Principles of Physics II Syllabus for 2021-2022
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PHYS-2426-001 Principles of Physics II


Prerequisites: PHYS 2425 and MATH 2414

Course Description

Principles of physics for science, computer science and engineering majors, using calculus, involving the principles of electricity and magnetism, including circuits, electromagnetism, waves, sound, light and optics.
Laboratory experiments supporting theoretical principles presented in lecture involving the principles of electricity and magnetism, including circuits, electromagnetism, waves, sound, light and optics; experimental design, data collection and analysis, and preparation of laboratory reports.

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Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

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(4 sem hrs; 3 lec, 3 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Lecture: Physics for Scientists and Engineers 10th edition, Serway & Jewitt (optional, the WebAssign access includes an ebook version)

Lab: Laboratory Manual for PHYS 2426, on Blackboard.

Homework: You will need to get a code for WebAssign if you do not already have one.  If you took Principles of Physics I from Professor Van Domelen, your old code should still work (unless you bought a single-term code, or retook Physics I).


Calculator: You will need a calculator that is not your phone that can handle scientific notation, exponents, and trigonometric functions.

Graph Paper: If you find you need this for any lab reports, is a good resource.

Student Performance

After completing the lecture part of this course, students should be able to:

1. Articulate the fundamental concepts of electricity and electromagnetism, including electrostatic potential energy, electrostatic    potential, potential difference, magnetic field, induction, and Maxwell’s equations.
2. State the general nature of electrical forces and electrical charges, and their relationship to electrical current.
3. Solve problems involving the inter-relationship of electrical  charges, electrical forces, and electrical fields.
4. Apply Kirchhoff’s laws to analysis of circuits with potential sources, capacitance, and resistance, including parallel and series capacitance and resistance.
5. Calculate the force on a charged particle between the plates of a parallel-plate capacitor.
6. Apply Ohm’s law to the solution of problems.
7. Describe the effects of static charge on nearby materials in terms of Coulomb’s law.
8. Use Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws to find the electromotive forces.
9. Describe the components of a wave and relate those components to mechanical vibrations, sound, and decibel level.
10. Articulate the principles of reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference and superposition of waves.
11. Solve real-world problems involving optics, lenses, and mirrors.

After completing the lab part of this course, students should be able to:

1. Prepare laboratory reports that clearly communicate experimental information in logical and scientific manner.
2. Conduct basic laboratory experiments involving electricity and magnetism.
3. Relate physical observations and measurements involving electricity and magnetism to theoretical principles.
4. Evaluate the accuracy of physical measurements and the potential sources of error in the measurement.
5. Design fundamental experiments involving principles of electricity and magnetism.
6. Identify appropriate sources of information for conducting laboratory experiments involving electricity and magnetism.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

The lecture meetings will include class discussion and some activities, so students will not be expected to sit quietly the entire time.  Students will be expected to exercise good judgement regarding when to speak and when to listen, however, both with Dr. Van Domelen and their fellow students.

Students are expected to remain up-to-date on their own grades, and bring any disputes to the instructor in a timely manner.  Other than disputes regarding the final exam itself, all disputes must be brought up prior to taking the final exam.

To avoid disruption and potential embarrassment, please silence all electronic devices.  Outside of exams, portable electronics will be allowed.  However, unless they are part of an assistive system (see Disability Services if in doubt), please remove any earpieces or headphones.

You may record (audio or video) lectures for your personal use or to share with other students currently taking this course.  You do not have permission to post them online for wide distribution or to sell them or otherwise profit by the distribution of the lectures.

Academic dishonesty will at a minimum be punished by a score of zero on the relevant task.  This includes cheating on exams, and turning in lab reports for a lab that was not actually attended.  (The online homework is harder to cheat than to just do honestly, but please do not take this as a challenge.)  Additional sanctions at the College level may be applied if the situation merits.

Masks are optional.  CDC guidance is that if you have been fully vaccinated, you can safely do without a mask indoors, but if you have not been vaccinated then it is recommended you wear a mask when indoors around people of unknown COVID status.  You will not be required to establish whether you have been vaccinated.  Hopefully COVID rates will remain low all summer and masking will be unnecessary.

Grading Criteria

Three hour-long exams will together compose 30% of the class grade, while the final exam will count as 20%.  Homework will count for 20% of the grade, Laboratory write-ups 15%, pre-lab exercises 5%. Participation in group work during recitation will make up the remaining 10%.

If it will raise your average, the lowest regular exam grade (unless it is a zero given for cheating) will be replaced by the percentage score of the final exam.  Note that this means you can completely miss one exam and still recover from it.

The laboratory grade will use the best 9 reports out of 10 assigned.  A bonus of one full lab's worth of points will be given if all 10 reports are completed (or if any absences are excused, at Dr. Van Domelen’s discretion).  Labs cannot be taken at other times or made up, as there are no other sections of Physics II this term.  Pre-Lab exercises will be due at the beginning of lecture on the day of the relevant lab.

Up to two group work sessions can be missed with no penalty, and no excuse needed (although notifying your group is considered polite).

There are no dropped homework grades.  In extreme circumstances Dr. Van Domelen may grant a one day extension, but you are expected to not leave the entire assignment until the night it is due.  The accelerated pace of a summer 8 week course means there's really no room to be late.

There is not a separate grade for lecture attendance, but good attendance will result in a bonus to the homework score.  Attendance will be taken in lecture, if you are late it is your responsibility to let Dr. Van Domelen know after class so that you can be marked present.

