Physics 202 - General Physics - Spring 2005

Final grades available here


Physics 202 is the second semester of a 2-semester introduction to physics that is designed mainly for engineering, science and medical students. The main topics are electricity, magnetism, waves, light and optics. There are two lectures, two discussions and one three-hour lab per week. Our goal is for you to develop an understanding and intuition for physics so that you can solve practical problems. We feel that the only way to accomplish this goal is by thinking about and solving lots of problems and experimenting in the lab. We hope that Physics 202 will develop the critical thinking and collaborative skills you will need in your future career.

Prerequisites: Physics 201

Materials Needed:

Other material (not required):


Lecture 1: Tuesday and Thursday at 8:50 AM in 1300 Sterling Hall
Lecture 2: Tuesday and Thursday at 9:55 AM in 1300 Sterling Hall
You may attend either of these lectures. The lectures are to supplement, not substitute for, reading and studying the text. We expect you to do the assigned reading before coming to lecture. We encourage questions, but realize you may feel intimidated by the large class. Ask them anyway! They will be shared by Profs. Wesley Smith (4275 Chamberlin, 262-4690, and Susan Coppersmith (B301A Sterling, 262-8358, Photos of the blackboards from lectures available here.


Follow the "General Instructions" in the laboratory manual (pages 1-3).  Information about the laboratories is also found on . The experiments are to be written up during the laboratory period in the lab notebook. The lab notebook is not to be taken from the laboratory. YOU MUST COMPLETE AT LEAST 10 OF THE 11 LABORATORY ASSIGNMENTS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THE COURSE. You must get written permission from only your lab TA to take a make-up lab. Make-up time is given for the labs covered in each exam period during the week of the exam only.


The homework problems are assigned in the syllabus for each week and are due at the first meeting of your discussion section after the week of the assignment. Homework will count toward your grade. Feel free to discuss homework with others. The solutions will be explained in discussion section and available on on the Wednesday of the week when the assignment is due, with earlier releases provided before the exams. There are also resources available on the Text Publisher Web Page,.

Study Skills:

It is difficult to learn physics without asking lots of questions. The more active you are, the easier it will become. We have tried to offer as many ways as possible for you to ask questions: discussion sections, office hours, email, labs, etc. Never be shy about asking a question! Chances are half the class has the same one. We strongly recommend studying with other students in the class. Be sure you can completely solve all the exercises in the main textbook as well as the homework

Discussion Sections:

Your discussion sections and lab are taught by Teaching Assistants who have a lot of experience with physics. You will spend at least 5 hours a week with your TA -- take advantage of every moment! There are two discussion periods each week and you are expected to attend them both.There will be a 10-minute quiz generally given at the beginning of the second discussion period each week. It will consist of a problem similar to one of the assigned homework problems.

Office Hours:

Teaching Assistants have office hours in the consultation room (2312 Sterling). You may go to the office hours of any TA. Profs. Coppersmith and Smith  have office hours from 11 am to noon, Tues. and Thurs. You may also make an appointment for other times. Additional tutoring resources are listed here.

Electronic Aids:

All of the instructors are available by e-mail, and there is an e-mail list for the entire class that will occasionally be used for important announcements. The course has a home page on the World Wide Web including sample examinations and homework solutions at .

Honors Credit:

The course may be taken for honors credit. Honors students are required to attend regularly an additional lecture on Fridays at 8:50 am in 1300 Sterling. Attendance will be taken.


DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE IF YOU ARE NOT SURE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND ALL EXAMS (i.e. do not take a course that meets or has exams on Wednesdays, Feb. 16, Mar. 16, or April 20 at 5:45-6:45 PM or a final at 10:05 AM on Friday, May 13). Makeup exams will not be given. The average of the other exam scores will be substituted for the missing exam, provided you have a written excuse from a physician, dean, or academic advisor only. There will be three one-hour exams on the dates shown. Click here for locations. You may bring one 5" x 8" card (crib sheet) to each exam (8.5" x 11" for the final). We strongly encourage consulting the sample exams on and attending the review sessions .


The course grade will be made up of 75% exams (15% per hour of exam), 25% discussion, homework and labs.


We want Physics 202 to be the best learning experience you have at UW-Madison. Please feel free to offer suggestions (by email or office hours or even by an anonymous note) to any of the teaching staff.
Physics 202 Course Schedule
Week   Date (2005)   Chapter  Homework Lab 
T Jan. 18   Chap 23  8,15,20,26,30 No Lab 
  R 20   Chap 23  38,44,49,54,57  
T 25   Chap 24  4,8,12,24,26,41,58,62 E-1 , part 1
  R 27   Chap 25  4,6  
T Feb. 1   Chap 25  8,18,20,37,42,50,52 E-1 , part 2
  R 3   Chap 26  5,29,38  
T 8   Chap 26  14,31,43,61 EC-2
  R 10   Chap 27  11,14,16,42,43,44   
T 15   Chap 28  2,6,14,20,27 Make-up 
W 16   EXAM I: 5:45 PM  (Ch. 23 - 26)
  R 17   Chap 28  32,36,42,50,64  
T 22   Chap 29  8,10,14,27,34,41 EC-3
  R 24   Chap 29,30  (29)- 48,55, (30)-1,20  
T Mar. 1   Chap 30  26,33,38,40,51 E-6
  R 3   Chap 31  2,9,20,28,58  
T 8   Chap 31,32 (31)-31,41 EC-7
  R 10   Chap 32  4,6,22,36,38,39,51,54  
T 15   Chap 33  10,15,21,26,32 Make-up 
W 16   EXAM II: 5:45 PM  (Ch. 27 - 31)
  R 17   Chap 33  40,46,54,56,62  
10  T 29   Chap 16  18,19,22,34,44 E-8, E-9 
  R 31   Chap 17 3,12,20,26,37  
11  T Apr. 5   Chap 18  8,14,21,38,52,58 E-8, E-9  cont'd
  R 7   Chap 34  4,24,30,37  
12 T 12   Chap 34,35 (34)-33,42,61 SC-1 , S-2
  R 14   Chap 35  2,15,18,29,30,40,41  
13  T 19   Chap 36  2,12,18,27,40 Make-up 
W 20   EXAM III: 5:45 PM  (Ch. 32-34, 16-18)
  R 21   Chap 36  34,48,51,56,75  
14  T 26   Chap 37  1,16,26,40,52,54 LC-2
  R 28   Chap 37,38 (38)-6,24,36,47  
15  T May 3   Chap 38  LC-1
  R 5   Review   
  F 13   FINAL: 10:05 AM  (Ch. 16-18, 23-38)