Dr. Johnny B. Holmes

Spring, 2019

Basics (course description, goals, topics, grading, etc.)
Collected (written) Homework (introduction, format, assignments, example)
Computer Homework (introduction, assignments, download programs)
Overview  (calendar of dates for homework assignments and tests)
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Description, goals, topics
Tentative Test Schedule
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Description, goals, topics

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: PHYS 202 Introductory Physics II
A continuation of PHYS 201 covering the topics of electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 . Corequisite: PHYS 202L .

TEXT: No specific text is required. Class notes in the form of powerpoint slides and outlines are on the course web page, and all homework assignments are accessible from the course web page.
Recommended text: free on-line COLLEGE PHYSICS free on-line text

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Johnny B. Holmes, Professor of Physics; office: AH 004; phone 321-3448; home phone: 383-9045;  e-mail:

GOALS: The course is designed to:

  1. Teach the concepts of electric and magnetic fields, current, voltage, resistance, capacitance, and inductance; light: reflection, refraction and thin lenses, polarization; making light and atomic physics; radioactivity and nuclear physics.
    1. to provide a fund of concepts, images, and metaphors that can be utilized to imagine how other things in the world might work.
    2. to give you an idea of the size of some quantities (e.g., size of a photon, size of an atom, values for background radiation).
    3. for use in future courses;
    4. to aid you in your attempt to find your place in the natural world as well as to aid you in your attempt to become an intelligent and responsible citizen.
  2. Demonstrate how physical phenomena can be organized and described both qualitatively and quantitatively by theory.
  3. Reinforce the application of analytical reasoning.


  1. Basic algebra (solving for an unknown) and solution of simultaneous equations.
  2. Basic Motion (position, velocity, acceleration) and Vectors.
  3. Newton's Laws of Motion and Newton's Law of Gravity.
  4. Conservation of Energy


  1. Electricity (9 classes)
  2. Electromagnetism (8 classes)
  3. Light and Optics (8 classes)
  4. Quantum and Atomic Physics (8 classes)
  5. Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity (5 classes)

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GRADING: grades (each based on 100 points) description

  • 5 . . . 5 tests each worth 1 grade (see tentative schedule below)
  • 1 . . . 9 collected homework assignments, together worth 1 grade (see below)
    You MUST HAVE A 65% OR BETTER on the collected homework to be eligible to pass the course!
  • 2 . . . 18 computer homework assignments (see below)
  • 3 . . . the final exam counts as three grades
    11 . . . TOTAL (final average based on average of these eleven grades)
  • -1 . . . I will drop your lowest grade (not counting regular or computer homework) if you have 3 or fewer absences. [If the final is the lowest grade, I will count it as 2 rather than 3 grades.]
    10 . . . ADJUSTED TOTAL The average of these ten (or eleven) grades will determine your final average. Your final grade will be given based on the following ranges of your final average:

A: 93-­100; B: 82-­93; C: 70-­82; D: 65-­70; F: 0-­65.

(note: a 81.9 is in the C range, not in the B!)

The tests will come essentially from the homework (both collected and uncollected - see the study guide), the computer assignments, and material covered in class. The final exam will come essentially from the five previous tests.

The course emphasizes problem solving rather than memorization. You will be permitted to bring in one 8˝" x 11" sheet of paper with whatever you wish on one side for each test. You may bring in two sheets (or one sheet both sides) for the final exam. However, the information on it must be in your own handwriting. No duplicated material will be permitted. Calculators are permitted, and even recommended.  Connection to the internet during any test is not permitted. Hands, calculator, and eyes should be on the desk and not in your lap during tests.  Questions about grading on a test should be asked within one week of getting the test back, but questions about the physics can be asked anytime.

You are expected to attend class since important concepts will be discussed in ways the text will complement but not duplicate. If you have more than three absences I will not drop your lowest test score as mentioned above. If you miss a test, then you may request a make-up test. If I grant the request, a 10% penalty will be imposed. (If you have less than four absences you may drop this test from your average.) However, if you know you will miss a test, you may arrange to take the test early with no penalty. I do need at least 24 hour notice so that I have time to prepare the test.

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Jan. 30


Test 1 over Electricity

Feb. 20


Test 2 over Electromagnetism

March 20


Test 3 over Light and Optics

April 10


Test 4 over Quantum and Atomic Physics

April 29


Test 5 over Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity



Final Exam (comprehensive)

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An Example
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The purpose of the collected homework is two­fold: (1) to enhance your problem solving skills; and (2) to enhance your communication skills.

You must get at least a 65% on the collected homework to be eligible to pass the course!

The collected homework (which counts as one of your ten [or eleven] grades) consists of a set of 9 problems with one problem due usually on Wednesdays except on weeks when a test is given (see the schedule below). Each problem will be worth 11 points plus 1 point at the end giving a total of 9 x 11 + 1 = 100 points.

If you do not turn in the problem by the due date, you may turn it in before the last day of class but there will be a late penalty of 2 points.