The harshest grading scale that will be applied will be as follows: 89.5% = A, 79.5% = B, 69.5% = C, 59.5% = D.  Dr. Van Domelen reserves the right to adjust the curve to be more forgiving, but will not make it harsher.  The final analysis will consider the grades of all students: a few very high scores will not prevent a relaxing of the curve if most of the class struggled.  The resulting curve will probably be uneven, meaning the numerical ranges of each letter grade will not be the same.


Student attendance in lecture and lab is expected.

There is only one section of this course, but the grading criteria include making allowances for a few absences.

If circumstances force a return to partially or mostly online classwork, attendance policies will be made clear at the time.

Important note: Students who miss all of the meetings of the class in the first week will be automatically dropped.


          There will always be lectures (in Warren 109) during the lecture times except where specified below.  Unless otherwise specified in a week’s entry, the weekly schedule for other matters will be as follows:

          Mondays: WebAssign homework over the week’s new material is available at 10:00 AM.  Pre-Lab assignments are due at the beginning of lecture.  Lab happens during lab time, in SCI305.  If there was a lab the previous Wednesday, the report is due at the beginning of lab today.  At 11:59 tonight, homework over the previous week’s material is due (exceptions: no homework due on June 6, and Homework 8 is due on July 28 at 11:59 AM).

          Tuesdays: Recitation during lab time, in Warren 109.  This involves group work problems and discussion of the homework that was due this week.

          Wednesdays: In weeks 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7, there will be a Lab during lab time, and Pre-Labs will be due at the start of lecture.  In weeks 2, 6, and 8, there will be an extra recitation time, focused on review for the exam that week.  If there was a lab on Monday, the report will be due at the beginning of lab today.

          Thursdays: In odd-numbered weeks, there will be a recitation during lab time, including discussion of not-yet-due homework and group problem solving.  In even-numbered weeks, there will be a short homework and review discussion, then at least 70 minutes for an exam (ending at 8:40PM regardless of whether we start early).  On the last day of class, there will be a short discussion and review time during lecture, and then a 2 hour final exam that starts during the lecture time (if you show up at 7PM, you will still have to finish by 8:40PM).  Note, there will be only a day or two between the end of lecture on an exam’s material and the exam itself.  Summer pacing is fast.

Week 1 (6/6 – 6/9):

Lecture: Chapter 22 (Electric Forces and Fields), Chapter 23 (Gauss’s Law), start Chapter 24 (Electric Potential).  Lecture is likely to overflow into the Tuesday recitation time. 

Monday Lab - Policies and WebAssign account creation
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 1 (Friction and Torque).  Experiment 1 has a lengthy pre-lab assignment.

Week 2 (6/13 – 6/16):

Lecture: Finish Chapter 24 (Electric Potential), Chapter 25 (Capacitance), Chapter 26 (Current and Resistance). 

Monday Lab - Experiment 2 (Electrical Measurements)
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 3 (Potential Mapping)

EXAM 1 on 6/16 (covers Chapters 22-25). 

Week 3 (6/21 – 6/23):

Lecture: NO CLASS MONDAY (Juneteenth). Chapter 27 (DC Circuits), Chapter 28 (Magnetic Fields), start Chapter 29 (Sources of Magnetic Fields).  Two lectures on Tuesday.

Monday Lab – NO CLASS
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 4 (DC Circuits).

Week 4 (6/27 – 6/30):

Lecture: Finish Chapter 29, all of Chapter 30 (Faraday’s Law).  Start Chapter 31 (Inductance). 

Monday Lab - Experiment 5 (RC Circuits)
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 6 (Magnetic Force on a Wire).  (We need to make up for the lost Monday July 4.)

          EXAM 2 on 6/30 (Chapters 26-30).

Week 5 (7/5 – 7/7):

Lecture: NO CLASS MONDAY.  Finish Chapter 31, all of Chapter 32 (AC Circuits).  

Monday Lab - NO CLASS. 
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 7 (Charge-to-Mass Ratio of Electrons). 

Week 6 (7/11 – 7/14):

Lecture: Chapter 33 (Electromagnetic Waves), Chapter 34 (Ray Optics). 

Monday Lab - Experiment 8 (RLC Circuits)
Wednesday Lab - No lab, recitation for Exam 3.

          EXAM 3 on 7/14 (Chapters 31-33).

Week 7 (7/18 – 7/21):

Lecture: Chapter 35 (Image Formation), Chapter 36 (Wave Optics), Chapter 37 (Dispersion and Polarization). 

Monday Lab - Experiment 9 (Reflection and Refraction)
Wednesday Lab - Experiment 10 (Lenses).

Week 8 (7/25 – 7/28):

Lecture: Chapter 39 (Intro to Quantum Mechanics).  Wednesday lecture will be an “Ask Me Anything (about science)” session.  No lecture on Thursday.

Monday Lab - Weather make-up time, recitation unless we had to miss a lab.  If there is a lab today, the report will be due Wednesday.
Wednesday Lab - No lab, recitation for Exam 4. 

          Homework 8 will be due at 11:59 AM on 7/28.  No extensions. 

          FINAL EXAM on 7/28 (comprehensive, but heavily weighted towards chapters 34-37, 39).  There will be time for review questions beforehand, but the final exam will start no later than 6:40 PM.

Additional Information

If you are going to miss class due to weather or illness, please notify Dr. Van Domelen by email as soon as possible.  Non-final Exams can be rescheduled within a limited range, and lab absences can be excused by the circumstances.

Syllabus Created on:

05/18/22 2:17 PM

Last Edited on:

06/01/22 1:57 PM