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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Sciences • Physics - PHYS

Physics for Engineers II PHYS-2426

  • Fall 2012
  • Section SECTION_301
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/13/2012
  • Modified 08/27/2012

Meeting Times

MW 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm (lecture, G214)

MW 5:40 pm - 6:55 pm (lab, G231)

Contact Information

Professor:  Grady Hendricks

Email:  [email protected]

Office:  G205

Phone:  (979) 209-7421

Office Hours: MW 11:00 am - 11:45 am, 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm; TR 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

Course Web site:


A continuation of PHYS 2425.  A calculus-based course in electricity, magnetism and optics, primarily designed for students majoring in engineering and physical sciences.


Prerequisites:  PHYS 2425 and MATH 2414.

This is a course in the 42-hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College.  Students will develop proficiency in appropriate intellectual competencies, exemplary educational objectives and general perspectives. The URL of the Blinn College core curriculum web site is


Measurable Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Calculate electric forces and fields due to discrete and continuous charge distributions.
  • Apply Gauss’s law to calculating electric fields in cases of symmetry.
  • Use the interrelationships between voltage and electric potential energy to each other, to electric fields and forces and for charge distributions.
  • Solve problems with capacitance, energy in a capacitor, conduction, resistance and power in circuits.
  • Analyze basic DC circuits including equivalent resistance, capacitance, currents and voltages.
  • Find the force on charges and currents due to magnetic fields, and the fields due to currents.
  • Solve electromagnetic problems involving Faraday’s law and Maxwell’s equations.
  • Solve problems of inductance, inductor and magnetic field energy.  Analyze the transient behavior of RC, RL, LC and RLC circuits.
  • Apply the AC concepts of reactance, impedance and phase, and calculate the behavior of series AC circuits.
  • Solve problems involving electromagnetic radiation, including comparisons to mechanical waves, the plane-wave solution, polarization, intensity, radiation pressure and momentum.
  • Solve problems involving the reflection and refraction of light, and applications of spherical mirrors and thin lenses.
  • Solve problems involving interference and diffraction, including double-slit and thin-film interference, single-slit diffraction and diffraction gratings.


  • Required Textbook:  Young and Freedman, University Physics, 13th edition (Vol II).
  • Required Homework System:  Students must purchase an access key to MasteringPhysics, the textbook publisher’s online homework system.  This is bundled with the textbook at the Blinn bookstore.  Alternatively, the access key can be purchased online at; be sure to select the Young and Freedman text above to pair with MasteringPhysics.  The MasteringPhysics Course ID for this section is BLINN2426301FA12.
  • Required Laboratory Manual:  Each student must print out a copy of the labs for the semester.  The lab manual is in the form of a single pdf file and can be found here.
  • Scientific Calculator:  Students must have a proper scientific calculator with them for every class.

Course Requirements

There will be three major exams, a cumulative final exam, quizzes, labs, and online homework.

  • Exams:  All exams will be closed-book and closed-note exams.
  • Labs:  There will be a lab exercise approximately every other week.  Students’ lowest lab grade will be dropped.
  • Online Homework:  We will use the textbook publisher’s online homework system, MasteringPhysics.  Students’ lowest score will be dropped.
  • Quizzes:  Approximately 5-10 quizzes will be given.  Most of the quizzes will be group quizzes or take-home quizzes and will be announced in advance.  Group quizzes are timed quizzes that you work on in class with the members of your lab group.  On group quizzes, you may use your class notes, but not the textbook.  On take-home quizzes, you may use any resources.  In addition, it is possible that there could be unannounced quizzes.  These are quizzes that you work on individually and that are, of course, not announced in advance.  Students’ lowest quiz score will be dropped.

Criteria for Grading:  Exams 1-3 (13% each), Final (27%), Labs (12%), Online homework (12%), Quizzes (10%).

The grading system of Blinn College is as follows*:

A = 90 – 100   Superior

B = 80 – 89   Above Average

C = 70 – 79   Average

D = 60 – 69   Passing

F =       < 60   Failing

*from Board Policy Manual EGA(LOCAL), issued 05/24/2004

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks.

