Syllabus for Physics 272 – Spring 2018


             (Check here frequently for important announcements related to the course)


Official Course Description: Title: Introductory Physics: Fields; Credits: 3; Grade Method: REG/P-F/AUD;
PHYS161 or PHYS171; and MATH141; and must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in MATH241; Topics: (as per testudo: actual ones that we will cover in this course are given below) 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.



Instructor:         Professor: Kaustubh Agashe                                  Phone: (301)-405-6018


Office (note different building than lectures): Room 3118 of Physical Sciences Complex (PSC),


                         Office Hours (note locations and days carefully): Thursday 2.00-3.00 pm. in Rm. 1304 of Toll building      

                         (this will be sort of an informal discussion session, i.e., you are not required to attend it, but it will be useful

                         to do so) and Tuesday 3.00-4.00 pm. in Rm. 3118 PSC. It might be possible to have office hours at other   

                         times by appointment.



Teaching Assistants:


(1). Nathaniel (Nate) Dudley [email:; Phone (use only if urgent): (301) 542-7497], who will grade     

                                  homeworks and


(2). Yi-Hua Lai [email:; office: Rm. 2101 of Toll Building ; phone: (301) 405 6054], who will

                        grade quizzes and (part of) exams. She will also conduct office hours: (note locations and days carefully):

                        Monday 1.00-2.00 pm. in Rm. 1304 of Toll building (this will be sort of an informal discussion session, i.e.,

                        you are not required to attend it, but it will be useful to do so) and Wednesday 2.00-3.00 pm. in Rm. 2101

                        of Toll Building. It might be possible to have office hours at other   

                        times by appointment.



Lecture Time and location:  12:30-1:45 pm. in Rm. 1201 of John S. Toll Physics Building (# 082) on Tuesday and Thursday; 10-10.50 am. on Wednesday in Rm. 0215 of Edward St. John Teaching and Learning Center (ESJ, # 226)


Required Textbook: “Physics for Scientists & Engineers”, 4th Edition by Douglas Giancoli


Recommended textbook: “Electricity and Magnetismby E. Purcell and D. Morin



Homework: The homework assignments (problem sets) will generally be assigned here on Thursdays, and should be handed in class the following Tuesday or in folder outside Room 3118 of PSC by 5 pm. Late homework will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor (in particular, a valid documented excuse such a medical problem, religious holiday, or serious family crisis is required), but not after solutions have been handed out.


No homework will be dropped for any reason.  For full credit for any written homework or exam problem,

in addition to the correct answer, you must show the steps/justify your approach as much as possible.


Solutions to homework (and exams) will be posted here.


Quizzes: once a week during Wednesday 10-10.50 am. lecture (starting February 7, with the exception of exam weeks),

with solutions posted here.


Problem-solving sessions: the Wednesday 10-10.50 am. class will be a mix of lecture, quizzes and problem-solving by you in groups (problems for which are given here and solutions are here.)


Exams: There will be 2 exams given during the Tuesday lecture periods (1 hours 15 minutes in length). Both exams will contribute to the final grade for the course. The final exam will be given during the standard exam period (1:30-3:30 pm. on Thursday, May 17). You must take the final exam to pass the course. There will be no make-up for the exams, unless there is a strong documented excuse (medical problem, religious holiday, or serious family crisis).

Details such as which topics will be covered in each exam, whether crib sheets will be allowed etc. will be posted later.

Grade: The semester grade will be based on the homework, in-class exams and the final exam
with the following (tentative) weights: 2 in-class exams: 22.5% each, homework: 15%, final exam: 35% and quizzes: 5%

Attendance: Regular attendance and participation in this class is the best way to grasp the concepts and principles being discussed. Please try to attend every class and to read up the relevant chapter(s) of the textbook before coming to the class.


Some class notes will be posted here.


Academic Honesty: Note that, although you are encouraged to discuss homework with other students, any work you submit must be your own and should reflect your own understanding. In fact, the main way you will understand Physics (and thus do well on the exams) is by doing the homework (that too by yourself).


In addition, academic dishonesty, such as cheating on an exam or copying homework, is a serious offense which may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.


The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the 
Student Honor Council.  This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate 
students.  As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course.  It is very important for you to 
be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of 
Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit here.
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, please sign the Honor Pledge (which covers all 
examinations and Assignments) and turn it in as “Homework 1”: 

"I pledge on my honor that I will not give or receive any unauthorized assistance (including

from other persons and online sources) on all examinations, quizzes and homework assignments 
in this course."


Course Evaluations: Your participation in the evaluation of courses through CourseEvalUM is a responsibility you

hold as a student member of our academic community. Your feedback is confidential and

important to the improvement of teaching and learning at the University as well as to the

tenure and promotion process. CourseEvalUM (go here) is open till May 11 (Friday) for you to complete your

evaluations for Spring semester courses. By completing all of your evaluations each semester, you will

have the privilege of accessing the summary reports for thousands of courses online at Testudo.


(TENTATIVE) schedule of Physics 272 topics, exams, and holidays (more detailed schedule, for example, by chapter-sections, might be posted as part of the “announcements” here roughly at the beginning of each week; the homework assignments will also indicate this.)




Main Topics

Chapters in Giancoli


Jan. 24, 25

(I) Electrostatics: Electric Charge and Field



Jan. 30, 31, Feb.1

(I) Electrostatics: electric field, Gauss’ law

21, 22


Feb. 6, 7, 8

(I) Electrostatics: electric potential



Feb.  13, 14, 15

(I) Electrostatics: capacitance, dielectrics



Feb.  20, 21, 22

(II) Electric Currents: resistance



Feb. 27, 28, Mar. 1

(II) Electric Currents: DC circuits



Mar. 6, 7, 8

(III) Magnetostatics: force on electric charge



Tuesday, Mar. 13

Exam I


Mar. 14, 15

(III) Magnetostatics: force on electric charge, sources of magnetic field

27, 28

Mar. 19-23

Spring Break


Mar. 27, 28, 29

(III) Magnetostatics: sources of magnetic field



Apr. 3, 4, 5

(IV) Electromagnetic Induction: Faraday’s Law



Apr. 10, 11, 12

(IV) Electromagnetic Induction: Faraday’s law, inductance

29, 30


Apr. 17, 18, 19

(IV) Electromagnetic Induction: AC circuits



Tuesday, Apr. 24

Exam II



Apr. 25, 26

(V) Maxwell’s Equations



May 1, 2, 3

(V) Maxwell’s Equations; Electromagnetic Waves



May 8, 9, 10

(V) Electromagnetic Waves; (VI) Light (if time permits)

31, (selected parts of) 32-35


May 11 (Fri.) 2.00-4.00 pm. in Rm. 1304 of Toll (Physics) building (note: this is not the usual lecture slot)

Review for final exam

All of the above


May 17 (Thurs.): 1.30-3.30 pm. in Rm. 1201 of Toll (Physics building), i.e., usual lecture room/day, but different time


All of the above