Physics 132-002 - Electromagnetism and Optics
Spring 2017
Professor: Dr. Chad A. Middleton

Class Room Escalante Hall 319
Class Hours 11-11:50 MTWR
Office Wubben Hall 228A
Office Hours MW 10-11, TR 9-10, F 12-1
Office Phone 970-248-1173
Email [email protected]
Web Page

Course Description

The objective of this course is to provide you with a solid foundation in the physics of electricity, circuits, magnetism, and optics, for students of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. Through this physics endeavor, you will obtain an increased conceptual understanding of physical phenomena and gain sharpened quantitative analytical skills, which will last with you long after you leave this course.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
--Albert Einstein

From the catalog...

"Calculus-based introduction to classical electromagnetism and optics. Detailed coverage of electrostatics, electric circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, geometrical optics, and wave optics. The mathematics of calculus and vectors is used throughout. For majors in the sciences and engineering. Requires a mastery of the foundations of classical mechanics as covered in PHYS 131.

Prerequisite: PHYS 131/131L, and MATH 152 or MATH 136 (either may be taken concurrently). A grade of C or higher in PHYS 131/131L is required.”
Source: 2016-2017 CMU Catalog, pp. 226

Course Requirements

Assignments Examinations

Required Text

Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach, Vols. 3 & 4 by Randall D. Knight; 3rd edition
ISBN: 9780321753175 & 9780321753168


Your grade for this course is based on the following activities, weighted as shown

Homework Assignments  30%
3 Exams45%
Final Examination25%

Grading Scale:

All graded work will be assigned a numerical score. You may estimate your letter grade by computing a percentage score and comparing it with the table below:

Accommodation for Students with Physical and Learning Disabilities

In coordination with Educational Access Services, reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified students with disabilities. Students must register with the EAS office to receive assistance. Please meet with the instructor the first week of class for information and/or contact Dana VandeBurgt, the Coordinator of Educational Access Services, directly by phone at 248-1801, or in person in Houston Hall, Suite 108.

Academic Integrity

• For CMU policy on such matters, please refer to 2016-2017 CMU Catalog, pp. 46.

Tutorial Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC is a FREE academic service for all Colorado Mesa University students. Tutors are available on a walk-in basis for many courses. Do you have a quick question? Do you need homework clarification or feedback on a paper? Are you reviewing for a test? Help is available at the TLC!

At the main campus, come to Houston Hall 113 to meet with one of our friendly peer tutors. We are open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am-6pm; Tuesdays from 8am-7pm, and Fridays from 8am-5pm. Tutoring at branch campuses is also available. Check out the website for schedules and locations at or call 248-1392 with any questions.

Factors for Success in this Course:

  1. Attendance: Regular class attendance is expected and strongly recommended. You are responsible for all material discussed in class. It is in your best interest to always attend class and arrive on time, this class begins promptly at 11:00 am!
  2. Reading Preparation: Topics discussed in class will, for the most part, closely follow the book. A reading of the text will help reinforce the physical concepts presented to you in class. The book also contains several example problems that may prove useful when doing the homework.
  3. Homework: A true understanding of physics is much more than merely memorizing equations. You must be able to do physics i.e. you must be able to solve physical problems. You should think of every problem as a test of your understanding of the material at hand. Solving the homework problems will help to prepare you for the exams and should not be taken lightly. You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates. Working problems with your peers can be an excellent learning method, however, anything turned in must be your own work.
  4. Tutoring: I am in my office and available to you everyday (see above schedule for times) to answer questions and assist you on any difficulties you may be having with your homework. In addition, CMU offers free tutoring. If you are having difficulty with course material, please see the Tutorial Learning Center.

Classroom Policies and Etiquette:

  1. Cell phones are NOT to be used during class!
  2. Be attentive and ready to participate in class.
  3. Avoid classroom distractions. This includes leaving class during the course time.

Course Calendar

This is a TENTATIVE course calendar ONLY! The actual course can (and most likely will) deviate from the calendar listed below!!




