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Physics 15b: Electromagnetism
— Spring 2009 —
Tu/Th 11:30 AM–1:00 PM, Science Center D
This course studies Electricity and Magnetism as the second part of the
introductory physics sequence.
E. M. Purcell, Electricity and Magnetism, Second Edition.
Physics 15a or 16, or written permission of the Head Tutor.
Mathematics preparation at least at the level of Mathematics 21a (multivariable calculus) taken concurrently is required. Vector calculus, div,
grad and curl are used extensively—in principle, this is taught in the
course. Students taking Mathematics 21a concurrently will likely find
that some concepts are introduced in Physics 15b before they have seen
them in Mathematics 21a. Some students may wish to postpone Physics
15b until they have completed Mathematics 21a.
Masahiro Morii (lectures) [email protected]
Mara Prentiss (labs) [email protected]
Section TFs
Jonathan Heckmann [email protected]
Brian Shuve [email protected]
Lab TFs
Corry Lee (head TA) [email protected]
Giovanni Zevi Della Porta [email protected]
Jason Dowd [email protected]
Administrator Angela Allen [email protected]
The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 AM – 1 PM
in Science Center D. Lectures will cover all the material in the textbook,
as indicated in the schedule below. Your questions about the material are
the most important thing for you to bring to the lectures, and you are
encouraged to ask them as they occur to you.
You are strongly encouraged to attend the lectures. In case you do miss a
class, the course will be videotaped, and you may contact the teaching
staff for access to a particular lecture video.
Sections will start in the third week (Feb. 10) and meet weekly. You and
the Teaching Fellow will discuss the material introduced in the lectures
as well as the homework problems.
Use the online sectioning tool to sign up for a section. Tentative section
meeting times are Tuesday 2:00–3:30, 4:00–5:30, 7:00–8:30, and
Wednesday 7:00–8:30.
Problem sets are posted on the course web site on Fridays, and are due
on the following Friday at 4 PM. Submit your homework in your section
TF’s mailbox in the Science Center. Late homework will not be
accepted. The graded problem sets will be returned to you at the section
meetings. The solutions will be posted on the course web site.
Twelve problem sets will be given during the semester. (See the
schedule below.) Sets #3 and #8 will be half the normal length because
their due dates follow the midterm exams. The last (12th) problem set is
optional and will be due during the Reading Period. If you do complete
the 12th set, you may use it to replace the lowest score among the earlier
problem sets.
Study Groups You are encouraged to work together with your peers on the problem
sets (however all final written work must be your own). If you would
like help finding a study group, please indicate your preferences on the
There will be 5 labs during the semester. You will work in groups of 23 and hand in your lab report at the end of the three-hour lab period.
Your lab grade will be based upon the quality of your lab report. You
will not be allowed to stay in lab after the three-hour period has ended.
If you come to lab prepared (having read and understood the lab
handout) and work efficiently, you should be able to complete each lab
in three hours. The lab writeups will be available on the course website a
week in advance of each lab.
Use the online sectioning tool to sign up for a lab section. The labs will
occur: Monday 2-5 PM and 7-10 PM, Wednesday 2-5 PM, and Thursday
2-5 PM. If you have questions/conflicts regarding scheduling, e-mail
You will perform the labs in Science Center, room 104. The labs will
cover chapters 3, 4, and 6-8 of Purcell after you have seen the material
in lecture. There are no separate pre-lab assignments for this course, but
lab-related problems will be be included on your problem sets and
exams. The lab writeups contain useful information to help you with
these problems. There is no required post-lab work.
In lab, you will take data using oscilloscopes, LabVIEW, and
LoggerPro. You will gain familiarity with these as the course
progresses. If you would like your own copy of LoggerPro, it is
available from FAS computing.
There will be no make-up labs. If you cannot attend your scheduled lab
time slot one week, e-mail Corry to arrange to attend another lab period
that same week.
The supplemental laboratory information posted on the website is not
required reading. It simply offers additional information that may be
interesting or useful.
There will be two midterm exams: Tuesday, February 24, and Tuesday,
April 7. They will cover the material discussed in Lectures 1–5 and 6–
14, respectively. The problem sets that are due after these exams will be
approximately half the normal length.
There will be a 3-hour final exam during the exam period.
The course grade will be determined by the weighted sum of the two
midterm exams (15% each), homework (25% for 12 assignments),
laboratory (15% for 5 labs), and final exam (30%).
The course website will contain all the
handouts, problem sets, and lecture notes. It will also contain any
announcements (such as corrections to handouts).
Below is the tentative schedule for the Spring 2009 semester.
1/29 (Thu)
2/3 (Tue)
2/5 (Thu)
2/10 (Tue)
2/12 (Thu)
2/17 (Tue)
2/19 (Thu)
2/24 (Tue)
2/26 (Thu)
3/3 (Tue)
3/5 (Thu)
3/10 (Tue)
3/12 (Thu)
3/17 (Tue)
3/19 (Thu)
1. Coulomb’s Law
2. Gauss’s Law
#1 due on 2/13
3. Vector Calculus
Chapter 2*
4. Electric Field, Potential
Chapter 2*
#2 due on 2/20
5. Physics vs. Mathematics
Chapter 2*
6. Conductors, Insulators
#3 due on 2/27
7. Capacitors
Midterm Exam 1 (through Lecture 5)
8. Electric Currents
#4 due on 3/6
9. Electric Circuits
#5 due on 3/13
10. Moving Charges
11. Accelerating Charges
#6 due on 3/20
12. Magnetic Field
13. Current and Mag. Field
#7 due on 4/3
14. EM Induction
Spring Recess
3/31 (Tue) 15. Inductance
#8 due on 4/10
4/2 (Thu) 16. AC Circuits
4/7 (Tue)
Midterm Exam 2 (through Lecture 14)
4/9 (Thu) 17. AC Circuits
#9 due on 4/17
4/14 (Tue) 18. Maxwell’s Equations
#10 due on 4/24
4/16 (Thu) 19. Electromagnetic Waves
4/21 (Tue) 20. Electric Dipoles
#11 due on 5/1
4/23 (Thu) 21. Dielectrics
4/28 (Tue) 22. Magnetic Dipoles
#12 due on 5/8
4/30 (Thu) 23. Magnetism in Matter
* Lectures 3, 4 , and 5 will cover Chapter 2 of the textbook in a mixed order.
Lab 0
Lab 1
Lab 2
Lab 3
Lab 4