University of Maryland

Department of Physics


Spring 2010              Prof. Carter Hall          Physics 272/272H


Title: PHYS 272/272H Introductory Physics: Fields: Second semester of a calculus based general physics course. Universal gravitation, electric and magnetic fields and potentials, simple circuits, Maxwell's equations in integral form. Continues the application of mathematics to conceptual models, now with more abstract components.

Prerequisites: (PHYS171 or PHYS161) and MATH141.


Corequisite: MATH241. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: PHYS272 or PHYS260 and PHYS261 (Formerly: PHYS262) or PHYS142.



Prof. Carter Hall, Room 2220B, Phone: 5-6103, e-mail:


Office Hours: By appointment. Also feel free to drop by my office. If I'm there, I'll be happy to talk to you.



Three meetings weekly:  T,H....... 12:30 pm- 1:45 pm  (PHYS 1201)  

                                           F...........12:00pm - 12:50 pm (PHYS 1201)

Required Texts:

Physics for Scientists and Engineers (4th Edition) by  Douglas C. Giancoli,  ISBN 978-013-227559-0.


Additional Resources: You will need a WebAssign account ( to turn in your homework. WebAssign charges a $15.45 fee for their service.





The homework assignment will be posted on the course website each Thursday. It is the student's responsibility to check the website for the assignment each week.  Homework will be collected at the beginning of class each Tuesday (except for exam weeks.)


The homework assignment will consist of two parts:


                1) Webassign: The first part of the homework assignment will be graded using WebAssign (, a web-based homework utility. Each student will need to purchase an account from WebAssign for $15.45. The WebAssign homework will be due each Tuesday morning at 5 AM, except for the first assignment, which is due Thursday, January 28th (second day of class).


                2) Handwritten: Additional homework problems will be posted on the course website each week, and students will turn in handwritten solutions to these problem. The instructor will randomly choose several of these problems for grading.  The handwritten problems will be graded on a scale from zero to three: three points if completely correct, two points if mostly correct, one point if mostly incorrect, zero points for entirely incorrect or no answer.


The homework grade will be divided 50/50 between the WebAssign portion and the handwritten portion. No make-up homework will be accepted, but the lowest two homework grades will be dropped when your final grade is calculated.


WebAssign Instructions:

Detailed instructions for using Webassign are posted on the course website:


If you have used Webassign before, you can re-use your existing username and password. Otherwise, you will need to create an account.


To enroll in Phys272, you will need this class key: umd 2160 4773


The charge for using Webassign is $15.45. You can pay this charge online with a credit card, or by purchasing an access code at the University Bookstore.  There is a grace period of two weeks, during which you can use Webassign without paying. After the grace period, your access to Webassign will be blocked until you pay the charge.


The first Webassign homework assignment is due on the second day of class, Thursday, January 28th.


Pre-lecture reading assignment and reading quizzes:

You are expected to do the reading assignment from the textbook before each class.  The assignment for each class is listed in the class schedule and on the course website.


To encourage you to do the reading, we will have occasional pop quizzes at the beginning of class. The quizzes should be easy if you have done the reading assignment. They will be collected ten minutes after class begins. The quiz will be available for pick-up five minutes before class starts. No make-up quizzes will be offered, but your lowest two quiz grades will be dropped.



Class time will be spent on a mixture of lecture material, lecture demonstrations, and multiple-choice conceptual questions which students will discuss with each other and the instructor. Note that we do not have enough time to cover all of material during class. Nevertheless, students will be responsible for all of the material in the reading, whether it is discussed in class or not.



We will have three in-class exam plus a final exam. The final exam will take place on Tuesday May 18, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in PHYS 1201.


Honors Section:

Honors students will be required to complete the 272 homework plus additional 272H homework problems. There may also be additional exam questions for students enrolled in 272H.


Honors students will also complete an honors project, to be approved by the instructor. Honors students will meet with the each other and the instructor once a month to discuss the status of their projects. The first meeting will take place the first week of the semester. Each student will prepare a presentation based on their project to be given to the other honors students at the end of the semester.  





Three in-class exams



Final Exam



Reading Quizzes








Three in-class exams



Final Exam



Reading Quizzes






Honors project