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CCOG for PHY 213 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
PHY 213
Course Title:
General Physics (Calculus)
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Topics include concepts in electromagnetism together with their relationship to practical applications. Prerequisites: PHY 211 and its prerequisite requirements. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This is a calculus-based physics course required for students majoring in engineering, physics and chemistry.  The course is transferable to other baccalaureate engineering programs.  Students should be aware of the program requirements of the institutions to which they wish to transfer.  This course conforms with the Oregon Block Transfer program.

Intended Outcomes for the course

After completion of this course, students will
1) Apply knowledge of electricity and magnetism to explain natural physical processes and related technological advances.
2) Use an understanding of calculus along with physical principles to effectively solve problems encountered in everyday life, further study in science, and in the professional world.
3) Design experiments and acquire data in order to explore physical principles, effectively communicate results, and critically evaluate related scientific studies.
4) Assess the contributions of physics to our evolving understanding of global change and sustainability while placing the development of physics in its historical and cultural context.

Course Activities and Design

Principles and techniques are presented through lectures and class demonstrations.  Students must register for lecture, one recitation, and one lab.  Laboratory work will be performed in order to clarify certain facts in the lecture materials.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade.  The methods may include one or more of the following tools:  examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, laboratory reports, research papers, small group problem solving of questions arising from application of course concepts and concerns to actual experience, oral presentations, or maintenance of a personal lab manual.
Specific evaluation procedures will be given in class.  In general, grading will be based on accumulated points from homework assignments, tests, final exam, and labs.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


The goal is to gain knowledge and develop skills in the basic concept of electric forces.


  1. To learn the concepts of charge and how charges interact with each other.
  2. To be able to distinguish between conductors, insulators, semiconductors and superconductors.
  3. Quantify charge interactions using Coulomb’s Law and apply to problems in both one and two dimensions.


The goal is to introduce the field concept and apply it to electric fields for a variety of charge configurations.


  1. To learn the definition of the electric field, E.
  2. Derive the electric field due to a point charge using Coulomb’s Law.
  3. Learn to calculate the electric field due to multiple charges, including a dipole configuration.
  4.  Derive the electric field for continuous charge distributions using an integral approach. Configurations should include one dimensional configurations (ring of charge, line of charge) and a two dimensional configuration (charged disk).
  5. Understand how a point charge placed in an external electric field will behave.
  6. Understand the behavior of a dipole charge configuration placed in an electric field, including both net force and torque.


The goal is introduce Gauss’ Law and to use it to calculate electric fields due to various charge distributions.


  1. To understand the definitions: (a) vectorial surface area element; (b) flux of a vector field (the flux of fields other than E will be involved); (c) open and closed surfaces.
  2. To introduce Gauss’ Law and clearly understand how to apply it.
  3. Use Gauss’ Law to calculate the electric field due to various configurations including: point charge, line of charge, shell of charge, uniformly charged sphere, sheet of charge and a conducting shell.
  4. Electric fields inside and outside charged, isolated conductors should be discussed.


The goal is to develop an understanding of the concept of electric potential.


  1. To develop an understanding of electric potential by consider electric potential energy.
  2. To understand equipotential surfaces and how they relate to electric field lines.
  3. To derive a relationship between electric potential and the electric field such that we can use our knowledge of the electric field to calculate the electric potential.
  4. To use the above relationship top calculate electric potential around a single point charge.
  5. To learn how to apply the above formula in order to calculate electric potential due to various charge distributions including multiple point charges and a line of continuous charge.
  6. To understand how to find the electric field using electric potential information. This can be done both graphically and via calculation.
  7. To understand how to calculate the potential energy associated with a system of charges.
  8. To know what the electric field and electric potential in, and around, a conductor look like. To understand what a Faraday cage is and how it works.


The goal is to gain knowledge of what a capacitor is, how it works, and to understand how capacitance is affected by the presence of a dielectric.


  1. To learn and understand the definition of the capacitance (C) of a capacitor. 
  2. To be able to derive the formula for capacitance for various capacitor configurations including a parallel plate capacitor, a cylindrical capacitor and a spherical capacitor.
  3. To learn the formulas for the case of several capacitors connected in series and for the case of several capacitors connected in parallel.  The student should be able to apply these formulas to find the equivalent capacitance for a network of multiple capacitors connected in a combination of both series and parallel.
  4. To understand how electrical energy is stored in capacitors and to learn the formula for calculating this energy.
  5. To understand the effect of inserting a dielectric material between the plates of a capacitor on the capacitance and the electric field within the capacitor.


The goal is to understand the concepts of current and resistance.

  1. To learn the definition of current and understand current in terms of electron flow. 
  2. To learn the definition of resistance R and Ohm's law.
  3. To understand the physical factors influencing resistance and introduce the concept of resistivity.
  4. To learn about electrical power and how to calculate the power dissipated by a resistor.
  5. To learn the definitions of, and relations between, the following quantities: the current density J, the electric field, E, within the conductor, the resistivity, and the drift velocity of the electrons in the conductor.


The goal is to understand how to create current and how current and voltage vary in circuits consisting of multiple elements (batteries, resistors and capacitors).

  1. To understand what is meant by electromotive force (emf) and to learn how to include the effect of the internal resistance of an emf source.
  2. To introduce Kirchhoff’s Rules for calculating voltage and current in circuits.
  3. To learn how to find the effective resistance of multiple resistors added in both series and parallel.
  4. To learn how to effectively solve for the voltages and currents in multi-loop circuits containing a network of resistors.
  5. To learn how current in a circuit is affected by the addition of a capacitor in the circuit. Both charging and discharging of the capacitor should be considered.


The goal is to gain an understanding of magnetic fields and their relationship to electrical fields.


  1. To introduce the concept of a magnetic field and introduce different sources of magnetic fields.
  2. To understand magnetic interactions and how a compass works within the Earth’s magnetic field.
  3. To learn to calculate the magnetic force (Lorentz force) acting on a moving, charged particle.
  4. To be able to calculate the resultant force due to simultaneous E and B fields.
  5. To learn about circulating charged particles and the uses of this science in cyclotrons and synchrotrons.
  6. To be able to calculate the resultant force due to simultaneous E and B fields and understand the significance of the Hall Effect experiment.
  7. To be able to calculate the magnetic force on a current carrying wire.
  8. To learn about the torque on a loop of current and the application of this in electric motors.


The goal is be able to identify and calculate the magnetic field around a current carrying wire.


  1. To learn the Biot-Savart Law and to use it to calculate the magnetic field around a current carrying wire.
  2. To learn to calculate the force between two parallel current carrying wires.
  3. To learn Ampere’s Law and to apply it in order to calculate the magnetic field around various configurations of current carrying wires.
  4. To learn about the magnetic fields inside and outside solenoids and toroids.
  5. To introduce the concept of the magnetic dipole moment.


The goal is to introduce magnetic induction and how this concept can be incorporated in an electrical circuit.


  1. To understand how an electric current can be induced by a changing magnetic field.
  2. To learn Faraday’s Law for calculating the induced emf.
  3. To learn Lenz’ Law for determining the direction of the induced current.
  4. To learn about inductors and inductance (L).
  5. To understand self-inductance in a simple circuit containing a variable resistor and an inductor.
  6. To be able to calculate time varying currents in simple RL circuits.
  7. To learn the formula for the energy stored in an inductor and for the energy density associated with the B-field in an inductor (OPTIONAL).
  8. To learn and understand the definition of mutual inductance M (OPTIONAL).