PHYS 262: General Physics
Waves, Thermodynamics, Electrostatics, etc.
(Course Syllabus)

Semester: Summer 2001
Instructor: Dr Hyok-Jon Kwon
TA: Mr Hock-Seng Goh

Lectures: MTuWThF 9:30-10:50 (Rm 0405)
Recitation: MW 11:00-12:00 (Rm 4220)
Labs: MW 13:00-16:00 (Rm 3219)

Course Websites: for general info
and WebCT for detailed info about the course.

Course Description:

PHYS 262 is the second semester of a three-semester calculus-based introductory course in physics for scientists and engineers. It satisfies the physics requirement of the Engineering College. The course covers oscillations and waves, fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, and some circuits.


"Physics for Scientists and Engineers," volume 1 and 2, by Serway and Beichner (fifth edition), Saunders College Publishing. There are other alternative choices for personal use as the main reading material. If you wish to choose another textbook to read, you need to consult the instructor or the TA beforehand.


Calculus as a mathematical tool is required. Also knowledge of Newtonian mechanics (PHYS 161) is required to proceed with this course.


You need a portable calculator equipped with transcendental functions and non-integer powers in order to work out problems in homework sets, exams, and the labs. A normal scientific/engineering calculator will do.

Grading Policy:

Homework 30 %, two mid-terms 25 %, the final exam 17.5 %, quizzes 7.5 %, and the lab 20 %. The final letter grades will be determined from the bell-curve fit. A/B line will be set around one standard deviation above the average, and B/C line around the average.


Two sets of homework will be due each week (one on Tuesday and the other on Friday.) No late submission will be accepted without a very strong reason. You are encouraged to discuss the homework problems with other people if you cannot solve them by yourself. However, it is very important to work out the problems by yourself after the discussion is over. The point of homework assignment is for you to learn and understand the subject. If you have trouble working out the homework problems, come to talk to the TA or the instructor immediately. Copying homework solutions of others is NOT allowed. At the end of the semester, the homework set with the lowest points (the one with the greatest number of points taken off) will be dropped from the final grade.


There will be short quizzes on Wednesday recitations. These will test (a) your qualitative understanding of the material covered in previous lectures and (b) your understanding of previous homework problems. Out of six sets of quizzes, the set with the lowest points will be dropped from the grade.

Reading Assignments:

There will be daily reading assignments. It is important to read daily assignments and prepare questions before you come to class.

Mid-term exams:

Two mid-term exams will be given. (See the class schedule.)

Final exam:

The final exam will mostly cover the material that was not covered by the two mid-terms. Approximately 30 % of the questions will be about the entire material covered over the semester, however.

Lab (PHYS 262a):

In order to pass PHYS 262, you have to pass PHYS 262a. If you do pass PHYS 262a, the grade from the lab will make up 20 % of the total points in PHYS 262.


If you miss exams/quizzes/labs or delay homework submission for very strong reasons and you wish to make it up, you need to provide supporting documents or witnesses to the instructor. Otherwise there will be no make-up and you will receive zero points for what you missed.

Academic Honesty:

The University of Maryland has strict regulations concerning cheating which require that all suspected incidents of cheating be reported. Any student found guilty of cheating faces severe penalties ranging from reduction of grade to dismissal.

Course Schedule:

Mid-term 1: July 30 (80 min)
Mid-term 2: August 10 (80 min)
Final exam: August 24 (110 min)

Week M Tu W Th F Material
1 July 16

First day
of Summer II

Exp. 0

17 18

Quiz 1

Exp. 1

19 20

HW1 due

Last day to drop without W

Ch. 13, 15, 16
2 23

Exp. 2


HW2 due


Quiz 2

Exp. 3

26 27

HW3 due

Ch. 16, 17, 18
3 30

Mid-term 1

Exp. 4


HW4 due

August 1

Quiz 3

Exp. 5

2 3

HW5 due

Ch. 19, 20, 21
4 6

Exp. 6


HW6 due


Quiz 4

Exp. 7

9 10

HW7 due

Last day to drop with W

Ch. 22, 23, 24
5 13

Exp. 8


HW8 due


Quiz 5

Make-up exp. (0-4)

16 17

HW9 due

Ch. 24, 25, 26
6 20

Make-up exp. (5-8)


HW10 due


Quiz 6


23 24

Final exam
HW11 due

Ch. 27, 28