Course Syllabus

Spring 2023 PHY2005 - Applied Physics 2

Course Description

PHY2005 - Applied Physics 2: Continuation of the applied physics sequence. Electric and magnetic fields; geometrical, wave and applied optics; and a brief introduction to modern and nuclear physics. Critical-thinking and communication skills will be addressed in the context of these topics.

Prerequisites: PHY2004 - Applied Physics 1.

Credits: 3


Physics, like all human endeavors, is something that is learned. Physics is practiced and advanced by a scientific community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities and is open and welcoming to everyone. I recognize the value in diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of this course. This includes, but is not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion, and disability.

My aim is to foster an atmosphere of learning that is based on inclusion, transparency, and respect for all. I acknowledge the different needs and perspectives we bring to our common learning space and strive to provide everyone with equal access. I hope you truly believe, as I do, that by meeting the prerequisites, you belong in this physics class and are well-positioned for success.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any concerns, or with any suggestions for improving the inclusivity of this course.

Instructor Information

Spring 2020 Faculty Photo.jpg

Prof. Kathryn L. McGill

  • Office: NPB 2112
  • Phone: (352) 846-2548
  • Email via Canvas mail [best way to reach me]
    (email ONLY if Canvas is down AND it's time-sensitive)
  • Office Hours: Mondays, Per. 8-9 (3:00-4:55 pm)

Course Objectives

My goal for you is that by the end of this course, you will have improved your existing intuition about how the world works from an electromagnetic perspective. By the end of this course you will be able to (supporting assignments in parentheses):

  1. Organize the information presented in problems about various electromagnetic, quantum, and nuclear phenomena into sketches, diagrams, and/or tables representing the problem situation and the physical quantities involved. (homeworks, group works)
  2. Identify the fundamental principles of physics underlying these phenomena. (reading quizzes, clicker questions)
  3. Formulate mathematical equations describing the relationship between physical quantities in these problems. (homeworks, group works, exams)
  4. Solve these mathematical equations to find the values of the physical quantities and/or to predict system behavior. (homeworks, group works, exams)
  5. Evaluate whether answers are reasonable given the constraints of the particular problems being solved. (homeworks, group works, exams)
  6. Explain how the fundamental principles of electromagnetic, quantum, and/or nuclear phenomena have contributed to modern technology, and/or explain the applications of electromagnetic phenomena in biological systems. (group project)
  7. Communicate their understanding of various physics phenomena in an effective manner. (group works, group project)

As a Gen Ed: Physical Sciences course, this course also satisfies the General Education Physical Sciences Objectives. Note that a minimum grade of C is required for general education credit.

My Expectations of YOU

In order to achieve the learning outcomes stated above, I expect you to:

  • Attend lecture. This is very important! We will talk extensively about the physics problem-solving process, which is what you're aiming to master by the end of this course.
  • Complete the homework assignments to self–assess your understanding of the concepts and problem-solving strategies presented every week.
  • Complete 5 of 6 in-class Group Work assignments over the course of the semester, as posted in the Course Schedule (see below).
  • Complete the Group Project with your groupmates.
  • Take two mid-term exams and the final.
  • Seek help from me, the Learning Assistants (LAs) and your peers when specific content does not make sense, including seeking help for the problem-solving process itself.
  • Seek out additional practice when you need it to gain mastery over current material before moving on to future topics. This additional practice should include problems at the end of the chapter that are not assigned as part of your homework.
    • Don't forget to work through the examples presented in the text in order to learn the physics concepts, principles, and problem-solving techniques essential for success in this course.

This course is worth 3 credits, so you should expect to spend about 9 hours per week learning physics.

Required Materials


Homework System

  • The required online homework system is Mastering Physics, access to which is included in the purchase of the online textbook described above. Access Mastering Physics using the link provided in the Canvas course; note that it is called 'My Lab and Mastering' in the left-hand navigation.  You must register your access code from the Canvas course.


  • Part of your grade is calculated based on your in-class participation. You will use the iClicker ReefLinks to an external site system to participate. This software is free to UF students and can be used on either a computer or mobile device. Note that you must create an account/login with your UF email address. Further details about your iClicker grade can be found below in the Course Policies section.
  • You will need to bring either a laptop or mobile device with you to class in order to participate in the clicker questions. If this poses a hardship for you, please reach out to me ASAP so that we can find an appropriate solution.


