PHY 2049 - Physics 2 with Calculus - Summer 2014



Prof. Pradeep Kumar
2160 New Physics Bldg.
Phone: 392-6690


Send e-mail to pkumar at

Please use this address rather than communicating through E-learning. Note that homework help is given during your Discussion section and during office hours, not through e-mail. Don't forget to replace "AT" with "@"


Class lecture

MWF Period 4 (12:30 - 1:35PM) 1001 NPB

 Office housrs
  Wednesdays   3-4PM
Tea and Cookies
  Wednesdays 5-6PM


Fundamentals of Physics, Volume 2, 9th edition
Halliday, Resnick & Walker with Wiley Plus (required).
See Textbook for details on purchasing.

About the course

PHY2049 is an introduction to electricity and magnetism (E&M). Topics covered include electrostatics, electric current and circuits, capacitance, magnetism, induction, electromagnetic waves, reflection and refraction, mirror and lens optics, interference and diffraction, and optical instruments.

Our goal at all times is to help you understand the basic physical principles governing E&M phenomena so that you can apply them to real situations. In addition to providing the basic theoretical underpinnings to the subject, we use many examples, "concept problems", physical demonstrations and virtual demonstrations. We also show many examples of everyday tools and advanced instruments that utilize these principles.

The course moves at a faster rate in summer.  Make sure that you stay current.


Firm knowledge of the following concepts from Physics 1 and proficiency in handling them is essential for your success in this course.

  • Kinematics
  • Force and Torque, Conditions for equillibrium
  • Three Newton's Laws of dynamics
  • Motion under a constant force
  • Dynamics of circular motion
  • Work done by a force
  • Kinetic and Potential Energy
  • Laws of energy and momentum conservation

In addition the material from the following mathematics topics will be used routinely.

  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Analytic Geometry
  • Calculus 1 and 2
  • Calculus 3 (corequisite)

Required work

  • This web site serves as the syllabus for the course. Each page on the web site has a link on the menu at left. You are required to read each of these pages. The web site is detailed and chances are any policy questions you may have are answered here.

  • You are responsible for ongoing course work, which is described on the web site: reading the text for the assigned material, attending lecture, doing the weekly homework, attending discussion section and taking the quizzes, and taking the exams. The schedule for each of these is given on the course calendar on the Schedule link at left.

Effective strategies for learning physics

From interviewing students we have found that the A to B+ students have better habits and spend more time on this course than B and C students. In particular, they rarely miss class, do all the recommended homework problems and more, read ahead and study the material for several hours a week (not just before exams). Developing good habits at the start of the semester, before things get busy and you fall behind, will help you succeed.

A large fraction of your study time should be devoted to problem solving, which is essential to learning and cannot be replaced by mere listening and reading. This is the reason we provide you a significant number of end-of-chapter questions and problems, web-based problems, quizzes and Java applets.

The following strategies will help you to do well in the course:

  • Keep up with the course. The best strategy for success is to stay up to date with the readings and homework. In particular, solving problems will improve your performance on exams and quizzes far better than memorizing formulas or cramming. A good rule of thumb is that you should be spending about 6-9 hours on the material outside of class.

  • Attend lectures and discussions regularly. We cannot stress enough the importance of coming to class. Although you might not understand everything presented in lecture and discussion, you are unconsciously processing information that will serve you well later. Frequent class skipping contributes strongly to poor student performance.

  • Read ahead before lecture. Even though you may not understand the chapter material, 1-2 advance readings "primes" your brain to be receptive to the material when it is discussed in lecture or discussion.

  • Ask questions. Your question is not stupid and is probably widely shared.

  • Use office hours. If you don't understand something, ask someone during office hours. Office hours are spread across many hours of the week for your convenience. There is also a Tutoring Center with a number of people and resources for students in Physics courses, and a student organization, Tau Beta Pi, which provides help on the homework and reviews before exams.