The University of Tennessee at Martin

Department of Geology, Geography and Physics

Course Syllabus Physics 212 (3 Credit hours), Spring 2001


Cahit Erkal, Room 222E, JJ-EPS Bldg. 587-7432,,

My web site:

Classes: T, Th 11:00-12:15, Room 219

Office Hours: M: 3:00-3:50, T,W,Th,F 2:00-2:50

Prerequisite: Physics 211 and Math 140

Textbook: Physics, Volume 2, by Eugene Hecht, 2nd Edition, Paperback, problem solving CD is included.

Reference: For easy reading see Conceptual Physics, P. Hewitt. Any edition will be fine.


Course Description:

This course covers such basic topics as electricity, magnetism, light, and optics.  If time permits, Modern Physics will be included.  See the tentative timetable attached for more specifics.


Course Objectives:

  1. To be science-educated, as physics is the base for all sciences.
  2. To develop a basic understanding of such fundamental topics as electricity, magnetism, optics, and light.
  3. To enjoy learning the elegant rules of nature that underlie many of the gadgets that surround us in our everyday life.
  4. To develop critical thinking skills by applying rules to solve problems.  These critical thinking skills developed by solving physics problems will come in handy when you confront a different kind of problem in your workplace in the future.
  5. To be knowledgeable in your conversation about technical topics.
  6. To develop such critical habits as punctuality and effective time management by meeting deadlines for your tests, homework, and reports in this course.


Suggested Preparation:

In order to do well and meet the majority of the objectives of this course, you are expected to read each topic and familiarize yourself with the terminology before you come to class. You should take notes during the lectures, and attend all the lectures and activities.  You should start on the homework assignments immediately after they are assigned so that you can finish them by the deadline.  You should test your understanding of the subject matter with the problem solving CD and work in small groups of 3 or 4.  If you do keep up with the material, when tests come up, you will have much easier time and will likely increase your chances of making a good grade in the course.


Web site for the course:

A web site is set by the instructor to facilitate discussions, post certain messages, and post some of the material for easy access from your computer.  You may post questions related to this class on my bulletin board.  The web site for this course can be accessed from my web page:  Note that this is not a web-based course, therefore your attendance is necessary for success.  Do not expect to find all of my lecture notes or solutions to problems on the web.  I use the web merely to support the course.


Other Information:

Any form of academic dishonesty (receiving or giving assistance on a test or quiz, copying homework) will result in a zero for both parties.

Students enrolled in this course are expected to attend the classes punctually.  Class attendance will be checked on a regular basis and unexcused absences will be reported.  A make up test may be given if you have a legitimate excuse.  I am assuming that your priority is your education.



Homework problems will be assigned in class during the lectures and will be graded.  Allow approximately 1.5 hours of problem solving for each hour of lecture.  The purpose of homework is to provide training through physics problems, including understanding the fundamental concepts, reading questions carefully, thinking logically, performing simple mathematical operations, and improving your presentation skills.



Quizzes (ten to fifteen minutes duration) will be announced in class two days in advance.  Usually, the due date for the homework and the date of the quiz will be the same.  Quizzes will cover one chapter at a time, and they are designed to check your basic understanding of each topic before we move any further.  Quizzes and homework comprise checkpoints as we progress through the semester, and hopefully will prevent any unexpected surprises on the tests.  Keep all of our quizzes and homework handy for quick review before the tests and final.



Grades will be determined by the formula given below.  Any appeal (such as a mistake in grading or adding points on your tests) should be made in a timely manner, usually within one week after the test is returned to the students.  The instructor will try to give you an update of your grades before the finals so that you know where you are in the grading scale.  Once your grade is entered to my worksheet, the following formula will be used for final determination of your grade.


Final Grade: 0.20(quiz) + 0.20(homework) + 0.40 (Tests) + 0.20 ( Final)


A: 90 – 100, B: 80-89,  C: 70 – 79   D: 60 –69  F: Below 60


Elevator Policy:

In case there are physically disabled students in the class and both elevators fail to work in the EPS building, an alternate class meeting will be arranged only for the disabled students.  You may call me at my office number or the department office at x7430 and leave a message.  I will call you and arrange a special make-up session for you depending on the circumstances.


A tentative timetable including the exam dates is provided below.  Any deviation from the timetable will be announced in class, and it will be your responsibility to make a note of it.


Week of



Jan. 8

15. Electrostatics: Forces, Electric Fields


Jan. 15

continue 15 &

16. Electrostatics: Energy, Capacitance


Jan. 22

Continue Ch. 16


Jan. 29


Test 1(15,16), Feb. 1

17. Direct Current: Ohm’s Law, Resistance, Electric Current, Voltage, Power


Feb. 5

Continue CH. 17 &

18. Circuits


Feb. 12

continue Ch. 18 &

19. Magnetism: Magnetic field, Currents and Ampere’s law, Magnetic force


Feb. 19

continue Ch. 19


Feb. 26



Test 2( 17,18,19) March 1

20. Electromagnetic Induction: Faraday’s law, emf, AC/DC, inductance, R-L circuits


March 5

March 12 Spring Break

continue Ch. 20 &

22. Light


March 19

continue 22 &

23. Propagation of Light: Scattering


March 26

continue 23 &

24. Geometric Optics: Lenses Mirrors


April 2

Test 3(20,23,24) April 3

continue Ch. 24


April 9

continue Ch. 24


April 16


Test 4( 24,25) April 26

25. Physical Optics: Polarization, Interference, Diffraction


April 23

continue Ch. 25


Final Exam: May 7, Monday 10:00-12:00 Room 219