND the portion of the semester after Thanksgiving (including 1 week of instruction and the final exams) will all be presented virtually. The portion of this course that will involve live, face-to-face instruction is expected to be extremely minimal; the current plans are for your weeks 4-13 LABS (e.g. 9/14 - 11/20) to be live/in-person, but the only face-to-face dates for the lecture are expected to be midterm test dates. This plan may change, but since your lecture instructor is in a high-risk group for COVID-19 complications, we are trying to minimize his time on campus. That being said, your instructor is committed to doing anything he can to help you succeed in this course, and will be regularly available for individual and group live problem-solving/tutoring/help sessions.

Plans for this semester are constantly evolving as the COVID-19 situation unfolds. Modifications to our course plans will be posted here when/if they occur.



- About This Course -

This course is the second in a two-semester survey of Calculus-based General Physics. In General Physics I, we expect that you received an introduction to many of the central ares of Physics including Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Oscillations/Waves. This semester, we will continue the survey of Physics with special emphasis on Electricity and Magnetism, Light and Optics, Special Relativity, a brief introduction to Quantum Mechanics, and various other elements of Modern Physics like Atomic and Nuclear Physics.

This course is meant to be introductory in nature (in that you aren't expected to be familiar with the basic concepts we will be discussing prior to taking the class), but that does not mean it will be easy. (100 level courses do not mean easy -- they mean little prerequisite knowledge expected). This is a challenging course that may require continuous and substantial effort to achieve success. I will do everything within my power to assist you in the learning process, and I desperately want you to succeed. That being said, Physics is a quantitative and objective discipline -- you will be evaluated on your success in applying the principles we will be introducing in this course in a problem solving context. Some of you will excel at this, others will struggle. Effort alone is not enough to ensure a good grade.


- When you are struggling.... -

Part of maturing as a thinker is learning how and when to get help. When I was a student, I had an aversion to seeking extra help from my professors and classmates and ultimately I now know this was to my detriment. I encourage you to work with your classmates on the homework, form study groups, come to the open zoom office hours/help sessions, if necessary make appointments for additional help sessions, and make use of the tutoring opportunities available to you. I strongly encourage you to use these resources! You don't get bonus points for figuring it out totally on your own, and you'll be surprised how much you can gain out of the process of talking through this stuff with other people, whether they are your professors, your classmates, or your pets. If, at any time, you feel like things aren't going like they should in this class -- make an appointment with me immediately! I can help you get the assistance you need, or maybe even put you on the right path myself.


- Step by Step Guide in How to Succeed in PHYS 112 -

Like all classes, what you ultimately will get out of taking this class is directly related to how much effort you put into the course. This material is challenging -- especially for a 100 level course -- but it CAN be done, if you put in the necessary effort.
  1. Attend class daily, pay attention, and be an active participant. (Take notes, ask questions, etc.)
  2. Read your textbook and/or watch the linked videos before class! (It may be confusing on this first exposure, but this way when you hear it in lecture you'll be hearing it for the second time. If you hear it in lecture the first time, you will almost certainly be confused. If you are kind-of/sort-of familiar with the content in advance, then -- when hearing it in lecture -- you can identify what things are still confusing and ask effective questions). Reading a textbook -- especially before hearing the lecture on the topic -- is likely the most important thing you can do to succeed in this class.
  3. Complete all homework (including reading a text!).
  4. When confused or lost, seek help right away! (Via office hours -- normally scheduled or by appointment, sessions at the tutoring center, or through help from private tutors. There are many resources available for extra help if you need it, but you can't wait until the end of the semester to turn things around!)
  5. When preparing for tests, rework problems you've seen before -- the ones done in class, during problem solving sessions, or non-assigned questions in assorted texts (most introductory physics texts have at least some of the answers in the back of the book). Get help on any questions you do not understand. I'm happy to work any problems for you independently, except for assigned homework problems before they are due. (I will give you help/hints on these problems if you visit office hours, but I won't just do the homework for you.)
  6. Don't wait until the last minute to start your homework! Sometimes you'll struggle for a while with a problem, and need to come back to it several times to develop a plan of attack. You can't do that if you're starting it 6 hours before it is due. My homework is not easy! Sometimes, successfully solving a single problem is a productive evening's work. Budget your time accordingly! (If you have any doubts about this, ask around the Physics tutors who typically went through our curriculum and had me for some of their classes; they will vouch for the seriousness of my homework sets).

- Class Readings / Videos -

As mentioned above, you should be reading the appropriate parts of a text and/or watching the videos posted here BEFORE class. Success in class may depend on it, so don't take this lightly. Even though the only graded homework is listed below, that doesn't mean that this is less important.

