Physics 125          General Physics II                  Spring 2019         Syllabus


Instructor:  Dr. Brian M. Davies

Instructor's office:  Currens 532 (top floor, northwest corner)

Phone:  309-298-1307                                                            Physics Dept. Fax: 309-298-2850

Office Hours:  MWF 2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. and Tues 10:00 11:30 a.m., or by arrangement

Instructor's e-mail address:  BM-Davies at

Instructor’s web site:

Required textbook:  College Physics, Wilson, Buffa, and Lou, 7th edition.  (CD not needed)

Laboratory book:  Physics 125 Lab Manual, available at the Union bookstore

Class Schedule:
Lecture:  M W F
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. and Tu 12:00 – 12:50 p.m. in Currens 205
Laboratory sections:

Section 021:  Thurs.
11:00 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. – Mrs. Andreev
Section 022:  Thurs.
1:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. – Mrs. Andreev
Laboratory room:  Currens 314 
Lab Instructor:  Mrs. Natalia Andreev (Currens 519E, phone 309-298-2577, N-Andreev (at)

Course Objective:  To introduce the student to basic concepts in electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, light and optical instruments, modern physics including quantum physics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Principles and concepts will be emphasized, and active classroom participation will be encouraged by use of reading quizzes, in-class worksheets, and other “active-learning” techniques. 

ADA policy:  “Students with disabilities: In accordance with University values and disability law, students with disabilities may request academic accommodations where there are aspects of a course that result in barriers to inclusion or accurate assessment of achievement. To file an official request for disability-related accommodations, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 309-298-2512, or in 143 Memorial Hall. Please notify the instructor as soon as possible to ensure that this course is accessible to you in a timely manner.” Information about DRC is available at

Title IX policy: "University values, Title IX, and other federal and state laws prohibit sex discrimination, including sexual assault/misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of any of these offenses, we encourage you to report this to the Title IX Coordinator at 309-298-1977 or anonymously online at:  If you disclose an incident to a faculty member, the faculty member must notify the Title IX Coordinator. The complete Title IX policy is available at:

The material on the following web pages should be considered part of this syllabus:


Student Rights and Responsibilities:


Academic Integrity Policy:


Grading Scheme:

Point Breakdown:
4 exams:  15 % each, for a subtotal of 60%
Homework sets, quizzes, and in-class work:  20 %
10 Laboratory exercises:  2 % each, for a subtotal of 20%

Assignment of Grades:
A    100%
- 85%
B    85%
- 75%
C    75
% - 65%
D    65
% - 55%
(Plus and minus will be given for the top and bottom 3% or so of these ranges, but there is no A+.)


These numbers may be lowered slightly depending on the difficulty of the exams. The exact cutoff for letter grades will be determined so that small differences in points will not change letter grades. You must pass the lab part of the course to pass the entire course. Homework is due at the beginning of the class on the due date. Late homework will lose 20% of the possible points for each day it is late. Late homework can only be turned in during class, during lab, or to the folder by my office door, Currens 532. Please do not give homework sets or late lab reports to the secretary in the Physics office (they may receive zero credit if you do this).

   Physics 125                Class Schedule                       Spring 2019



            Chapter 15  Electric charge, forces, and fields
            Chapter 16  Electric potential, energy, and capacitance
            Chapter 17  Electric current and resistance
            Exam 1 February 15  (Ch. 15-17)
            Chapter 18  Basic electric circuits
            Chapter 19  Magnetism
            Chapter 20  Electromagnetic induction and waves
            Exam 2 March 20  (Ch. 18-20)
            Chapter 22  Reflection and refraction of light
            Chapter 23  Mirrors and lenses
            Chapter 24  Physical optics:  the wave nature of light
            Exam 3 April 15  (Ch. 22-24)
            Chapter 27  Quantum Physics
            Chapter 28  Quantum mechanics and atomic physics
            Chapter 29  The Nucleus
            Final Exam May 6,  10 a.m.  (Ch. 27-29)


   Physics 125                Laboratory Schedule             Spring 2019


   Date             Lab #          Title of Laboratory Exercise


    Jan. 17                                        No lab

    Jan. 24                Lab 1               Introduction to the Oscilloscope

    Jan. 31                Lab 2               Electric Fields and Equipotentials

    Feb. 7                                         No Lab

    Feb. 14               Lab 3               Joule Heat

    Feb. 21               Lab 4               Ohm’s Law

    Feb. 28               Lab 5               Resistances in Series and Parallel

    Mar. 7                                         No Lab

    Mar. 14                                       No Lab, Spring Vacation

    Mar. 21                                       No Lab

    Mar. 28               Lab 6               Reflection and Refraction

    April 4                 Lab 7               Spherical Mirrors

    April 11               Lab 8               Spherical Lenses

    April 18               Lab 9               Nuclear radiation:  Half-life

    April 25               Lab 10             The Geiger Counter, Inverse Square Law, and Absorption of Radiation
    May 2                                          Makeup labs (only one allowed per student)