If minor errors (e.g., dumb algebra mistake, incomplete units, occasional grammar error) are detected, points will be subtracted. If major errors are detected (e.g., few if any units, unclear diagram, start with specialized equations rather than basic equations), the problem will be marked REDO and no credit will be awarded unless it is redone in an acceptable manner and resubmitted by the last class. Problems will normally be returned to you at the next class so that you have time to correct the major errors. If you get any grade less than 9 on any problem, you may re-submit that problem before the last class for up to 9 points credit.

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Format for regular collected homework:

The collected homework must be done according to the following format: [BE SURE TO NUMBER EACH OF THE SEVEN STEPS FOR EACH PROBLEM.]

1) I want to and I can: State this at the beginning of the problem. Questions you should ask yourself to confirm this attitude include: Do I want to pass the course? Do I want to learn something? Do I want to see how well I know something and understand the concepts? Have I read the chapter? Have I reviewed my notes from class? Am I willing to seek help?

2) Define the situation:

  1. State what you are given (for each piece of information define a symbol and then set that symbol equal to the value you are given).
  2. Draw a diagram and put your knowns and unknowns on the diagram. I consider this VERY IMPORTANT!

3) State the objective:

  1. State what you are looking for (use a symbol or symbols that will be found in the equations you will use and define those symbols).
  2. State what units the quantity or quantities should have.

4) Explore the options:

  1. State the basic equations or principles (by name only) that could be used. Note: only definitions or equations on the study guide are allowed.
  2. State any other way you might accomplish the objective.

5) Plan your method of attack: Outline the procedure you intend to follow. Write down only the major equations to be used. Do not include all the individual steps that it will take.

6) Show the algebra (or trig or calculus) work to solve the problem. Be sure to show units in your calculations!

7) Look back:

  1. State your answer with the appropriate units.
  2. Check your units to see if they match those you listed in part 3b above.
  3. Compare your answer to known benchmarks whenever possible.

If there is more than one part to the problem, do the above for each part. Sometimes the problem will have parts a,b,c that actually involve finding different quantities in the same problem, and sometimes the parts a,b,c will actually be different problems. It is up to you to distinguish the two cases!

Be sure your homework is neat and legible. Points may be taken off or the homework may not even be accepted if the work is not neat and easily legible!

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The Assignments:












Jan. 16





March 13




Jan. 23





March 27




Feb.  6





April 3




Feb. 13





April 24




Feb. 27







[S­ indicates a letter problem from the study guides.] Alternative problems may be assigned in class if the pace of the class does not match the one anticipated.

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1) I want to and I can.

2) Define the situation:

  1. Given: length of person, yperson = 6 ft; mirror.
  2. Diagram:


3) State the Objective:

  1. Looking for useful length of mirror, yuseful
  2. Units: length should have units of feet.

4) Explore the Options:

  1. Equations: qincident = qreflected (law of reflection) Eq. (1)
    tan q = opposite/adjacent (trig def.) Eq. (2)
    yfloor + ytop = yperson (def. from diagram) Eq. (3)
  2. Other ways: obtain a long mirror and have someone mark on the mirror where you see your shoes and where on the mirror you see the top of your head.

5) Plan the method of attack:
Draw lines from eyes to mirror and back to shoes such that qincident = qreflected. Find position on mirror where ray of light from shoes (on the floor) strikes on way to eye; repeat procedure for top of head. Measure distance between these two points. (Any portion of mirror below the first point or above the second point is not useful for present purposes.)

6) Take action:

  1. draw lines from eye to mirror and from mirror to shoes;
  2. identify qincident and qreflected; note that qincident = qreflected;
  3. extend normal line used to specify q's to create two triangles;
  4. from diagram, note that since qincident = qreflected (Eq. 1) that
    tan qincident = tan qreflected ; therefore y1 /x = y2 /x (using Eq. 2);
  5. therefore, y1 = y2; and since y1 + y2 = yfloor , y2 = 1/2 yfloor;
  6. the same procedure can be used for the distance needed for the top of the head;
  7. therefore, yuseful = 1/2 yperson = 1/2 6 ft = 3 ft.

7) Look back:

  1. Answer: yuseful = 1/2 yperson = 3 ft.
  2. Units are in feet which corresponds to 3b.
  3. The useful length depends on the height of the person which is reasonable.
  4. Note: the useful length does NOT depend on the distance (x) from the object to the mirror. Is this correct? If this surprises you, check it out for yourself to see if you or the theory is correct!

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Introduction (purpose, how to get and use the programs)
download programs (this takes you to another CBU site)
Instructions for e-mailing computer homework response file to me
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Introduction to Computer Homework Assignments

The purpose of the computer assignments is two­fold: (1) to give you (graded) practice applying the concepts taught in class (with immediate feedback as to whether you are correct or not), and (2) to encourage you to be accurate in your calculations (no partial credit given for wrong answers ­ instead a chance to do the whole set again [but with different numbers]).

The computer homework set, which will count as two of your ten or eleven grades, consists of 18 separate computer programs (schedule is below).

