Course Syllabus


Final stats (jn %):

Mean 54
Std 18
mode 51.5
median 51.5
min (>0) 20
max 96.5

Solutions to be posted Thursday.

Final exam grades will be posted tomorrow afternoon (Susan tells me).

Phys 122A: 8:30-10:20 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Final study materials

Draft final equation sheet.

Midterm 2:

Midterm 2 stats:

Mean 54
Std 18
mode 58
median 57
min (>0) 12
max 95


MT2 Solutions

Draft MT2 equation sheet.

Seating Chart


  • Paul A. Wiggins ( (122A)
  • Office hours: 3-4 PM Tuesday PAB409

Required course textbooks :

  • Tipler-Mosca, "Physics for Scientists and Engineers", 6th edition (Custom edition for UW. However, some of you may find a cheaper/used copy of the standard version of the 6th edition and that is fine as well);
  • McDermott and Shaffer "Tutorials in Introductory Physics, 2nd ed.";
  • PHYS 122 Lab Manual.

Recommended additional readings:

  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol II, by Feynman, Leighton, Sands 
  • The Flying Circus of Physics, by Jearl Walker

 Required Equipment/Packages:

Lecture slides:

Linked from syllabus table below.

Lecture Instructor's Comments 

Welcome to PHYS 122. I hope you find this course stimulating and interesting. I will expect you to read the material that will be covered in a class ahead of time and I will do pre-class questions (via FlipIt Physics) and during-class questions ("clickers") to encourage you to do it. This will allow us to have more meaningful classes. Instead of reciting something that can be read in the textbook, I will work with students and address issues that will arise from the readings and homework assignments. You are encouraged to visit with me regularly during my office hours. Take the initiative to think about what you are learning and challenge yourself by interacting with others to exchange views. Memorization of material is not particularly helpful. Try to understand how each new topic is related to all of the previous material and how the concepts, rules and formulae fit together and can be applied to solve real-world problems. Never allow anything to go by that you do not understand. Generally, ask a question immediately. If it is inconvenient to interrupt, make a quick note to yourself and inquire later. 

Grading Policy, Exams, etc...

The final course grade is based on contributions from the exams (2 midterms and a final), lab-session grades, tutorial-session grades, lecture-related homework assignments (via WebAssign), FlipIt Physics (pre-lecture questions), clickers in-class questions with relative weights as indicated in the table: Grade weighting:

Midterms (best 2 of 3) 37%
Final 28%
Lab section 11%
Tutorial section 8%
Lecture HW 8%
FlipItPhysics 4%
Clickers in class 4%


Exam Composition: lecture lab tutorial
Midterms (100 points): 68% 12% 20%
Final exam (200 points): 60% 20% 20%

There will be Lab-related multiple-choice questions on each midterm exam and on the final exam. There will be one page of hand-graded tutorial questions on each midterm, and multiple-choice questions on the final exam. There will be one page of hand-graded Lecture questions on each midterm exam, plus additional Lecture multiple-choice questions. 55% of each Midterm Exam will consist of multiple-choice questions. The Final Exam is usually entirely multiple-choice. There will be no makeup exams, but the lowest of the two midterm exam scores or half final score is dropped. 
There will be two closed-book midterm exams and a final. Each midterm will emphasize recent material, but may include questions dealing with topics from earlier in the course. You are NOT permitted to bring any notes. The exam sheet will contain a page with formulas that I will publish before the exam. Regular calculators are permitted, but graphing calculators are not. Cell phones, radios, etc. are not permitted. Laptop computers are not permitted, and the use of the text-storage capability now available on many calculators is not permitted. Exams are to be your own work; you are not permitted to collaborate with any other person. The Physics department reserves the right to ask for valid identification from any student during examinations. 

The lab section grade is based on scores for all 8 lab activities done in lab section, including pre-lab and post-lab exercises on WebAssign. Students who complete fewer than 6 of the 8 labs, or score less than 60% of the available points for the quarter, will receive a grade of 0.0 for the entire 5-credits! 

The tutorial section grade is based on participation in each tutorial session as well as completion of pretests, but the largest portion comes from scores on tutorial homework. 
Note that there will be no make-up exams in PHYS122. Students with outside professional, service, or career commitments (i.e. military service, ROTC, professional conference presentation, NCAA sports, etc.) conflicting exactly with the exam dates must contact the intructor during the first 3 weeks of the quarter to establish alternate examination procedures. Students who miss an exam without making prior arrangements with the lecture instructor will drop that exam score. Except for extreme circumstances, a final grade of 0.0 may be assigned to any student who misses all midterm exams or does not take the final exam. 

Exam Re-grades: If you believe that the points on the examination were incorrectly totaled or if there is a gross error in the grading, you may return an exam for regrading. To do so, you must resubmit the examination within 2 working days after the exams are returned. You must write a brief note on the front page or attached to the front page of the exam explaining the possible error in the grading. Do not make any changes or marks on the other pages of the examination. Portions of each examination are scanned or photocopied. You should be aware that any request for a regrade may result in a regrading of the entire exam. Therefore your total score may increase or decrease. Your responsibility: Check your grades on the WebAssign system every week or two and report any problems to both, the lecture instructor and the relevant TAs (and/or lab faculty) immediately. Lab and exam grades should be recorded for your review within one week from the date that papers are submitted for grading. Grading problems that are reported in a timely fashion will be investigated and, if action is warranted, corrected. 

Points for FlipIt Physics, clickers and WebAssign HW

Clickers: 5 pts for right answer, 4 points wrong (or Qs with all answers equal), truncated at 80% of maximum available score. 
FlipIt Physics: Equal points for prelecture as for checkpoints, zero for HW, truncated at 20/22 in 122. 
WebAssign HW: Roughly 9 assignments with a total of at least 70 problems for the quarter, and NOTHING is forgiven or excused. 48 hour automatic extensions cost 30% of the work done after the original deadline. (Extensions must be requested in fewer than 48 h after the original deadline.) This penalty may be discarded for medical or other legitimate excuses on a case-by-case basis. 

