University of Maryland

Department of Physics


Spring 2011              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 4211B, Phone: 5-6103, e-mail:


Office Hours: I will not hold scheduled office hours, but you are free to drop by my office at any time. To make sure that I'll be there when you come by, you can schedule an appointment with me, either in person or via email.



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 $22.95 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 $22.95. The WebAssign homework will be due each Tuesday at 12:30 PM, except for the first assignment, which is due Thursday, January 27th (the 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 9123 9288


The charge for using Webassign is $22.95. 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 27th.



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.


Pre-lecture reading assignment:


Unfortunately, we do not have time to cover all the material in class, so we will have daily reading assignments from the textbook. 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. You are expected to be familiar with all the material in the reading assignment, whether we have discussed it in class or not, and you will be assigned homework questions and exam question based on this material.



We will have three in-class exam plus a final exam. The final exam will take place on Tuesday May 17, 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








Three in-class exams



Final Exam






Honors project