Physics 161-001 3 credits Fall 2011     MWF 10-10:50 Regener 103          

Professor James L. Thomas      

Office hours in Regener 111: MWF 11-12 (arrive early, as I will return to PandA if no one shows at Regener)

Problem session (168) Wednesdays 3-4 RH 114

SI: Matt Curry       SI Sessions: T3-4, W12-3, Th5-6:30 Regener 111

Grader:   Ninnat Dangniam

Text: University Physics, Young&Freedman. 12th Edition. Chapters 17-32.                                                    

• iClicker keypad and Mastering Physics online homework system (MP) are essentially required.  MP comes free with new texts purchased in the bookstore.  If you bought a used text or obtained your text elsewhere you will have to purchase MP (details below). 

• The problem session (Physics 168) should be helpful but is not required. The laboratory (Physics 161 L) is very relevant to the course and is recommended but is not required.

Written Homework Assignments from Y&F

17-44, 17-104                                      Due Friday, 8/26   Solutions

18-10, 18-14, 18-42                  Due Friday, 9/2    Solutions

19-28, 19-44, 19-48                  Due Friday, 9/9     Solutions

20-26, 20-40, 20-46                  Due Friday, 9/16    Solutions

You can do either of the following two assignments for Friday 9/23

Chapter 21 Q4,6,13,15,22 and Exercises 21-58, 21-59, and 21-62   Solutions


21-22, 21-90, 21-104             Solutions

For Friday, 9/30, you need to turn in whichever of the above 2 assignments you did not turn in on 9/23!

22-38, 22-41, 22-44                  Due Friday, 10/07      Solutions

23-52, 23-87                                          Due Wednesday, 10/12      Solutions

24-46, 24-66                                          Due Wednesday, 10/19, (exam day, ch 21-24) Solutions

25-52, 25-63, 25-66                  Due Friday, 10/28    Solutions

26-46, 26-69, 26-73                  Due Friday, 11/04                  Solutions

27-20, 27-44, 27-72                  Due Friday, 11/11     Solutions

28-54, 28-62, 28-66                  Due Friday, 11/18 (Exam day, ch 25-28) Solutions

29-26, 29-46                                          Due Wednesday, 11/23  Solutions

29-36, 30-10, 30-60                  Due Friday 12/02    Solutions

31-42, 31-51, 31-54                  Due Friday 12/09    Solutions

For exam 2, you will NOT BE GIVEN formulas for surface area of a sphere, volume of a sphere,

surface area of a cylinder, volume of a cylinder.

You may want to memorize fields from infinite planes, infinite lines, and near conductors.

Class Slides Week 1

Class Slides Week 2

Class Slides Week 3

Class Slides Week 4

Class Slides Week 5

Class Slides Week 6

Class Slides Week 7

Class Slides Week 8

Class Slides Week 9

Class Slides Week 10

Class Slides Week 11

Class Slides Week 12

Class Slides Week 13

Class Slides Week 14

Blank Exams – Print these out and rework them without having the solutions in front of you!

Midterm1               Midterm2               Midterm3               Final Exam

Midterm Exam 1 Solutions

Midterm Exam 2 Solutions  Note: if your performance on the final exam (on this material) is better than on this midterm, I will substitute the final score for the midterm score.

Midterm Exam 3 Solutions

Final Exam Solutions

Gauss' Law Worksheet (P168)

Potential Worksheet Part 1(P168)

Circuits & Lightbulbs Worksheet (Blank)

Circuits & Lightbulbs Worksheet Answers

More Circuits & Capacitors (Blank)

More Circuits & Capacitors Answers

Magnetic Forces (Blank)

Magnetic Forces Answers

Magnetic Field Sources (Blank)

Magnetic Field Sources Answers

Induction (Blank)

Induction Answers

Inductors (Blank)

Inductors Answers

AC Circuits

AC Circuit Answers

Grading: Not curved. Fractional weighting:

Homework 25%* (written HW 5%, online 20%) Late HW 1/3 off/day ! HW due EVERY CLASS !

Final Exam 25%, Midterm Exams (3) 14%, iClickers 8% (half credit for wrong answers!)

Lowest A- = 80%, Lowest B- = 70%, Lowest C = 60%.

It is mathematically impossible to get an A in this course without doing the homework.

It is in practice impossible to get a B in this course without doing the homework.

* Students who score in the top 20% on a midterm may choose to substitute very difficult (but interesting) written problems for online homework. Ask me for appropriate assignments if this applies to you.


All are closed book, closed notes. An equation sheet will be provided. You will need a calculator.

