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1 Proposal: number 79

79. PHYS 122: General Physics II

Contact:Vinod Menon
Abstract:This course is the second semester of the algebra based introductory physics
course, where new fundamental concepts of classical physics are introduced and
discussed. Among main topics studied in this course are sound and wave
phenomena, electrostatics, magnetostatics, electrodynamic phenomena, nature and
properties of light. The unification of physical laws where the ultimate goal
is to give a unified description of apparently unrelated phenomena is one of
the ongoing quests and the study of electrodynamics and optics exposes students
to first steps in this direction. 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 (think electricity
and electronics), the proposed course will help students to understand how
scientific ideas can shape modern society. The course also introduces the
students to some of the modern physics concepts such as special relativity and
the wave particle duality of matter.
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:
Waves and Sound
Electrostatics: Electric charges and their interaction, Coulomb law, Gauss’s
law, electric field, electrostatic potential, potential energy of systems of
charges, 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, and electromagnetic waves
Optics: geometric optics and optical instruments, light as electromagnetic
wave, polarization,
dispersion, diffraction and interference
Modern Physics: Special theory of relativity, nature of atom and wave-particle
duality of matter.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
PHYS 122 2008-09-02 NS+L Submitted Dept
PHYS 122 2008-09-02 QR Submitted Dept
PHYS 122 2008-10-14 NS+L Approved GEAC
PHYS 122 2008-11-13 NS+L Approved UCC
PHYS 122 2009-04-02 NS+L Approved Senate