Physics 142L

General Physics II

Duke University — Summer 2013

 Instructor: Lawrence Evans

Assistants: Zhonglin Han, Meizhen Shi, Yang Yang, Yuqi Zhang

Information :

Unit I:

Unit II:

Unit III:

Unit IV:

General Information
Course Structure
Exams and Grades 

Scope of Course

Answer Keys

Formula Sheet

Electrostatics 1

Electrostatics 2

Electrostatics 3

DC Circuits

Magnetostatics 1

Magnetostatics 2



AC Circuits

Field Energy


Lenses and Mirrors


Wave Optics 1

Wave Optics 2

Modern Physics 1

Modern Physics 2


The titles in the lectures refer to the sections in the class notes (at links above). Assignments for discussion sessions, in pdf form, are found at the link given. Answers to items  in the assignments marked with * are to be written out and submitted at the beginning of the afternoon discussion session at which the topic is discussed.



1-5 July

8-12 July

15-19 July

22-26 July

29 July - 2 August

5-10 August



Lecture: Electrostatics 1

Lecture: Electrostatics 3

Lecture: Electrodynamics

Lecture: AC Circuits

Lecture: Applications

Lecture: Modern Physics 1


Lecture: Electrostatics 2

Discussion: Assignment 3

Lecture: Electrodynamics

Lecture: Field Energy

Lecture: Wave Optics 1

Lecture: Modern Physics 2

Discussion: Assignment 1

Lecture: DC Circuits

Discussion: Assignment 5

Discussion: Assignment 7

Discussion: Assignment 9

Discussion: Assignment 11


Lecture: Electrostatics 2

Exam I
(through Electrostatics 3)

Lecture: Inductance

Lecture: Light

Exam III
(through Applications)

Review, Part 1

Discussion: Assignment 2


Holiday, no class

Lecture: Magnetostatics 1

Lecture: AC Circuits

Lecture: Lenses & Mirrors

Lecture: Wave Optics 2

Review, Part 2

Discussion: Assignment 4

Discussion: Assignment 6

Discussion: Assignment 8

Discussion: Assignment 10


Lecture: Electrostatics 3

Lecture: Magnetostatics 2

Exam II
(through Inductance)

Lecture: Lenses & Mirrors

Lecture: Wave Optics 2

Saturday 10 August
Final Exam 9:00-12:00 a.m.

Discussion: Assignment 2

Lecture: Modern Physics 1



Assignment 1

Assignment 3

Assignment 5

Assignment 7

Assignment 9

Assignment 11



Assignment 4

Assignment 6

Assignment 8

Assignment 10



M, Tu



Magnetic forces


Geometric optics


W, Th


DC circuits

Faraday's law

AC circuits

Wave optics


General Information

Physics142L is taught using lectures, discussion sessions, labs and the internet.

The lectures and discussion sessions are conducted by Dr. Evans. The whole class meets in Rm. 130, Monday through Friday, from 11:00 until 12:15. These sessions include lectures and some discussion sessions. The whole class has two hour discussion sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15 to 3:15, in Rm. 154.

There are lab sessions once or twice a week in Rm. 147, in the afternoons. These are conducted by the assistants. The lab section schedule is as shown below:

1 Monday 1:15-3:15
Wednesday 3:30-5:30
2 Tuesday 3:30-5:30
Thursday 3:30-5:30

Online versions of the lab instructions are here.

There is no specific text for the course, but it is strongly recommended that students have a copy of one of the standard books at this level. Such a book is useful for alternative discussions of the material, useful graphics and worked out examples. Editions do not matter. Some of the books that have been used for this course at Duke are by these authors:

(Be sure the book is intended for a calculus based course; typically the title says the book is for scientists and engineers.)

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Course Structure

At the top of this page are links to sections of a complete set of notes in pdf format on the material covered in the course. These notes are the primary guide to the material in the course. The recommended books are supplements.

Lectures summarize the main topics in the material, but are not detailed expository accounts of it. Even if expository lectures were an effective way to teach a course such as this (which they are not) there is not enough time in the morning sessions to cover all the material that way. Instead, lecture sessions are organized on the assumption that the students have already studied the material in the notes and perhaps read the corresponding sections in one of the books, so the lectures are devoted largely to outlining, illustrating and reinforcing what is in the notes, and to demonstrations, worked example problems, and questions.

Discussion sessions are devoted to discussion of the assignments listed in the weekly schedules at the top of this page. It is assumed that the student has attempted to answer the questions and solve the problems before the discussion session in which they will be addressed.

In these sessions the class is divided into small working groups of four students who collaborate in arriving at solutions. The instructor assigns to each group one of the questions or problems. After a working time, during which the instructor (and an assistant) are available for coaching and suggestions, a member is chosen by the group to explain the answer to the whole class; this member writes on the board equations and diagrams appropriate for the explanation. The instructor calls on the groups, in the order of the items in the assignment. No grades are recorded for the presentations.

At the end of each afternoon discussion session there is a brief (roughly 20 minutes) graded quiz on the material just discussed. There are no quizzes in the discussion sessions in the morning sessions. (Exception: because of the 4 July holiday the quiz on Assignment 2 will occur at the end of the morning session on 5 July.)

Lab exercises are carried out once or twice per week, as shown in the schedule. A total of eight labs will be done.

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Exams and Grades

There are three 75 minute in-class exams, given during the morning period, with a maximum of 100 points each. The three-hour comprehensive final exam has a maximum of 200 points. This 500 points constitutes the total exam score for the course.

For a student whose final exam percent score is higher than the average score on the in-class exams, the final exam is given extra weight so that the total exam score is calculated as 50% in-class exams and 50% final exam.

If a student misses an in-class exam for an excused reason, the score on that exam is replaced by the percentage score on the final exam.

Simple scientific calculators will be provided for use on exams and discussion session quizzes. The formula sheet (link at the top of this page) can be used for exams and quizzes.

The handed-in homework problems (denoted in the assignments by *) are to be written out and submitted at the beginning of the discussion session covering that material. These will be checked for completeness, but not graded. A score from 0 to 5 will be assigned, based on the number turned in. Problems not turned in will count against this score, one point per missing problem. Discussion among students in preparing the homework assignments is encouraged, but direct copying is a violation of the Honor Code.

The discussion session quizzes will cover the material discussed since the last quiz. They are intended to reinforce what was recently learned and to give practice in the kinds of questions that might be on the exams. Absences from quizzes are recorded as zeroes. At the end of the course, the lowest two quiz grades will be dropped for each student.

The lowest grade on one lab will also be dropped at the end of the course.

The various graded material contributes to the final score as follows:

Exam and quiz keys, and sample exams from previous versions of this course, are posted  here.

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Office Hours

Dr. Evans holds office hours on Monday and Wednesday, 2:45 to 4:45 p.m., in Rm 154. Students are well advised to take advantage of these hours. His Duke office is 043 Physics.

The assistants staff a help room in Rm 147, 6-8 p.m. on Monday, 9-11 a.m. on Tuesday.