Civility Statement

Civility Statement. Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy.  The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty

member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services.  The last day to drop this semester with a Q is October 8, 2012.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook, a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Students with Disabilities.  Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

Final Grade Appeals Policy.  If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Electronic Devices

Electronic Devices.  All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Student E-mails:  All Blinn students have been assigned a Blinn e-mail address that must be checked regularly for official communications and course information.  This e-mail account can be accessed at  Your e-mail address (and Windows Live ID) is of the form [email protected]  (XX = last two digits of Blinn ID.)  Your initial password is your Blinn ID number.  Additional information about accessing this account can be found at

Make-up work:  Students will not be permitted to make up missed work except in extremely rare circumstances.  Before any make-ups are permitted, students must provide the instructor with appropriate documentation.  Permission to make up work will be granted solely at the discretion of the instructor.

Laboratory Work:  Except for a few circumstances, you will have only one lab period in which to work on the laboratory experiments.  Additional class time for working on these experiments will be given solely at the discretion of the instructor.  This means that when you are working through the experiments, you should focus on making sure you have made all the required measurements and have recorded all the required data.  Only after this is completed should you spend class time working through calculations called for in the experiment.  If you do not complete the calculations in class, I expect you complete them outside of class.

You may hand in labs at any time up until the time I begin grading them.  However, once I start grading them, I will not accept any additional labs.

Additional Items

Attendance:  Missing lecture or lab counts as one absence.  If a student misses both lecture and lab periods for a given day, this counts as only one absence.

Problem Resolution:  If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try to resolve the problems or issues.  If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241, [email protected].







M 8/27

Syllabus, Start Ch. 21

Electric charge, Coulomb’s law


W 8/29

Continue Ch. 21

Electric Fields due to point charges, electric fields due to continuous charge distributions

Lab 1:  Electric Fields


M 9/3

HOLIDAY (Labor Day)


W 9/5

Finish Ch. 21, Start Ch. 22

Electric field lines (Ch. 21).  Electric Flux, Gauss’s law (Ch. 22).


M 9/10

Finish Ch. 22

Properties of conductors in electrostatic equilibrium, Gauss’s law with conductors.


W 9/12

Start Ch. 23

Electric potential energy and potential due to point charges, electric potential due to continuous charge distributions.


M 9/17

Continue Ch. 23

Finding V from E, finding E from V.


W 9/19

Finish Ch. 23, Start Ch. 24

More properties of conductors in electrostatic equilibrium, equipotentials (Ch. 23); Capacitors and capacitance, the “defining equation” for the capacitance (Ch. 24)

Lab 2:  Electric Potential and Conductors


M 9/24

Exam 1:  Chapters 1-23


W 9/26

Finish Ch. 24

Calculating capacitances, capacitors in series/parallel, Energy stored in a capacitor, capacitors with dielectrics.


M 10/1

Start Ch. 25

Ohm’s law (microscopic form) (Ch. 25), ohm’s law (macroscopic form)


W 10/3

Finish Ch. 25

Temperature dependence, emf, internal resistance, power (Ch. 25)


M 10/8

Start Ch. 26

Resistors in series/parallel, Kirchhoff’s rules


W 10/10

Finish Ch. 26, Start Ch. 27

RC Circuits (Ch. 26); properties of magnetic fields, magnetic field lines, magnetic force on a point charge (Ch. 27)


M 10/15

Finish Ch. 27

Magnetic force on a point charge, magnetic force on current-carrying wire


W 10/17

Start Ch. 28

Biot-Savart law, magnetic field of a current-carrying wire


M 10/22

Exam 2:  Chapters 24-27


W 10/24

Finish Ch. 28

Ampere’s law, force between parallel conductors


M 10/29

Start Ch. 29

Magnetic flux and Faraday’s law


W 10/31

Finish Ch. 29

Lenz’s law, motional emf, induced electric fields, Ampere-Maxwell equation


M 11/5

Start Ch. 30

Mutual inductance, self-inductance, the R-L circuit


W 11/7

Finish Ch. 30, Start Ch. 31

The L-C circuit (Ch. 30); AC circuits (Ch. 31)


M 11/12

Finish Ch. 31

AC circuits, resonance, and transformers (Ch. 31).


W 11/14

Start Ch. 32

Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves


M 11/19

Finish Ch. 32

Intensity and radiation pressure


W 11/21

HOLIDAY (Thanksgiving)


M 11/26

Exam 3:  Chapters 28-32


W 11/28

Ch. 33

Law of reflection, Snell’s law, total internal reflection, polarization


M 12/3

Start Ch. 34

Spherical mirrors, thin lenses


W 12/5

Finish Ch. 34, Ch. 35

Thin lenses (Ch. 34); interference and applications (Ch. 35)


M 12/10

Ch. 36

Diffraction and applications


W 12/12

Final Exam (and post-test), 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, G233