PHYS 2232

Honors Physics II @ Georgia Tech

Prof. John Wise

Course Objectives

In this class, we will learn about the physics governing electricity and magnetism. This is an honors class with an accelerated curriculum and is geared toward Physics Majors and anyone else desiring to progress further into upper-division Physics classes. The semester will be equally split between subjects pertaining to electricity and magnetism, starting from first principles. Below you can find a list of topics covered.

Topics covered:

  1. Electrostatics - Electric forces, fields, and potentials in a static medium
  2. Electric Fields around Conductors
  3. Electric Currents and Circuits
  4. Fields of Moving Charges
  5. Magnetic Field
  6. Electromagnetic Induction
  7. Maxwell's Equations and Electromagnetic Waves
  8. Electric and Magnetic Fields in Matter


Course: PHYS 2232, Honors Physics II, Fall 2018, MW 10:10-11:00, T 9:30-10:20, Howey S107

Recitations and Tests: Friday class period 10:10-11:00, Howey S107

Laboratory: PHYS 2232 A01 or A02 (Tuesday 4:30-6:20pm), CULC 383

Note: There is no recitation during the Tuesday 3:00-3:50pm period.

Instructor: Prof. John Wise, Office: Boggs 1-90J, Email: jwise [ at ]

    • Office Hours: Tuesday 2-3pm and Thursday 1-2pm or by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Brian Day, Boggs 1-58, Email: bday7 [ at ]


PHYS 2211 or 2231. We will heavily use multi-variable calculus (MATH 2551), but since it's not a prerequisite, the instructor and teaching assistant will cover the necessary mathematics to solve the physics problems at hand.


Electricity and Magnetism (3rd edition), Edward Purcell and David Morin, ISBN: 1107014026

Tests and Grading

  • Tests (3): 40% of the final grade.
    • This is a weighted average with your best, middle, and worst test scores being worth 1/2, 1/3, and 1/6 of your test average. Example: (90%, 80%, 70%) -> (0.9/2 + 0.8/3 + 0.7/6 = 83.3%).
    • Tests will be held during recitation period (Friday 10:10-11:00am)
  • Homeworks (10): 25% of the final grade
    • Due on Friday at the beginning of recitation (10:10am), unless otherwise specified
  • Final (cumulative): 20% of the final grade
  • Lab: 10% of the final grade
  • Recitation: 5% of the final grade

The tests will last up to 50 minutes. Each test can include any material covered in lecture and in the chapters noted in the schedule. The final will be comprehensive. For both the tests and final, a formula sheet will be provided for you and will released by the Tuesday preceding the test. You will be allowed to use a calculator on the tests and final. No devices with internet access are allowed.

Grading scale: 89.5-100 = A, 79.5-89 = B, 69.5-79 = C, 59.5-69 = D, <59.5 = F. For a pass/fail grade, a C or higher is considered passing. Appropriate curves will be applied for each test and possibly at the end of the semester.


There will be weekly homework with the exception of weeks with tests. They are due on Friday at beginning of recitation, turned into the TA, unless otherwise specified. Late assignments are not accepted unless previous arrangements have been made. Students are encouraged to work and discuss problems together, but the written work must be your own.

Every homework assignment will be out of 100 points with the following grading rubric, stating the percentage deductions for each problem.

  • -10% for a minor physics error
  • -20% for a major physics error
  • -40% for two major physics errors
  • -75% for showing effort
  • -100% for an irrelevant or no answer


Labs begin the week of August 27th. The labs for Fall 2018 are a pilot program, specifically designed for the honors section. The activities will be open-ended and similar to real-life research procedures. Sign up for the lab sections PHYS 2232 A1 or A2. You will be held to the same grading and attendance policies as the regular introductory physics labs.

Attendance in lab is a course requirement. To pass this course, you must pass the laboratory portion with an average of 60% or more. Three unexcused absences from lab will result in automatic failure of the lab, and therefore, of the course.


Recitations begin the week of August 27th and will be led by the teaching assistant (TA). Here the TA will start a pertinent inquiry-based problem with concepts that are similar to the current homework or upcoming test. You will have to finish it and turn in your work at the end of the period. Tests will be held during the recitation time period when indicated in the schedule.

Each recitation will be graded on a scale of zero through ten. The first five points will be for participation. Your score on your work will be added to this value, giving everyone who participates a score in the 6–10 range for each recitation meeting.

Your work will be graded based on qualitative features of your solution, not necessarily on the rigorous accuracy of your final answer — i.e. it isn't so much what you answer, but how you arrive at that answer, that matters. Scores will be assigned on a five-point scale:

  • 1 Poor -- needs major improvement
  • 2 Fair -- minimally acceptable work, but needs significant improvement
  • 3 Good -- generally good work, needing some improvement
  • 4 Very Good -- good work, needing only minor improvement
  • 5 Excellent -- well-organized and detailed work, showing all relevant ideas and calculations