Some words on how best to prepare

In my view, the principal way to learn physics is by solving problems. In addition to the homework assignments you should try to work on as many problems from the end of chapters as you can. In general, be careful of not looking at solutions before REALLY thinking hard about how to solve a particular problem. Unfortunately, given the large volume of students we have, we (instructors and teaching assistants) are happy to explain a solution to a group of students that may be eager to finish their weekly assignment. However, you should realize that every time somebody solves a problem for you, if you have not really challenged yourself to think hard about this particular problem, you will have missed an opportunity to learn something yourself. Remember that the exams are the largest component of the grade for the class. 

The Physics Study Center 

Students are encouraged to gather and work cooperatively in small groups in the Physics Study Center located in room AM018 of the PAB. (to reach the Physics Study Center, go down the stairs that circle behind the Foucault pendulum and proceed toward the end of the hall). Teaching assistants will be available for consultation during many portions of the day if your study group needs assistance, but staffing levels will not support much individual attention. The Study Center is staffed from approximately 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays.

Notes on past homework assignments:

Hw1 p7

Midterm 1:

Midterm 1 unofficial solutions.

Midterm 1 official long answer solutions.

Sample Midterm 1

Sample Equation Sheet 1


Results (All three classes):

Mean 47
Std 17
Median 47
Max 95
Min 0


Midterm 2-3 Practice:

practice materials

Course Schedule:

Phys 122 Autumn 2016
Week Day Date Lec# Lecture topic Text reading FlipItPhysics Tutorial Labs
1 W 9/28/16 1 Charge & Coulomb's Law 21-1 to 21-3 1. Coulomb's law None None
  Th 9/29/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 9/30/16 2 Electric Field Vectors & Lines 21-4 to 21-5 2. Electric Field    
2 M 10/3/16 3 Electric Fields Act on Charges 21-5 to 21-6   Charge  Electrostatics
  W 10/5/16 4 E for Continuous Chg Distrib. 22-1 to 22-2 3. Electric Flux    
  Th 10/6/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 10/7/16 5 Flux & Gauss' Law 22-2 to 22-3 4. Gauss' law    
3 M 10/10/16 6 Gauss' Law Applied 22-4 to 22-6   Gauss' Law  Electric Fields
  W 10/12/16 7 Electric Potential Energy 23-1 and 23- 5. Elec Potl Energy    
  Th 10/13/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 10/14/16 8 Electric Potential  23-1 to 23-2 6. Elec Potential    
4 M 10/17/16 9 E from V and V for Chg. Distrib. 23-3 to 23-4   Electric Pot. Difference DC Circuits I
  W 10/19/16 10 Equipotentials & Potl. Energy 23-5 to 23-6 7. Conductrs & Capacitanc    
  Th 10/20/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 10/21/16 11 Capacitance & Energy 24-1 to 24-2 8.Capacitors    
5 M 10/24/16 12 Dielectrics & Combined Caps 24-3 to 24-5   Capacitance DC Circuits II
  W 10/26/16   Exam 1 review        
  Th 10/27/16   Exam 1        
  F 10/28/16 13 Current, Voltage & Resistance 25-1 to 25-2 9. Electric Current    
6 M 10/31/16 14 Energy, Resistors & Kirchhoff 25-3 to 25-5 10. Kirchhoff's Rules Circuits III Capacitors & RC Circuits
  W 11/2/16 15 Multiloop & RC Circuits 25-5 to 25-6 11. RC Circuits    
  Th 11/3/16   Post exam review        
  F 11/4/16 16 Magnetic Fields & Forces 26-1 to 26-2 12. Magnetism    
7 M 11/7/16 17 Charges & Currents in B Fields 26-2 to 26-4 13. Forces & Torques Magnets & Mag. Fields Magnetic Fields & Force
  W 11/9/16 18 Biot Savart Law 27-1 to 27-2 14. Biot-Savart    
  Th 11/10/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 11/11/16   HOLIDAY        
8 M 11/14/16 19 Gauss' Law for B, Ampere's Law 27-3 to 27-4 15. Ampere's Law Mag Interactions EM Induction
  W 11/16/16 20 Motional EMF 28-1 to 28-3 16. Motional EMF    
  Th 11/17/16   NO CLASS DAY        
  F 11/18/16 21 Faraday's Law, Lenz' Law, Eddy Currents 28-4 to 28-5 17. Faraday's Law    
9 M 11/21/16 22 Inductance, Energy & RL Circuits 28-6 to 28-8 18. Induction, RL Circuits None None
  W 11/23/16   Special Relativity and E&M (optional)        
  Th 11/24/16   HOLIDAY        
  F 11/25/16   HOLIDAY        
10 M 11/28/16 23 Oscillating AC Circuits 29-1 to 29-4 19. LC and RLC Circuits Ampere's Law Electronic Devices
  W 11/30/16   Exam 2 review        
  Th 12/1/16   Exam 2        
  F 12/2/16 24 Driven AC Circuits 29-5 to 29-6 20. AC Circuits    
11 M 12/5/16 25 Resonance, Phasors, Transformers 30-1 to 30-2 21. Resonance Lenz' Law Make-up Labs
  W 12/7/16   Displacement Current & Maxwell's Eqns 30-2 to 30-4 22. Dsplcmt Current & EM Waves    
  Th 12/8/16   Post exam review        
  F 12/9/16   Final exam review        

Phys 122A: 8:30-10:20 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Course Summary:

Date Details Due