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1 Proposal: number 69

69. PHYS 146: Principles of Physics II

Contact:Lev Deych
Abstract: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
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

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
PHYS 146 2008-09-02 NS+L Submitted Dept
PHYS 146 2008-09-02 QR Submitted Dept
PHYS 146 2008-09-16 NS+L Approved GEAC
PHYS 146 2008-10-02 NS+L Approved UCC
PHYS 146 2008-11-13 NS+L Approved Senate