student msu 
PHY 232 - Spring 2005 

PHY 232 - Spring 2006--

Michigan State University

Instructor Information

Professor James Linnemann (section 1)
Office: 3245 BPS
Phone: (517) 355-9200 x 2125

Professor Bernard Pope (section 2)
Office: 3233 BPS
Phone: (517) 355-9200 x 2127

Dr. David Benson (section 3)
Phone: Please contact me by email or in person, as I have a shared office
Office: 3248 BPS

Teaching Assistants:
Chip Fay
Peng Tian
Yujie Chen


You are encouraged to ask questions in class and to the instructors in the help room to better understand the concepts and get assistance with problem solving. There are also very useful web-based discussion features described below under Homework Information.

Course Description and Prerequisites:

Class Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
Section 1: from 1:50 to 2:40 PM, room 1410 BPS,
Section 2: from 3:00 to 3:50 PM, room 1410 BPS.

Monday, Wednesday:
Section 3: from 6:30 to 7:50 PM, room 1410 BPS.

Office Hours

Professor Pope's office hours:
In the Strosacker center (Tuesday 10-11), or by appointment.

Professor Linnemann's office hours:
In the Strosacker center (Tuesday 5-6) , or by appointment.

Dr. Benson's office hours:
In the Strosacker center (after class Monday night) , or by appointment.


Because of the volume of material to cover and the limited class-time, reading is an essential part of the course. Class time will be devoted to understanding concepts, problem solving examples and demonstrations rather than exhaustively covering the material in the book. Material not covered in class but in the reading assignments may appear in homework, exams and class quizzes. Reading assignments are shown in the Course Schedule. The reading assignment should be completed before class.

Help Room Hours

The Strosacker Physics Learning Center (1248 BPS) and/or the room 1240 BPS will be available for students to use for group study. Instructors for this course will staff the center during the hours. Many other classes also use the learning center, and access may be limited. Please be aware that instructors from other courses in the learning center should not be expected to answer your questions, though they may be approached if they are not busy.

Homework Information

- There will be fourteen homework assignments. You will use the "Learning Online Network with CAPA" (LON-CAPA) computer system. The homework sets can be accessed at from any networked computer at any time using a web-browser. (Cookies and JavaScript must be enabled.) Log in using your MSU Pilot username and password. Select the PHY 232 class. The homework sets are stored in a folder called Homework Sets. If you are lost, click on the NAV button on the Remote Control: it always takes you to the main page, from which you can access the top level folders. There is also an online getting started guide, and further help on using the system.

- Homework assignments will be open for entering solutions approximately 1 week before they are due. The closing time for the assignment will be 7:00 AM on the Wednesday in the schedule. Late homework will not be accepted: the closing time will be strictly enforced. Enter your solutions early to avoid computer/network woes close to the deadline.

- Here is a list of units and prefixes to use with your homework solutions. Here are some additional constants you may find useful (especially for the modern physics part of the course).

- A hint on making the computer happy: if the answer is an integer, it's usually safer to add a decimal point after the integer.

Communicating inside LON-CAPA:

- Questions about solving homework problems can also be discussed using the "feedback" feature of LON-CAPA. Click the FDBK button on the Remote Control. If you check "Contribution to course discussion of resource", your message will be visible to everyone in the course, and others in the course can respond to your questions. Posts can be made anonymously if you wish. (The instructors however will always be able to see the names.)

- You may communicate to your instructor your questions and comments about the course content, grades, or administrative problems. Hitting FDBK on the Remote Control and checking "Question/Comment/Feedback about course policy" but leaving "Contribution to Course Discussion" unchecked is the way we prefer you do this. You can also send email to the addresses given above, or click the COM button on the Remote Control to use the simple email system inside LON-CAPA. These messages will only be seen by the recipient.

- You can also use COM to contact other members of the class by their MSU email address.

Exam Information

- There will be three 50-minute midterm exams during regular class hours. The exams will be closed book, but you may use one 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of hand-written notes and equations (both sides are allowed, but don't write more than you can search effectively). The exams will cover the Chapters indicated in the Schedule. Material from class, homework and reading assignments will be included. A student ID, calculator and #2 pencil are required to take the exam. Please note the following:

- Students must work individually. Students observed exchanging information (talking, copying, exchanging data remotely between calculators) will be given a zero on the exam.