To do any of the programs

  1. Go to any pc that has an internet connection, or take a memory device to your instructor.
    1. From an internet connected pc, you may download the programs from the course web page , and do them on your own computer.  Warning: Do not RUN the programs from the web; instead first create a folder on your computer called Physics.  Then download the program from the web into this Physics folder.  Be sure to download (or copy) the program into the Physics folder and make sure you do NOT just have a shortcut in the Physics folder, but actually have the program in the Physics folder.  Then RUN the program from the Physics folder.  You should only have to copy each of the the programs (volumes) once into your Physics folder, and you can then run each as often as you need to from your Physics folder.
    2. If you have obtained a copy of the programs on your own memory device, then plug in the device and RUN the programs.
  2. After you start the programs, the computer will ask you to verify the disk and directory that the answers will be written to.  If you have downloaded the program into your Physics folder, then check to make sure that this folder is the one listed on the screen.  If you have downloaded the file to a flash drive, then make sure that destination is correct. If you want, you may e-mail the responses by attaching the file: STRES.DAT to an e-mail message. NOTE: You may copy the programs to your hard drive and run them that way rather than from the memory device. You can also choose to store your answer file on your hard drive - simply choose the appropriate directory on that first message when the program begins to run. You will need to either e-mail the response file (called STRES.DAT) to me or you will have to copy that file to your memory device and bring it to me that way, so be sure to keep track of where this file is located.
  3. Enter your course number [PHYS 202, choice c], then your instructor [Dr. Holmes, choice h], then your section [a for 8 AM or b for 9 AM], then enter your name. The computer will then ask you to verify your course and name - if it is correct as displayed, simply press return; if not, re-enter in the course or name.
  4. The computer will then display the menu of programs on the volume you have chosen. Simply type in the number of the program you wish to run and then press Enter to confirm your choice. From here on out, simply follow the directions on the screen.
  5. How I read your responses:  You will have to submit the student response file (STRES.DAT) either on a memory device or by e-mail attachment (send e-mail to by the due date so that I can read your responses and give you the appropriate credit. Here is a link to some instructions for e-mailing computer homework response file to me.
  6. I will indicate to you your current computer score on your written homework and on your tests when I hand these back to you. There will be a CH followed by a number on the written homework or test to indicate your computer homework score. If you attach the student response file to an e-mail message, I will send a return e-mail message confirming my receipt and your scores.

Each of the programs asks questions or allows you to do certain things. Your answers or results are recorded on the computer as you do them. This allows me to grade your computer homework. Each assignment may be performed as often as you like. I will only count your best effort, so feel free to do it over and over until you get it perfect. The due date indicates when it should be completed if you are to remain on schedule and wish full credit. If you do the assignment after the due date but before the last class, you will get 80% credit.

Return to Computer Homework menu

Schedule of Computer Assignments

SET #1 (for one grade)



due date




Energy & Power (review)

W Jan. 9




Electric Potentials

M Jan. 14




Electric Deflection (#1-6)

F Jan. 18




Resistors Basic

F Jan. 25




Capacitors Basic

M Jan. 28




Test #1 on Wednesday, Jan. 30





Magnetic Deflection

F Feb.  8




Lenz's Law

F Feb. 15





M Feb. 18




Test #2 on Wednesday, Feb. 20





Snell's Law

F March 1








NOTE: BONUS - If you get 100/100 on the computer assignments, 10 points will be added to your score giving you 110 points for this grade.

SET #2 (for one grade)



Due date




Thin Lenses

M March 11




Young's Double Slit

F March 15





M March 18




Test #3 on Wednesday, March 20






M April 1




Hydrogen Atom

F April 5





M April 8




Test #4 on Wednesday, April 10






M April 15




Half Life

W April 17




Nuclear Decay

F April 26




Test #5 on Monday, April 29










NOTE: BONUS - If you get 100/100 on the computer assignments, 10 points will be added to your score giving you 110 points for this grade.

Return to Computer Homework menu

Overview  (calendar of dates for homework and tests)




Jan 7

Jan 9
CH 2-1

Jan 11

Jan. 14
CH 3-3

Jan 16

Jan 18
CH 3-4


Jan 23

Jan 25
CH 3-5

Jan 28
CH 3-7

Jan 30
Test #1

Feb 1

Feb 4

Feb 6

Feb 8
CW 4-1

Feb 11

Feb 13

Feb 15
CH 4-3

Feb 18
CH 4-4

Feb 20
Test #2

Feb 22

Feb 25

Feb 27

Mar 1
CH 5-1


Spring Break


Mar 11
CH 5-2

Mar 13

Mar 15
CH 5-3

Mar 18
CH 5-4

Mar 20
Test #3

Mar 22

Mar 25

Mar 27

Mar 29

Apr 1
CH 5-5

Apr 3

Apr 5
CH 5-6

Apr 8
CH 5-7

Apr 10
Test #4

April 12

Apr 15
CH 6-3

Apr 17
CH 6-4



Apr 24

Apr 26
CH 6-5

Apr 29
Test #5



return to PHYS 202 outline