PHYSICS 1320 (Previously PHYSICS 161): General Physics II

Prof. David Dunlap
Office: PAIS 2530

Description of the class

In this class we will concern ourselves with laws of physics that were discovered/formulated in the 1800's, and stand among the greatest achievements in natural philosophy in our modern age: thermodynamics and electromagnetism.


The first homework is here. (Note I fixed the wording in problem 7.) It will be due on Friday, January 27th.

Textbook Readings: Chapters 17-20 cover thermodynamics. We will not be covering all of the material in these four chapters, however. You may note that a discussion of the Van der Waals gas paralleling the brief discussion in class Monday (1/23) is in chapter 18, page 584-585. As well, a discussion of Laplace's "law" of isothermal atmospheres that we discussed at great length on Monday (1/23) is covered in Example 18.4, page 583. The First Law of thermodynamics is covered in Chapter 19; we will learn about the first law on Wednesday 1/25.


Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:00-10:50.


Wednesday, 3:00-3:50.


For thermodynamics we will follow class lecture notes which will be posted here:

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3.

Lecture 4.

Lecture 5.

Lecture 6.

Lecture 7.

For electromagnetism we will follow "University Physics" by Young and Freedman, chapters 21-31, 15th edition. (Any recent edition of the text, 12th, 13th, or 14th, will suffice.)

Office hours

Wednesday following recitation; 4:00-7:00 pm.

Homework and Exams

Homework: This will normally be assigned each Saturday, to be passed in at the beginning of class the following Friday. The semester homework total will be worth 20% of the overall grade. No late homework will be accepted, but your lowest score will be dropped from the average. Homework assignments will be posted here:

Gnuplot Graphing

Homework 1

Exams: There will be 3 in-class exams during the semester, to be tentatively held on the following Mondays: Feb. 20, Mar. 27, and Apr. 24. Each of these exams will be worth 20% of the total course grade. The remaining 20% of the course grade will be based on the final exam, which will be on Friday, May. 12, from 7:30 am - 9:30 am. Please arrange your schedules in advance so that you will be available to take these exams.

An optional comprehensive makeup exam will be offered one time only, on Wed. evening, May 3, from 7:30-9:30 pm. You may substitute your score on this exam for your lowest score on any of the three regular in-class exams. This way you may compensate for having been absent for an exam. Please note, however, that there is no makeup for the final exam, nor is there a makeup date for the makeup exam.

Grades are based on percentages: A (90-100), B (80-89), C (70-79), D (60 - 69) F (<60).


The first 1/3 of class wil be thermodynamics. Second 2/3 of the class will be electromagetism.


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