Tue, Jan 17

Ch. 25: Electric Charges and Forces


Wed, Jan 18

Pre-Diagnostic Exam


Thu, Jan 19

Ch. 25: Electric Charges and Forces


Mon, Jan 23

Ch. 25: Electric Charges and Forces


Tue, Jan 24

Ch. 25: Electric Charges and Forces


Wed, Jan 25

Ch. 26: The Electric Field


Thu, Jan 26

Ch. 26: The Electric Field


Mon, Jan 30

Ch. 26: The Electric Field


Tue, Jan 31

Ch. 26: The Electric Field


Wed, Feb 1

Ch. 27: Gauss' Law


Thu, Feb 2

Ch. 28: The Electric Potential


Mon, Feb 6

Ch. 28: The Electric Potential


Tue, Feb 7

Ch. 28: The Electric Potential


Wed, Feb 8

Ch. 28: The Electric Potential


Thu, Feb 9

Ch. 28: The Electric Potential


Mon, Feb 13



Tue, Feb 14

Exam 1 (Chapters 25-28)


Wed, Feb 15

Ch. 29: Potential and Field


Thu, Feb 16

Ch. 29: Potential and Field


Mon, Feb 20

Ch. 29: Potential and Field


Tue, Feb 21

Ch. 29: Potential and Field


Wed, Feb 22

Ch. 30: Current and Resistance


Thurs, Feb 23

Ch. 30: Current and Resistance


Mon, Feb 27

Ch. 30: Current and Resistance


Tue, Feb 28

Ch. 30: Current and Resistance


Wed, Mar 1

Ch. 30: Current and Resistance/ Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Thu, Mar 2

Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Mon, Mar 6

Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Tue, Mar 7

Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Wed, Mar 8

Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Thu, Mar 9

Ch. 31: Fundamentals of Circuits


Mon, Mar 13



Tue, Mar 14

Exam 2 (Chapters 29-31)


Wed, Mar 15

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field


Thu, Mar 16

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field


Mon, Mar 20

Spring Break – No Classes


Tue, Mar 21

Spring Break – No Classes


Wed, Mar 22

Spring Break – No Classes


Thu, Mar 23

Spring Break – No Classes


Mon, Mar 27

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field

32.5, 32.7

Tue, Mar 28

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field


Wed, Mar 29

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field


Thu, Mar 30

Ch. 32: The Magnetic Field


Mon, Apr 3

Ch. 33: Electromagnetic Induction


Tue, Apr 4

Ch. 33: Electromagnetic Induction


Wed, Apr 5

Ch. 33: Electromagnetic Induction


Thu, Apr 6

Ch. 33: Electromagnetic Induction


Mon, Apr 10

Ch. 34: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves


Tue, Apr 11

Ch. 34: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves


Wed, Apr 12



Thu, Apr 13

Exam 3 (Chapters 32-34)


Mon, Apr 17

Ch. 20: Traveling Waves           


Tue, Apr 18

Ch. 22: Wave Optics


Wed, Apr 19

Ch. 22: Wave Optics


Thu, Apr 20

Ch. 22: Wave Optics


Mon, Apr 24

Ch. 22: Wave Optics


Tue, Apr 25

Ch. 23: Ray Optics


Wed, Apr 26

Ch. 23: Ray Optics


Thu, Apr 27

Ch. 23: Ray Optics


Mon, May 1

Ch. 23: Ray Optics


Tue, May 2

Ch. 23: Ray Optics


Wed, May 3

Post-Diagnostic Exam


Thu, May 4




**Final Exam:  Wednesday, May 10 at 10 - 11:50 am**



General Education Objectives:

This course is part of CMU's general education curriculum. Course content is designed to meet the following objectives of CMU's general education program:


1.      Understand the structure and discipline of mathematical thought and its use in problem-solving

2.      Have knowledge of the natural world and an understanding of scientific methods


Course Learning Objectives:

A student who has taken this course will demonstrate the ability to:


1.    Translate between verbal and mathematical descriptions of physical situations.  Apply mathematical reasoning, using algebra, trigonometry and calculus, to analyze these situations.

2.   Articulate the arguments, verbal and mathematical, used to analyze physical situations.

3.   Represent physical processes graphically and describe given graphical representations in physical terms.

4.   Use calculus to describe and analyze physical situations.

5.    Use the mathematics of vectors, vector algebra, products of vectors and vector components to analyze physical situations.

6.   Distinguish between and relate electric charge, forces, fields, potentials and currents.

7.   Distinguish between and relate magnetic forces and fields.

8.   Describe and use basic concepts associated with waves and the superposition of waves.

9.   Determine and use electric fields, electric potentials, electric forces, electrostatic energy, magnetic fields, and magnetic forces in various physical situations.

10.   Use the geometric picture of light to describe the properties of and propagation of light in various physical situations.

11.   Use the wave picture of light to describe the properties of and propagation of light in various physical situations, including interference and diffraction phenomena.


Program-Level Student Learning Objectives:

This course satisfies the following Physics-degree student learning objectives:


1.    Show fluency with the major fields of physics (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical physics and quantum theory).

2.   Use mathematical representations to analyze physical scenarios. This requires translating back and forth between physical and mathematical problems and using appropriate mathematics to aid in the analysis of the scenario.