  • You may use any scientific or graphing calculator on the exams, as long as it does not have the ability to communicate with other devices electronically. Cell phones as calculators are not permitted, and use of them does constitute academic fraud. This includes the use of smartwatches; all smartwatches must be put away prior to the start of the exams.

Technical Support

Course Policies

  • Attendance Policy & Clicker Points
    • You are expected to attend lecture MWF as scheduled. You are also encouraged to attend office hours to clarify any doubts arising from your studies.
    • I will record and post lectures after they occur; I will not be live-streaming lectures. In order to earn participation points, you must attend class in person.
    • At least one clicker question will be posed each class period. You will receive 2 points for answering a clicker question correctly, 1 point for answering it incorrectly, and 0 points for no submitted answer. There is a 20% forgiveness factor on the clicker points to account for any sort of absence(s) and/or technological malfunction(s).
  • Lecture Slides Policy
    • I will post my slides before class for you to take notes on. However, I may need to make last-minute updates, so the final slides presented in class will likely be slightly but not significantly different than the posted draft. The final slides will also include the clicker questions. I will post my completed lecture slides (I write on them during lecture) after class. You can find the lecture slides on the Course Schedule page.
  • Homework Policy
    • Homework sets are to be completed individually online through the Assignments tab in the left-hand navigation, or directly in Mastering Physics via the MyLab and Mastering tab. Your homework will auto-submit on the due date and time. There may be a slight delay between the submission of your homework and the syncing of your grade in Canvas. Please only reach out to me if 24 hours has passed without the two properly auto-syncing.
    • Homework is generally due Mondays at 11:59 pm.
    • Your homework is not timed or proctored, but it is subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct.Links to an external site. (See the University Policies section.)
    • It is permissible to seek assistance on homework from me, the LAs, or your classmates. This assistance may include help with interpreting the problem, identifying relevant information in the textbook or course videos, or identifying one’s errors. Ultimately, however, submitted answers must be your own.
    • I will drop your three lowest homework scores to account for any weeks in which unexpected personal and/or medical situations arise that interfere with your school work. Note, however, that you are still responsible for the material covered by all homework sets.
  • Reading Quiz Policy
    • You will take conceptual reading quizzes according to the assigned Course Schedule. These quizzes are open-book but still subject to the UF Policy on Academic Misconduct (Links to an external site.). (See University Policies section.) All answers must be your own.
    • Reading Quizzes are typically due by 11:45 am on each lecture day.
    • I will drop your six lowest reading quiz scores to account for any weeks in which unexpected personal and/or medical situations arise that interfere with your school work. Note, however, that you are still responsible for the material covered by all reading quizzes.
  • E&M Surveys
    • You will receive full credit for completing E&M Surveys I and II in class (you will not be graded on your responses). You do not need to prepare in any way for these surveys; simply answer the questions to the best of your ability.
    • You will need either a laptop or mobile device with you in class to take the surveys on the assigned days. If this is a hardship for you, please reach out to me ASAP so that we can find an appropriate solution.
  • Group Work Policy
    • Physics is learned by doing. Hence you will have required in-class problem solving sessions with harder problems than you are expected to solve individually on the exams. There will be Learning Assistants (LAs) on hand to help with this. LAs are students who have completed Physics 2.
    • Your group will be assigned after the add/drop deadline, and will be visible in the Groups tab in the blue far left menu.
    • I expect everyone in the group to be able to explain the solutions to the assigned problems. Your group will have an assigned day on which I will ask questions of a few group members whom I will choose at the time.
    • I will drop your lowest Group Work score from your final grade calculation. This means that you can miss one Group Work day without consequence. However, you cannot make up your assigned questioning day unless you have an approved excuse.
      • Note that for bookkeeping in your grade, you will be assigned 0.5 points for missing a regular Group Work day and 0 points for missing your group's specific questioning day.
    • Full details on how Group Work will function this semester can be found on the Group Work page in the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Group Project
    • You will complete a group project as one of the requirements for this course. You will work with the same group as assigned for your Group Work activities, and you will meet the various deadlines laid out in the Course Schedule to keep you on track. Full details about the Group Project can be found on the Group Project page in the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Exam Policy
    • Two mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam will be administered during the course. All midterms will be administered in class. Please see below for all exam dates. Exams are not collaborative and will be completed alone.
    • As stated above in the Materials section, you may use any scientific or graphing calculator on the exams, as long as it does not have the ability to communicate with other devices electronically. Cell phones and smartwatches as calculators are not permitted, and use of them constitutes academic fraud
    • Exam Dates
      • Exam 1: Monday, February 13, 2023 in class in NPB 1002
      • Exam 2: Monday, March 27, 2023  in class in NPB 1002
      • Final Exam: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 from 7:30 am - 9:30 am in NPB 1002
  • Make-up Policy
    • Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work are consistent with University Attendance Policies (Links to an external site.). For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.
    • There are no make-ups for the clicker points, reading quizzes, or homework assignments. The clicker points have the 20% forgiveness factor, and the reading quizzes and homework assignments have the drops specified above to account for misses for any reason.