We will use 10-answer scantron sheets. Some questions will be multiple choice; for others, I will ask you to give your answer to 1 significant figure in scientific notation. (This strongly discourages guessing.) Some practice exams from last year are posted at the bottom of this page.

EXAM 1 (Chapters 17-20, Thermodynamics) Fri Sept 16

EXAM 2 (Chapters 21-24, Electric Fields, Potential, & Dielectrics) Wed Oct 19

EXAM 3 (Chapters 25-28, Circuits & Magnetic Fields & Forces) Fri Nov 18

FINAL EXAM (Chapters 17- 31, Emphasis on Induction) Fri Dec 16, 7:30-9:30 am. (Ugh!)

Some examples of how to use the 10-answer scantron for numerical answers:

Numerical results require two scantron "answers"

All answers should be given to ONE significant figure only, in scientific notation.

Round to the nearest digit.

Example 1&2. The calculated result was 32.

This is 3.2 x 101, which rounds to 3 x 101,

 so A1 is 3 and A2 is 1.

Example 3&4. The calculated result was 474.

This is 4.74 x 102, which rounds to 5 x 102,

so A3 is 5 and A4 is 2.

Example 5&6. The calculated result was 0.62334 x 108.

This rounds to 6 x 107, so A5 is 6 and A6 is 7.

Example 7&8. For zero, fill in both answers as zero.

(The scantron computer cannot figure out that, for example, 0 x 104 = 0.)


This should go without saying:

Do not cheat.  Any form of cheating behavior will be dealt with severely.  I use the words cheating behavior because if you are looking in the direction of your neighbor's paper I can't read your mind and determine whether you are cheating.  But I can tell what you are looking at.  Do not wear a baseball hat or any other type hat that covers your eyes during a test. All cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and placed out of sight.  If I even see a cell phone during a test the owner will receive a zero.  I will not tolerate this or other cheating behavior, period.  And there are many other examples.  Use common sense about this.  Turn cell phones off and put them away.

Dropping the class.  If you drop the course then please let me know so I can give you a WP if appropriate. Otherwise, default is WF.

I-Clickers (Keypads):  The I-Clickers/keypads we are using this semester can be purchased from the bookstore. You must register your keypad before class on Friday and bring it to class every day.  To register your i-clicker go to: following the directions provided using your BANNER ID as your "Student ID".  You can also go to  for instructions and help on registering.  When you register your keypad be sure to provide your name (even though the registration Website treats your name as an optional field).

Mastering Physics (MP) is the on-line homework system. Your new book comes with an MP package (no extra cost to you).  If you have a used book you need to buy the Mastering Physics package from the bookstore or you can go on line with a credit card and buy it.  To buy MP access online, go to  then click on the title of your textbook. Then click Buy Now and follow instructions.   Whether your MP package came with the text or whether you bought access from the bookstore or online, everyone must register on line and complete the first MP assignment and start becoming familiar with MP before class on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

MP Student Information Sheet

Important notes for registering:  The UNM Zip code is 87131.  Our Course ID is PHYC161THOMAS. Your Student ID will be your BANNER ID .  Student Access Code:  This is a six-"word" printed code supplied beneath the pull-tab inside your Mastering Physics Student Access Kit.  It is valid for registering one student. If the tab in this kit has been pulled back, the code may no longer be valid.  If you buy a secondhand textbook, any code supplied with it is probably not valid.  In either case, you can purchase a Student Access Code online using a credit card or you can go to the bookstore and buy a mastering physics package.  If you need help then click on the ? icon.  There are more detailed Mastering Physics registration instructions at   Listed here are links where other important aspects of the course are described.  Please go to these links and read their contents.

For problems with MP, you can go to

iClicker Powerpoint Slides from 2010


Thermo 1

Induction & Inductors

Thermo 2

AC & Ampere's Law Repair

Coulomb’s Law & Applications of Gauss


Tiny Invisible Fish


Flux Calculation & Potential


Capacitance, Resistance, & DC Circuits


Magnetic Forces, Fields & Sources


                                                      Practice Exams 2010 & Solutions                               Given Exams & Answer Key

W Sept 8                       Exam 1                            Exam 1 Solutions                              ClassExam1

W Sept 22                   Exam 2                            Exam 2 Solutions                              ClassExam2            Key   

W Oct 6                          Exam 3                            Exam 3 Solutions                              ClassExam3

F Oct 22                         Exam 4                            Exam 4 Solutions                              ClassExam4

F Nov 5                           Exam 5                            Exam 5 Solutions                              ClassExam5

F Nov 19                       Exam 6                            Exam 6 Solutions                              ClassExam6

M Dec 6                          Exam 7                            Exam 7 Solutions                              ClassExam7