Physics 1C Syllabus

August 11, 2013

Ken Cheney





Phone:                         626 585-7134

Physics Department:             

Office Hours:              In E-310 posted by the door of my office.  Any time you can find me is OK too.


Description:                Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics


1. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the principles of electromagnetism and optics. Apply this understanding to analyze various electromagnetic and optical systems.

2. Employ proper problem-solving techniques to explore both familiar and new scenarios in electromagnetism and optics.

3. Be able to use equipment common in laboratory environments to investigate electromagnetic and optical phenomena. Understand the proper and safe use and limitations of laboratory equipment.

4. Understand that laboratory work requires incremental improvements before reaching a successful approach. Be able to assess the reliability of experimental results based on internal evidence such as estimated error.


Prerequisites:             Physics 1B, Two semesters of Calculus

Text Books:                 Lecture: “Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Volume 2”, Editions 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9: by Serway and Jewett.   You do NOT need the extended version.

                                    Lab: “Physics 1C Lab Manual”, Cheney

These are available at the Book Mart on the North side of Colorado Blvd.

Computer:                  Your ID and password are on your registration paperwork.

Schedule:                    Lecture:   About 2/3 of a chapter a week, faster in summer or winter!

                                    Lab:  See lab schedule on

Grading:                      Lecture about ¾, Lab about ¼ of the total grade.

Lecture: Tests every two or three chapters.  100 points each

Homework counts 5 points per chapter.

Final:  Short if doing OK, comprehensive if needed for a makeup (makes up all Tests, not quizzes).

                                    For full credit on homework and tests:

1.      Most of the problems must be tried.

2.      Most of the problems tried must be done “correctly”.

3.      You MUST show how you worked the problem:

a.      BIG sketch

b.      Explain the physics used

c.       Show symbolic solution

d.      Put in numbers with units.

e.      Show the answer with units.

Lab: Improvements made during lab, Lab reports, predictions, practicals, 10 points per week.

Quizzes: Short quizzes, either group or individual, most days.  Count toward lecture and lab total, 5 points each.

Attendance:               Students are expected to attend every session of class.  It is especially important to attend the first session or make prior arrangements with the instructor.  Otherwise a student may be dropped.  A student may be dropped when the total number of absences, regardless of cause, is equal to the two weeks of meetings.  Students have the responsibility of officially withdrawing from college or dropping from class when they stop attending, otherwise an “F” grade may be given.

Missing:                      Tests:  Make up on the final

Labs: Go to another lab the same week.  If more than three labs are overdue or missing the student may be dropped.

            The lowest lab is dropped so you can miss one lab for no penalty.