All readings are described by basic topic, since I suspect you might use a variety of different texts to support your learning in this class. (I believe many of you may have the textbook by Serway and Jewett from your first semester class. I really hate that text, but if that's what you already have it should be satisfactory; my homework is not assigned out of the text and it covers the same topics we will be discussing in class this semester. My preferred text (and the one that the department is transitioning to) is "Fundamentals of Physics" by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker. My copy at home is the 10th edition. When I list reading topics, I will be referencing chapters/sections from the Halliday text. I'll give you more information about this on the first day of class. There is also a link to a free textbook that is mediocre (but cheap) on the left portion of this webpage.

(Chart will be updated through the semester.)
Class Date Suggested Reading Topics Suggested Video(s) Suggested Applet(s)
Aug 26th Even I think reading before 1st day unlikely -- but Coulomb's Law (Ch.21) Lewin on Coulomb's Law Static Electricity PHeT, Coulomb's Law PhET, Coulomb's Law Physlet, Charging Objects Physlet, Net force from multiple charges Physlet, Resulting motion from multiple charges Physlet
Aug 28th Coulomb's Law Cont'd. (Ch.21) Lewin on Coulomb's Law Static Electricity PHeT, Coulomb's Law PhET, Coulomb's Law Physlet, Charging Objects Physlet, Net force from multiple charges Physlet, Resulting motion from multiple charges Physlet
Aug 31st Electric Fields (Ch.22) Lewin on Electric Fields Charges and Fields PHeT, Electric Field Hockey PHeT, Electric Field PHeT, Coulomb's Gauntlet Physlet
Sept 2nd Electric Fields and Gauss' Law (Ch.22-23) Lewin on Electric Flux and Gauss' Law Uniform Electric Field Physlet, Field from Point Charge Physlet, Field Representation Physlet, Fields and Test Charges Physlet
Sept 4th Electric Fields and Gauss' Law Contd. (Ch.22-23) Lewin on Electric Flux and Gauss' Law, Sample tutorial video showing relationships between flux and electric field, Using Gauss' Law in Cylindrical Geometry Flux and Gaussian Surfaces Physlet, Flux and Gauss's Law Physlet
Sep 7th Electrical Potential (Ch.24) Lewin on Electrical Potential Physlet on Work and Equipotential Surfaces, Summary of Electrostatic Variables
Sep 9th Electrical Potential Contd. (Ch.24) Lewin on Conductors, Electric Potential, etc., Sample Problem Solving Associated with Electric Potential and Electric Potential Energy Link to many applets, including 4 on electrostatics
Sep 11th Capacitors and Current (Ch.25-26) Lewin on Capacitance and Electric Field Energy Microscopic View of a Capacitor, Capacitor PhET
Sep 14th Capacitors and Current Contd. (Ch.25-26) Lewin on Capacitance and Electric Field Energy Capacitor PhET
Sep 16th DC Circuits (Ch.27) Lewin on Currents, Resistivity, Conductivity, and Ohm's Law Basic Circuit Design PhET
Sep 18th DC Circuits Contd / Kirchhoff's Laws (Ch.27) Lewin on Currents, Resistivity, Conductivity, and Ohm's Law, Example Circuit Problem Solving, Kirchhoff's Rules Example Basic Circuit Design PhET, DC Circuits Physlet
Sep 21st DC Circuits Contd. (Ch.27) Lewin on Kirchhoff and Power Circuit Simulator
Sep 23rd Magnetic Fields (Ch.28-29) Lewin on Magnetic Fields and the Lorentz Force Basic Magnetism PhET, Magnetostatics Applet
Sep 25th Magnetic Fields (Ch.28-29) Lewin on Applications of Magnetic Fields, Basics of How Magnets Work Basic Magnetism PhET, Magnetostatics Applet, Mass Spectrometer Physlet
Sep 28th Magnetic Fields (Ch.28-29) Lewin on Biot-Savart Law, Lewin on Ampere's Law Basic Magnetism PhET, Magnetostatics Applet, Generator PhET
Sep 30th Magnetic Fields (Ch.28-29) Lewin on Biot-Savart Law, Lewin on Ampere's Law Basic Magnetism PhET, Magnetostatics Applet, Generator PhET