- Evidence of an serious conflict (eg. a note from a doctor, your Dean, a judge(!) etc.) will be required to attend a makeup exam. Attendance at a makeup exam must be approved by the instructor before the end of the last class before the exam.

- There will be one 2-hour final exam. This will be cumulative and will cover material from the entire course including things covered in class, homework and reading assignments. The place and time for this exam will be communicated through LON-CAPA and announced in class. The final will be closed book, but you may use up to four sheets of hand-written equations or notes (one per midterm plus one more). Students must work individually. A student ID, calculator and #2 pencil are required. If necessary, there will be a make-up final for students with a clash in their final exam schedule. Attendance at the make-up final must be approved by the instructors before the end of the last scheduled class.

- Multiple-choice quizzes for extra credit will be given randomly in class during the semester. You will need clickers to participate in the quizzes.

Schedule and Deadlines




Mon 1/9 - Fri 1/13

each week:

M-F sections 1, 2

M-W section 3

Electric Forces and Electric Fields
Set 1, Due Wed 1/18
  Monday, Jan 16
No class (Martin Luther King Day)
Wed 1/18 - Fri 1/20 Electrical Energy and Capacitance
Set 2, Due Wed 1/25
Mon 1/23 - Fri 1/27 Current and Resistance
Set 3, Due Wed 2/1
Mon 1/30- Fri 2/3 Direct Current Circuits
Set 4, Due Wed 2/8
  Wednesday, Feb 1 (all sections)

First Midterm Exam

room to be determined

Covers Weeks 1-3
practice exam 1
Mon 2/6 - Fri 2/10 Magnetism
Set 5, Due Wed 2/15
Mon 2/13 - Fri 2/17 Induced Voltages and Inductance
Set 6, Due Wed 2/22
Mon 2/20 - Fri 2/24 AC Circuits and EM Waves
Set 7, Due Wed 3/1
Mon 2/27- Fri 3/3 Reflection and Refraction of Light
Set 8, Due Wed 3/15
  Mon 3/6 - Fri 3/10 No classes (Spring Break)    
Mon 3/13 - Fri 3/17 Mirrors and Lenses
Set 9, Due Wed 3/22

Wednesday, March 15

(all sections)

Second Midterm Exam

room to be determined

Covers Weeks 4-8 practice exam 2
Mon 3/20 - Fri 3/24 Wave Optics
Set 10, Due Wed 3/29
Mon 3/27 - Fri 3/31 Optical Instruments
Set 11, Due Wed 4/5
Mon 4/3 - Fri4/7 Relativity
Set 12, Due Wed 4/12
  Wednesday, Apr 5 (all sections)

Third Midterm Exam

room to be determined

Covers Weeks 9-11 (Ch 23-25)
practice exam 3
Mon 4/10 - Fri 4/14 Quantum Physics
Set 13, Due Wed 4/19
Mon 4/17 - Fri 4/21 Atomic Physics
Set 14, Due Wed 4/26
Mon 4/24 - Fri 4/28 Nuclear and Particle Physics
29, 30

Monday, May 1

(all sections)

Final Exam, 8-10 pm


Section 1: 138 Chemistry

Section 2: 102 Conrad

Section 3: 108 Bessey

Covers entire course.
practice final


Makeup Final


to be determined

Only with written prior permission of instructor

For example: time conflict with another final, or 3 exams in a calendar day (not 24 hours)


Grading Information

Grades will be assigned based on scores in homework, exams and quizzes as follows:

- Homework: 10% of the grade; three Midterm Exams: 18% each; Final Exam: 36%

- Quiz scores will count as extra credit, but no more than 5%.

- The course will be graded on the absolute scale in the table below. The requirements for a given grade may be lowered, but will not be raised.

Grade Awarded
Minimum Average

Honors Option

If you wish to pursue an honors option for the course, you must arrange this with your instructor during the first week of class.

Web Links

Physics Department Homepage:

Learning Resource Center (free tutors)


Serway and Faughn: College Physics (7th Edition), Publisher: Thomson
Brooks/Cole (2005). Second Semester version, or full text. Here is a list of errors in the textbook. You will also need a H-ITT clicker.

Many students find that the Fifth or Sixth edition serves their needs as the material and the ordering of the material is very similar.

The publisher's web site has a number of free resources to help you study.