PHY 102 Syllabus: Spring 2024

MWF 10am - 10:50am in Oak Hall 206

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.

The broad learning objectives for the entire course are listed below. More specific learning objectives will be provided each week.

Material Covered

Course Policies

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 Monday 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.  Post-class assignments can be turned in during class, office hours, or slid under my office door. All post-class assignments slid under my office door are considered on time if they are there before I get to my office on Tuesday morning.

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 4 free-response questions (each with multiple parts) covering conceptual and calculation questions.  Three of the four questions need to be answered for full credit. The 4th exam will consist of an additional four questions covering topics from throughout the semester, three of which will need to be answered for full credit. 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 final exam, B the highest score of the normal exams, C the next highest score of the normal exams, and D the lowest score of the normal exams.

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

Schedule, 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. 

This schedule is subject to change throughout the semester.

Week 1 (January 8 - 12)

Week 2 (January 15 - January 19)

Week 3 (January 22 - January 26)

Week 4 (January 29 - February 2)

Week 5 (February 5 - February 9)

Week 6 (February 12 - February 16)

Week 7 (February 19 - February 23)

Week 8 (February 26 - March 1)

Week 9 (March 11 - March 15)

Week 10 (March 18 - March 22)

Week 11 (March 25 - March 29)

Week 12 (April 1 - April 5)

Week 13 (April 8 - April 12)

Week 14 (April 15 - April 19)

Week 15 (April 22 - April 26)

Week 16 (April 29 - May 3)