Oct 2nd Test 1 Date (Chapters 21-29) LIVE TEST DATE -- WE ARE IN RITA TODAY! N/A
Oct 5th Induction and Inductance (Ch.30) Lewin on Induction, Faraday's Law, and Lenz's Law Faraday's Law PhET
Oct 7th Induction and Inductance (Cont'd) (Ch.30) Lewin on Induction, Faraday's Law, and Lenz's Law Faraday's Law PhET
Oct 9th Induction and Inductance (Cont'd) (Ch.30) Lewin on Induction, Faraday's Law, and Lenz's Law Faraday's Law PhET
Oct 12th Induction and Inductance (Cont'd) / Motional EMF (Ch.30) Lewin on Induction, Faraday's Law, and Lenz's Law, Lewin on Motional EMF Faraday's Law PhET
Oct 14th Maxwell's Equations and Electromagnetic Waves (Ch.32/33) Lewin on EM Waves and Speed of Light, Lewin on Poynting Vector, Polarization, and Radiation Pressure, Lewin on Malus' Law Radiation Charge PhET, EM Waves Physlets, Polarization Physlets
Oct 16th Geometric Optics (aka Images) (Ch.34) Lewin on Snell's Law/Index of Refraction Snell's Law/Bending Light PhET, Geometric Optics PhET, Mirrors Physlets, Refraction Physlets, Lenses Physlets
Oct 19th Geometric Optics (cont'd.) (Ch.34) Lewin on Snell's Law/Index of Refraction Snell's Law/Bending Light PhET, Geometric Optics PhET, Mirrors Physlets, Refraction Physlets, Lenses Physlets
Oct 21st Geometric Optics (cont'd.) (Ch.34) Lewin on Snell's Law/Index of Refraction Snell's Law/Bending Light PhET, Geometric Optics PhET, Mirrors Physlets, Refraction Physlets, Lenses Physlets
Oct 23rd Physical Optics (aka Interference) (Ch.35) Lewin on Physical Optics, More Lewin Physics Optics Wave Interference PhET, Ripple Tank Interference Applet, Interference Physlets, Diffraction Physlets
Oct 26th Physical Optics (aka Interference) (Ch.35) Lewin on Physical Optics, More Lewin Physics Optics Wave Interference PhET, Ripple Tank Interference Applet, Interference Physlets, Diffraction Physlets
Oct 28th Diffraction/Physical Optics (Ch. 35-36)
Oct 30th Test 2 Date (Chapters 30,33-36) LIVE TEST DATE -- WE ARE IN RITA TODAY! N/A
Nov 2nd Relativity (Ch.37)
Nov 4th Relativity (Ch. 37)
Nov 6th Photons and Matter Waves (Ch.38-39)
Nov 9th Photons and Matter Waves (Ch.38-39)
Nov 11th Photons and Matter Waves (Ch.38-39)
Nov 13th Introduction to Atomic Physics (Ch.40)
Nov 16th Introduction to Atomic Physics (Ch.40)
Nov 18th Introduction to Atomic Physics (Ch.40)
Nov 20th Test 3 Date (Chapters 36-40) LIVE TEST DATE -- WE ARE IN RITA TODAY! N/A
Nov 23rd Introduction to Nuclear Physics (Ch.42-43)
Nov 25th -- No Class --
Nov 27th -- No Class --
Nov 30th Introduction to Nuclear Physics (Ch.42-43)
Dec 2nd Introduction to Particle Physics (Ch.44)
Dec 4th Semester Wrapup
Dec 9th FINAL EXAM, 8-10 AM N/A N/A

- Homework Assignments -

Assignment 1(PDF) (due date: 8/28/20) [this is 2nd half only; first half only available through Oaks]

Assignment 2(PDF) (due date: 9/4/20)

Assignment 3(PDF) (due date: 9/11/20)

Assignment 4(PDF) (due date: 9/18/20)

Assignment 5(PDF) (due date: 9/25/20)

Assignment 6(PDF) (due date: 10/9/20)

Assignment 7(PDF) (due date: 10/16/20)

Assignment 8(PDF) (due date: 10/23/20)

Assignment 9(PDF) (anticipated due date: 11/6/20)

Assignment 10(PDF) (anticipated due date: 11/13/20)




- Test Information -

We plan to have 3 in-class midterms as well as a final exam. At present, we plan to make exam dates the days we do lecture live/in-person. Depending on the size of the class, that may mean that we have to split the class into two groups to have enough room to ensure social distancing. More information about the exact protocols will be conveyed closer to the exam date. At present, the planned dates for the exams for this class are the following:
Exam 1: Friday October 2nd
Exam 2: Friday October 30th
Exam 3: Friday November 20th

The (cumulative!) final exam is online (for everyone) and scheduled for Wednesday, December 9th, from 8-10 AM.


Last updated: 19 October 2020