Fall 2010

Introductory Physics II: Electromagnetism and Optics

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-17


Paul S. Bourgeois (Sections 01 and 02)
Arthur G. Zajonc (Sections 01 and 02)


Most of the physical phenomena we encounter in everyday life are due to the electromagnetic force. This course will begin with Coulomb’s law for the force between two charges at rest and introduce the electric field in this context. We will then discuss moving charges and the magnetic interaction between electric currents. The mathematical formulation of the basic laws in terms of the electric and magnetic fields will allow us to work towards the unified formulation originally given by Maxwell. His achievement has, as a gratifying outcome, the description of light as an electromagnetic wave. The course will consider both ray-optics and wave-optics descriptions of light. Laboratory exercises will emphasize electrical circuits, electronic measuring instruments, optics and optical experiments. Three hours of lecture and discussion and one three-hour laboratory per week.

Requisite: Physics 16 or 23.  Fall semester:  Professor Zajonc and Visiting Professor Bourgeois. Spring semester: Professor Jagannathan.


2016-17: Offered in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018