Course Schedule

The Course Schedule is provided below and via the lefthand navigation link.

Week Date Day Class Schedule Topic RQ
(due 11:45 am)
(due 11:59 pm)
1 9-Jan Monday Semester Start Intro to Course & PHY2004 Review    
  10-Jan Tuesday        
  11-Jan Wednesday Ch. 3.1-3.4 Vector Review RQ0 (practice) due  
  12-Jan Thursday        
  13-Jan Friday E&M Survey I
(in class)
  14-Jan Saturday        
  15-Jan Sunday        
2 16-Jan Monday MLK Jr. Day:
No Class
  17-Jan Tuesday        
  18-Jan Wednesday Ch. 16.1-16.4 Electric Charge RQ1 due  
  19-Jan Thursday        
  20-Jan Friday Ch. 16.5-16.6 Coulomb's Law &
Problem Solving
RQ2 due  
  21-Jan Saturday        
  22-Jan Sunday        
3 23-Jan Monday Group Work 1 Ch. 16.1-16.6   HW1 due; Anthology Topic due (Group); Values due
  24-Jan Tuesday      
  25-Jan Wednesday Ch. 16.6 Solving Coulomb's Law Problems RQ3 due  
  26-Jan Thursday        
  27-Jan Friday Ch. 16.7-16.9 The Electric Field RQ4 due  
  28-Jan Saturday        
  29-Jan Sunday        
4 30-Jan Monday Ch. 17.1-17.3 Electric Potential I RQ5 due HW2 due
  31-Jan Tuesday      
  1-Feb Wednesday Ch. 17.4-17.5 Electric Potential II RQ6 due  
  2-Feb Thursday        
  3-Feb Friday Ch. 17.7-17.8 Capacitance RQ7 due  
  4-Feb Saturday        
  5-Feb Sunday        
5 6-Feb Monday Group Work 2 Ch. 16.7-16.9, 17.1-17.5, 17.7-17.8   HW3 due; Anthology Source List due (Group); Letter to Self due
  7-Feb Tuesday        
  8-Feb Wednesday Ch. 17.9 Electric Energy Storage RQ8 due  
  9-Feb Thursday        
  10-Feb Friday Exam 1 Review      
  11-Feb Saturday        
  12-Feb Sunday        
6 13-Feb Monday Exam 1 HW1-4, RQ1-8, GW1-2   HW4 due (short)
  14-Feb Tuesday        
  15-Feb Wednesday Ch. 18.1-18.4 Ohm's Law RQ9 due  
  16-Feb Thursday        
  17-Feb Friday Ch. 18.5-18.7 Electric Power RQ10 due  
  18-Feb Saturday        
  19-Feb Sunday        
7 20-Feb Monday Ch. 19.1-19.5 Circuits I RQ11 due HW5 due; 1st Anthology Source Intro due (Individual)
  21-Feb Tuesday      
  22-Feb Wednesday Ch. 19.6-19.7 Circuits II RQ12 due  
  23-Feb Thursday        
  24-Feb Friday Ch. 20.1-20.6 Magnetic Fields & Forces RQ13 due  
  25-Feb Saturday      
  26-Feb Sunday        
8 27-Feb Monday Group Work 3     HW6 due; Letter to Self due
  28-Feb Tuesday        
  1-Mar Wednesday Ch. 20.7-20.10 Ampere's Law RQ14 due  
  2-Mar Thursday        
  3-Mar Friday Ch. 21.1-21.4 Faraday's & Lenz's Laws RQ15 due  
  4-Mar Saturday        
  5-Mar Sunday        
9 6-Mar Monday Ch. 21.5-21.7 Electric Generators & Power Transmission RQ16 due HW7 due; 2nd Anthology Source Intro Due (Individual)
  7-Mar Tuesday        
  8-Mar Wednesday Ch. 23.1-23.5 Geometric Optics I RQ17 due  
  9-Mar Thursday        
  10-Mar Friday Ch. 23.6-23.8 Geometric Optics II RQ18 due  
  11-Mar Saturday        
  12-Mar Sunday        
10 13-Mar Monday Spring Break      
  14-Mar Tuesday Spring Break      
  15-Mar Wednesday Spring Break      
  16-Mar Thursday Spring Break      
  17-Mar Friday Spring Break      
  18-Mar Saturday        
  19-Mar Sunday      
11 20-Mar Monday Group Work 4     HW8 due; 3rd Anthology Source Intro due (Individual)
  21-Mar Tuesday        
  22-Mar Wednesday Ch. 22.2-22.3 Electromagnetic Waves RQ19 due  
  23-Mar Thursday        
  24-Mar Friday Exam 2 Review      
  25-Mar Saturday        
  26-Mar Sunday        
12 27-Mar Monday Exam 2 HW5-9, RQ9-19, GW3-4   HW9 due (short)
  28-Mar Tuesday        
  29-Mar Wednesday Ch. 25.1 Cameras RQ20 due  
  30-Mar Thursday        
  31-Mar Friday Ch. 25.2 The Human Eye RQ21 due  
  1-Apr Saturday      
  2-Apr Sunday        
13 3-Apr Monday Group Work 5     HW10 due; Anthology Intro due (Group)
  4-Apr Tuesday        
  5-Apr Wednesday Ch. 24.1 & 24.3-24.6 Wave Nature of Light & Diffraction RQ22 due  
  6-Apr Thursday        
  7-Apr Friday Ch. 24.7-24.8 & 24.10 Interference &
RQ23 due  
  8-Apr Saturday        
  9-Apr Sunday        
14 10-Apr Monday Group Work 6     HW11 due; Letter to Self due
  11-Apr Tuesday        
  12-Apr Wednesday Ch. 27.1-27.4 & 27.7-27.8 Photons RQ24 due  
  13-Apr Thursday        
  14-Apr Friday Ch. 27.10-27.12 Models of the Atom RQ25 due  
  15-Apr Saturday        
  16-Apr Sunday        
15 17-Apr Monday Ch. 30.1-30.2 Atomic Nuclei RQ26 due HW12 due; Anthology due (Group)
  18-Apr Tuesday        
  19-Apr Wednesday Ch. 30.3-30.5 Radioactivity RQ27 due  
  20-Apr Thursday        
  21-Apr Friday E&M Survey II
(in class)
  22-Apr Saturday        
  23-Apr Sunday        
16 24-Apr Monday Final Exam Review, Part 1 Ch. 16-21   HW13 due
  25-Apr Tuesday        
  26-Apr Wednesday Final Exam Review, Part 2 Ch. 22-25, 27, 30    
  27-Apr Thursday Reading Day      
  28-Apr Friday Reading Day      
  29-Apr Saturday        
  30-Apr Sunday        
17 1-May Monday        
  2-May Tuesday        
  3-May Wednesday Final Exam,
7:30 - 9:30 am, NPB 1002

