PHY 102 Syllabus: Fall 2023

MWF 10am - 10:50am in Bracy 06

Instructor Information

Course Description and Learning Objectives

PHY 102: General Physics II is a survey of the three main branches of physics that were not covered in PHY 101: waves and optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.  All three of these fields of physics are important as they explain how many items in the modern world work, such as cameras and electronics, and are the basis for exciting research currently being done in physics, electronics, and engineering.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

Material Covered

Course Policies

Pre-Class Homework

The goal of pre-class homework is to get you familiar with the material we will be covering during the week. These assignments will include some reading assignments as well as a few questions to be submitted.  These questions will be mainly conceptual but may occasionally include a few simple calculations. Pre-class homework assignments should take no more than 1.5 hours to complete, with the majority of this time spent getting familiar with the new material.

Post-Class Homework

Post-class homework problems will be assigned during each class (1-3 questions per class).  The collected post-class homework for one week will be on the Thursday of the next week.  For example, during Week 2 post-class homework questions will be assigned on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then they will be due on Thursday of Week 3.  These questions will be similar to the questions that will be seen on exams and are thus a great study tool for the exams. Post-class homework assignments should take no more than 3 hours per week to complete.  All post-class assignments will be due by 1pm on the assigned due date.

In-Class Assignments

In-class problem-solving sessions (either as a subset of a class period or during dedicated class periods) are not graded.  This time is dedicated to solving problems based on the new material in class in small groups or solo.  The goal of these assignments is to practice with the material covered during the week before graded assignments and with the assistance of your classmates and professor.  The types of problems given in class will be similar to those encountered in the post-class assignments and on exams.

Group Work Policy

All in-class assignments and homework assignments can be completed with other classmates. Each student needs to turn in their  own assignment with the names of all collaborators on the assignment. Turning in an assignment that was completed as a group effort with only your name on it is considered cheating (see the above section on academic dishonesty).


This class will have for exams, one at the end of each unit.  The exams will not be purposely cumulative but due to the topics being covered in this course, the material will build on itself.  The dates of the exams are as follows:

The fourth exam will take place during finals week and contain a mixture of topics from Unit 4 and cumulative questions.

Each exam will consist of 3 free-response questions (each with multiple parts) covering conceptual and calculation questions.  The 4th exam will consist of an additional 2 questions covering topics from throughout the semester. Calculators are allowed on exams and an equation sheet will be provided.  No other external resources are allowed during the exams.


The lab sessions are a required part of this course. Lab sessions teach important reporting and analysis skills in a group setting and reinforce concepts learned in lectures.  A scientific calculator that can be used to solve logarithmic, trigonometric, and exponential equations is required in each lab session. Lab assignments are due in person at the start of the following lab; electronic submissions for D2L are not accepted for the lab sessions.  More information will be provided during the first lab session.

Grading Policy

Exam average = 0.4(A) + 0.3(B) + 0.2(C) + 0.1(D),

      where A is the highest score, B the next highest, C the next highest, and D the lowest score.

Late Policy

Extensions will not be given on assignments, and late work will not be accepted EXCEPT in very special circumstances such as extended illness or family emergencies (talk to me).

Textbook and Course Websites

Suggested Reading and Due Dates

Please note that the suggested readings are not required readings. Rather they are here to help you find the information that is being covered in a particular week if you need to look up a question. 

Week 1 (August 21 - 25)

Week 2 (August 28 - September 1)

Week 3 (September 4 - 8)

Week 4 (September 11 - 15)

Week 5 (September 18 - 22)

Week 6 (September 25 - 29)

Week 7 (October 2 - 5)

Week 8 (October 9 - 13)

Week 9 (October 16 - 20)

Week 10 (October 23 - October 27)

Week 11 (October 30 - November 3)

Week 12 (November 6 - 10)

Week 13 (November 13 - 17)

Week 14 (November 20 - 24)

Week 15 (November 27 - December 1)

Week 16 (December 4 - 8)

Finals Week (December 11 - 14)