Physics 214: Introduction to Physics II: Electromagnetism and Light

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sonoma State University

Fall 2017


Class: M Tu W Th 11:00-11:50 am, Salazar 1051

Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi

Phone: 664-2013


Office: Darwin 300J

Office Hours: M Tu 2-3:30 pm, and by appointment

Course Description: Welcome to Physics 214! This is the second semester of a calculus-based physics class. We will study electrostatics, quasistatic electric fields and currents, magnetostatics, electromagnetic induction, waves, and physical and geometric optics. It is a lot of material for us to cover in one semester, so expect a fast pace. You are fully responsible for all of the topics listed on the Course Schedule page.

Physics 216 is a lab-based course, designed with interesting experiments to help your conceptual understanding and problem solving. You are strongly encouraged to concurrently take both Physics 214 and 216.

Course Objectives: You are required to demonstrate (a) knowledge, understanding and use of the principles of physics, (b) ability to use reasoning and logic to define a problem in terms of physics principles, and (c) ability to use mathematics and computer applications to solve physics problems. By the end of this course, it is to be expected that you will have acquired a concrete understanding of the following topics: electric field and magnetic field, electric potential and potential energy, application of Ohm’s Law to determine the current, voltage, or resistance for an electrical component, capacitors and RC decay circuits, electromagnetic induction and Faraday’s Law, DC vs. AC circuits, wave mechanics, physical and geometric optics.

Prerequisites: You should have satisfactorily completed Physics 114 and Math 211.

Text: Great news! Your textbook for this class is available for free online, in web view and PDF format! You can also reserve a hardcopy in the library for two hours. If you prefer to purchase a print version, make sure you do it from OpenStax on Simple printouts sold by third parties on Amazon are not verifiable and not as high-quality.

Openstax University Physics is a three-volume collection that meets the scope and sequence requirements for two- and three-semester calculus-based physics courses. We will be using all three volumes throughout the semester. Go to the following links to view the text or download it in PDF:

Vol. 1:, SSU Library Call# 8810

Vol. 2:, SSU Library Call# 8811

Vol. 3:, SSU Library Call# 8812

You will use Sapling Learning to complete and submit all your homework assignments online. Follow the instructions on how to register for courses and check out the FAQ/support page. As a reminder, Sapling Learning offers a grace period on payment; for most courses, this is 14 days from the first day of the term. During sign up or throughout the term, if you have any technical problems or grading issues, please visit this page.

Sapling Learning Login

Course Schedule

Grading Policy:

Homework, Quizzes and Exams 20% Final Exam, Monday, 12/11, 11 am - 12:50 pm
  Two (2) Midterm Exams: 20% Each
  Homework Assignments: 25% in Total
  Three (3) Quizzes: 5% Each
Course Grade Percent Course Grade Percent Course Grade Percent























Below 60


A few things to remember:

1. Homework problems are due EVERY Saturday Night at 8:00 pm, typically one (1) week after the lecturing on the materials is finished. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when your class grade is calculated. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework. Make sure you thoroughly understand the problems.

2. All quizzes and exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one (1) index card (3" x 5") to the class with equations and formulas on both sides. No makeup quiz or exam will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware the makeup quiz or exam may be entirely different from the original one.

3. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed throughout the semester.

Strategies to succeeding in this course:

Try your best to attend every class. Your understanding and grades will suffer if you often miss the classes. Participate and ask questions.
• Read subject material before each class, if possible.
• Start homework problems as early as you can. Never fall behind!
• Study and understand every pertinent example in the covered topics. Try to understand which principles or laws are employed, and how. Pay attention to the Analysis Model approach in the textbook.
• Come to my office with questions. Remember I am here to help you in any way I can so that you can do well.

Disability: If you have a disability and need special consideration, please contact the Office of Disabled Student Services (DSS), located in Salazar Hall, Room 1049, Phone 664-2677.

Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, can be found at

Email me if you have questions or comments.

Last updated August 22, 2017