Grade Calculation

Grades in the course are awarded based on an overall course score calculated as follows:


Grade Percentage

E&M Surveys I & II


Clicker Points

(20% forgiveness)

Reading Quizzes

(drop 6 lowest)


(drop 3 lowest)

Group Work

(drop lowest)

Group Project


Exam 1


Exam 2


Final Exam


Grade Scheme

There is no curve in this class; if you earn at least 85% of the available points in this class, you will get an A, and so on down the list:

Grade Range
A 100% to 85%
A- < 85% to 80%
B+ < 80% to 75%
B < 75% to 70%
B- <70% to 65%
C+ < 65% to 60%
C < 60% to 55%
C- < 55% to 50%
D+ < 50% to 45%
D < 45% to 40%
D- < 40% to 35%

Note that I round at 0.50. For example, 79.50% would round up to 80%, an A-, while 79.49% does not round and earns a B+.

University Policies

    • Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code (Links to an external site.).
    • University Honesty Policy
      • UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.” The Honor Code (Links to an external site.) specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor or TAs in this class.
    • All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions.
    • All faculty, staff, and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use.  Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator.  Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.  We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.
    • There are federal laws protecting your privacy with regards to grades earned in courses and on individual assignments.  For more information, please see the FERPA (Links to an external site.) page by the Registrar.

Health & Wellness Resources

Academic Resources


This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity. Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected.