Introductory Physics II: Course Outline

1. What is this course all about?

Brock calendar entry: Statics and dynamics of fluids; heat and thermodynamics; geometrical and wave optics; electric and magnetic forces; DC circuits; atomic and nuclear physics.


This course builds on PHYS 1P21/1P91 to provide an introduction to the essential concepts of fluids, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, atoms, and atomic nuclei, which will provide a foundation for your future studies in science. Numerous applications to daily life and technology will be discussed.

What do I need to bring into the course?

This course is suitable for students with a high school science background. High school calculus or physics are not required, but good skills in elementary algebra, geometry, and trigonometry at the high-school level are necessary; this course is quantitative in nature. A previous study of mechanics (in PHYS 1P21 or PHYS 1P91, for example) is essential. A good scientific calculator is required.


The textbook is College Physics, second edition, by Urone, Hinrichs, Dirks, and Sharma, published by OpenStax (Rice University), and available to download for free at A solution manual and other student resources are available at

Some people like to have secondary sources to read in case they have difficulty understanding the primary textbook in some places. This is NOT required, but if you would like a secondary source, you can also consult the more advanced Openstax University Physics, which is also available for free.

You can also borrow other textbooks from a library, or buy an inexpensive used algebra-based textbook from your favourite used bookstore or internet source. Look for titles such as Physics or College Physics. If your major subject is Physics or a related field, and you would like a more advanced (say, calculus-based) textbook for reference, look for titles that include "for Scientists and Engineers." If you are considering buying a secondary textbook, and are not sure if it will be appropriate for you, send me an email message or visit my office and I'll advise.


PPLATO is a set of online resources organized as a full-scale physics and mathematics textbook. There are two types of resources: in the left column there are FLAP (Flexible Learning Approach to Physics), while on the right are supplementary self-assessment modules. Think of the left-hand column as of the chapters of a complete textbook, and of the right-hand column as of tutorials on a selection of topics. I'll refer to PPLATO during the course, but if you need a reminder of some basic mathematics or a refresher on mechanics, this is a good place to go first.


It's very important to do homework on a regular basis, preferably daily. Doing a little bit of homework every day is far better than cramming for tests once per week. By cramming you may do well on the tests, but the course material will go into your long-term memory if you study every day, and therefore you will retain the course material for a lifetime (and, of course, increase the probability that you will ace the final exam).

Do a good variety of homework problems every day, in addition to reading the textbook. The best way to do your homework is by simulating a testing situation, having only a calculator and the formula sheet handy, and then try to produce a full solution neatly in your notebook. If you get stuck, get the textbook and lecture notes out, and try to get unstuck. Problems that give you trouble should be repeated on other days, so that you eventually master them. Mastering a few problems is much better than skimming many, as by mastering a few problems you will understand more deeply and have a fighting chance on tests and the final exam.

The textbook is a good source of homework problems; solve a good variety of them. If you prefer to check your answers immediately, you may make use of Brock's WeBWorK system, which can be accessed at WeBWorK. Most of the textbook problems have been loaded there for you. Scroll down the displayed list of courses, click on the course that you are enrolled in (either PHYS1P22D03FW2018 or PHYS1P92D03FW2018) and log in using your Brock username and password. Homework does not count for credit, but it is important that you do lots of it.

Experience shows that coming to each lecture well-prepared accelerates your learning tremendously. Coming to class well-prepared allows us to make lectures much more interactive, which will also accelerate your learning.

Doing homework regularly, and in the right way, is essential for understanding physics. Daily work is our mantra. For more information on how to do homework effectively, and why it's important, see ***.

Some students do their homework dishonestly, by simply "googling" the answers. Typically they end up with very high homework scores (in courses where homework is graded), but end up failing the final exam, and therefore they fail the course. There are no shortcuts, and no magic formulas for success. It's very simple: Daily, consistent, honest work leads you to success.

Academic Integrity

Academic misconduct is a serious offence. The principle of academic integrity, particularly of doing one’s own work, documenting properly (including use of quotation marks, appropriate paraphrasing and referencing/citation), collaborating appropriately, and avoiding misrepresentation, is a core principle in university study. Students should consult Section VII, “Academic Misconduct”, in the “Academic Regulations and University Policies” entry in the Undergraduate Calendar, available here, to view a fuller description of prohibited actions, and the procedures and penalties.

A helpful web site describes Brock's academic integrity policy. Please read it carefully, as all students are expected to understand it and abide by its provisions.

2. Lectures, Labs, and Tests

Instructor: S. D'Agostino

Lectures: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10–10:50 am in Room STH 204.


Tests are written most Tuesdays (except for the first Tuesday, when we have a lecture instead of a test) from 9–9:50 am. Check the schedule further down this page for more details.

PHYS 1P92 Laboratories

Lab experiments are performed in Room MC H200, during alternate weeks, starting the week of 14 January 2019. The lab manual is available for printing from the course homepage. Be sure to read the lab outline and submit your pre-lab assignment before the deadline (which is the day before you attend the lab). If you have any questions about the labs, you can contact the senior lab demonstrator Dr. Ivana Komljenović-Metcalf (Room MC B210A, or the lab instructor Mr. Phil Boseglav (Room MC B211

Your pre-lab assignments and lab reports are submitted online via, which is used to check for plagiarism. Your lab report is due by 11:00pm six days after you perform the experiment. For example, if you perform your experiment on Thursday 20 September, then your pre-lab assignment is due by 11:00pm on Wednesday 19 September, and your lab report is due by 11:00pm on Wednesday 26 September. Late submissions automatically generate a zero grade for that report; i.e. a 100% penalty. If you have a valid medical or compassionate excuse, contact the lab instructor as soon as possible.

You will be registered automatically into your lab class at, and you will receive a confirmation email message from them to your Brock mailbox. If you already have a account, the message will inform you that our course is now on your list, and you can access it by logging in to If you haven't used before, then go to and enter your Brock email, then click on Forgot your password and follow the instructions to set a new password. Within your Turnitin class you will find the set of prelab and experiment assignments that you will have to complete. For each assignment, the submission deadlines will be shown. For the experiments, the start date is the date when you attend the lab.

Make-up labs: you will have the opportunity to perform one missed experiment during the make-up week of 1–4 April 2019. Enter your name, date and experiment in the schedule that will be provided. The submission deadlines are as usual but you will need to see Phil in MCB211 to have your Turnitin due dates changed in order for you to be able to submit the overdue prelab assignment and lab report.

An integral part of the labs is the use of computer-based data acquisition; you may wish to consult in advance. Under the "Get data" menu selection, select "demo" and click "go"; the demo mode allows you to try the tools without being in the lab.

Lab Schedule

Week Dates Task
2 14 Jan.–18 Jan. Lab Introduction Session
3 21 Jan.–25 Jan. Experiment 1
5 4 Feb.–8 Feb. Experiment 2
18 Feb.–22 Feb. Reading Week (no labs)
7 25 Feb.–1 Mar. Experiment 3
9 11 March–15 March Experiment 4
11 25 March–29 March Experiment 5
12 1 April–5 April Make-up lab (if necessary)

You don't need to prepare for the Lab Introduction Session in Week 2; just show up to your lab at the usual time. The topics will be a review/introduction to physicalab, error propagation, and initial turnitin login verification, and help if needed. Attendance is mandatory and attendance will be recorded; not attending will result in a grade reduction for the first lab experiment. You will need to prepare for the experiments in the usual way, by completing a pre-lab assignment due the night before each experiment, and then by completing a lab report for each experiment, due in the evening six days after the experiment is performed.

3. Sources of help

Office hours: S. D'Agostino MC E219, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 2 pm to 3 pm, or by appointment.

PHYSICS HELP DESK: Run by physics graduate students at the following times:

For help with course material, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 am to 1:45 pm, in Room MC H200, and Wednesday 3 pm to 6 pm in Room TH 133.

For help with labs, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 1:30 pm, in Room MC H200.

Falling behind in a mathematics or science course leads to extreme difficulties, particularly in a compressed course such as this one. Don't allow yourself to fall behind. Consistent, daily work will help you to succeed in the course.

I encourage you to visit my office whenever you would like to discuss physics. Don't wait until the last moment; make sure you clear up anything that is unclear as soon as possible, as this will make your studies more effective and you will go further in less time.

If you can't come by during my office hours, send me an email message at and we shall set up a suitable time to meet. My telephone number, for emergencies only, is 905-688-5550 extension 5785. The best way to reach me is either in person or by email.

Online electronic documentation

This course description, some lecture notes, and some study aids are available online via the Web server of the Physics Department, (follow the links to Courses ---> 1P22/1P92).

4. Topics to be studied

As time permits, some topics not listed below may be added, while some other topics may not be discussed during lectures and tutorial sessions. The outline below is only an approximation.

  • Week 1, Fluid Statics (Chapter 11)

    • 11.1 What is a Fluid?
    • 11.2 Density
    • 11.3 Pressure
    • 11.4 Variation of Pressure with Depth in a Fluid
    • 11.5 Pascal's Principle
    • 11.6 Gauge Pressure, Absolute Pressure, and Pressure Measurement
    • 11.7 Archimedes's Principle
    • 11.8 Cohesion and Adhesion in Liquids: Surface Tension and Capillary Action
    • 11.9 Pressures in the Body

  • Week 2, Fluid Dynamics (Chapter 12)

    • 12.1 Flow Rate and Its Relation to Velocity
    • 12.2 Bernoulli's Equation
    • 12.3 The Most General Applications of Bernoulli's Equation
    • 12.4 Viscosity and Laminar Flow; Poiseuille's Equation
    • 12.5 The Onset of Turbulence
    • 12.6 Motion of an Object in a Viscous Fluid
    • 12.7 Molecular Transport Phenomena: Diffusion, Osmosis, and Related Processes

  • Week 3, Thermal Physics and Elasticity (Section 5.3 and Chapter 13)

    • 5.3 Elasticity: Stress and Strain
    • 13.1 Temperature
    • 13.2 Thermal Expansion of Solids and Liquids
    • 13.3 The Ideal Gas Law
    • 13.4 Kinetic Theory
    • OMIT13.5 Phase Changes
    • 13.6 Humidity, Evaporation, and Boiling

  • Week 4, Thermodynamics (Chapters 14 and 15)

    • 14.1 Heat
    • 14.2 Temperature Change and Heat Capacity
    • 14.3 Phase Change and Latent Heat
    • OMIT14.4 Heat Transfer Methods
    • OMIT14.5 Conduction
    • OMIT14.6 Convection
    • OMIT14.7 Radiation
    • 15.1 The First Law of Thermodynamics
    • 15.2 The First Law of Thermodynamics and Some Simple Processes
    • 15.3 Introduction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics
    • OMIT15.4 Carnot's Perfect Heat Engine
    • 15.5 Applications of Thermodynamics: Heat Pumps and Refrigerators
    • 15.6 Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
    • OMIT15.7 Statistical Interpretation of Entropy

  • Week 5, Electric Forces (Chapter 18)

    • 18.1 Static Electricity and Charge
    • 18.2 Conductors and Insulators
    • 18.3 Coulomb's Law
    • 18.4 Electric Field
    • 18.5 Electric Field Lines
    • 18.6 Electric Forces in Biology
    • 18.7 Conductors and Electric Fields in Static Equilibrium
    • 18.8 Applications of Electrostatics

  • Week 6, Electric Potential Energy and Electric Potential (Chapter 19)

    • 19.1 Electric Potential Energy
    • 19.2 Electric Potential in a Uniform Electric Field
    • 19.3 Electric Potential Due to a Point Charge
    • 19.4 Equipotential Surfaces
    • 19.5 Capacitors and Dielectrics
    • 19.6 Capacitors in Series and Parallel
    • 19.7 Energy Stored in Capacitors

  • Week 7, Electric Current and Electric Circuits (Chapters 20 and 21)

    • 20.1 Electric Current
    • 20.2 Ohm's Law
    • 20.3 Resistance and Resistivity
    • 20.4 Electric Power and Energy
    • 20.5 Alternating CurrentOMIT
    • 20.6 Electric Hazards and the Human Body
    • 20.7 Nerve ConductionOMIT
    • 21.1 Resistors in Series and Parallel
    • 21.2 Electromotive Force
    • 21.3 Kirchhoff's Rules
    • 21.4 DC Voltmeters and AmmetersOMIT
    • 21.5 Null MeasurementsOMIT
    • 21.6 DC Circuits Containing Resistors and CapacitorsOMIT

  • Week 8, Magnetism (Chapter 22)

    • 22.1 Magnets
    • 22.2 Ferromagnets and Electromagnets
    • 22.3 Magnetic Fields and Magnetic Field Lines
    • 22.4 Magnetic Field Strength: Force on a Moving Charge in a Magnetic Field
    • 22.5 Force on a Moving Charge in a Magnetic Field: Examples and Applications
    • 22.6 The Hall EffectOMIT
    • 22.7 Magnetic Force on a Current-Carrying Conductor
    • 22.8 Torque on a Current Loop
    • 22.9 Magnetic Fields Produced by Currents: Ampere's Law
    • 22.10 Magnetic Force Between Two Parallel Conductors
    • 22.11 More Applications of Magnetism

  • Week 9, Geometrical Optics (Chapters 25 and 26)

    • 25.1 The Ray Aspect of Light
    • 25.2 The Law of Reflection
    • 25.3 The Law of Refraction
    • 25.4 Total Internal Reflection
    • 25.5 Dispersion: Rainbows and Prisms
    • 25.6 Image Formation by Lenses
    • 25.7 Image Formation by Mirrors
    • 26.1 Physics of the Eye
    • 26.2 Vision Correction
    • 26.3 Colour and Colour Vision
    • 26.4 Microscopes
    • 26.5 Telescopes
    • 26.6 Aberrations

  • Week 10, Electromagnetic Waves and Wave Optics (Chapters 24 and 27)

    • 24.1 Maxwell's Equations: Electromagnetic Waves Predicted and Observed
    • 24.2 Production of Electromagnetic Waves
    • 24.3 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • 24.4 Energy in Electromagnetic Waves
    • 27.1 The Wave Aspect of Light: Interference
    • 27.2 Huyghens's Principle: Diffraction
    • 27.3 Young's Double-Slit Experiment
    • 27.4 Multiple-Slit Diffraction
    • 27.5 Single-Slit Diffraction
    • 27.6 Limits of Resolution: The Rayleigh Criterion
    • 27.7 Thin-Film Interference
    • 27.8 Polarization
    • OMIT27.9 Microscopy Enhanced by the Wave Characterstics of Light

  • Week 11, Atomic Physics (Chapter 30)

    • 30.1 Discovery of the Atom
    • 30.2 Discovery of the Parts of the Atom: Electrons and Nuclei
    • 30.3 Bohr's Theory of the Hydrogen Atom
    • 30.4 X-Rays: Atomic Origins and Applications
    • 30.5 Applications of Atomic Excitations and De-Excitations
    • 30.6 The Wave Nature of Matter Causes Quantization
    • 30.7 Patterns in Spectra Reveal More Quantization
    • 30.8 Quantum Numbers and Rules
    • 30.9 The Pauli Exclusion Principle

  • Week 12, Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics (Chapters 31 and 32)

    • 31.1 Nuclear Radioactivity
    • 31.2 Radiation Detection and Detectors
    • 31.3 Substructure of the Nucleus
    • 31.4 Nuclear Decay and Conservation Laws
    • 31.5 Half-Life and Activity
    • 31.6 Binding Energy
    • OMIT31.7 Tunneling
    • 32.1 Medical Imaging and Diagnostics
    • 32.2 Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation
    • 32.3 Therapeutic Uses of Ionizing Radiation
    • 32.4 Food Irradiation
    • 32.5 Fusion
    • 32.6 Fission
    • 32.7 Nuclear Weapons

5. Course Schedule

Week Dates Topics Tests
1 7 Jan.–11 Jan. Ch 11 No test (lecture instead)
2 14 Jan.–18 Jan. Ch 12 Test 11
3 21 Jan.–25 Jan. Ch 13 Test 12
4 28 Jan.–1 Feb. Ch 14/15 Test 13
5 4 Feb.–8 Feb. Ch 18 Test 14/15
6 11 Feb.–15 Feb. Ch 19 Test 18
18 Feb.–22 Feb. Reading Week (No classes)
7 25 Feb.–1 Mar. Ch 20/21 Test 19
8 4 March–8 March Ch 22 Test 20/21
9 11 March–15 March Ch 25/26 Test 22
10 18 March–22 March Ch 24/27 Test 25/26
11 25 March–29 March Ch 30 Test 24/27
12 1 April–5 April Ch 31 Test 30

Tests are written on Tuesdays in the regular lecture hour. On the first Tuesday of classes (8 January 2019), everyone meets in STH 204 for a lecture instead of a test.

Students in both PHYS 1P22 and PHYS 1P92 will write their tests in the regular lecture room, which is Room STH 204.

Each test is cumulative, in the sense that each test may include material that was studied in an earlier week of the course. The purpose of this is to encourage you to review continually so that you place your learning in long-term memory, where you'll have it available to you for a lifetime.

6. Grading Scheme

Component PHYS 1P22 PHYS 1P92 Comments
Tests 65% 52% Each test may contain material discussed in earlier weeks. Test questions are similar in difficulty level to those found in the homework assignments.
Final Exam 35% 28% Time, date, and location TBA. You must pass the final exam (50% or more) to obtain a credit in the course.
Laboratory Work 20% Attending the lab and submitting both a pre-lab assignment and a written lab report is required to complete a lab; completing all labs is required to obtain a credit in the course.

In calculating your overall test score, each test carries equal weight. If you miss a test, and you have a very good reason (documentation is required and must be presented in person), you will be excused from the missed tests with no academic penalty (i.e., you'll get a "no mark"). The weight of excused tests will be distributed proportionally to the other tests. If you miss a substantial number of tests, you may be required to write make-up tests, at the instructor's discretion.

If you miss the final exam for a very good reason (documentation is required and must be presented in person), then you will need to write a make-up exam to get a credit in the course, unless your situation is truly extreme. Final exam periods tend to be extremely busy, so there is no guarantee that it will be possible to write a make-up exam soon after the scheduled final exam; therefore, do your very best to stay strong and healthy so that this will not be a concern for you.

If you fail to obtain at least 50% on the final exam, and therefore do not obtain a credit in the course (regardless of your calculated final grade), I am compelled to report a final grade for you that is no higher than 45, according to Registrar's Office policy. In this case, your reported final grade will be either your calculated final grade or 45, whichever is less. In this case, should you desire a credit in the course, you would have to repeat the course.

Medical documentation must be submitted in person at most 7 business days from the time of illness; submit an original version, not a photocopy. If you are too ill to present your medical documentation in person, send an original version (not a photocopy) to me at the Physics Department (you'll find the mailing address at the main Physics Department web page). Medical documentation sent electronically is not accepted. Don't send me medical documentation electronically.

Withdrawal Deadline

The last date for withdrawal from this course without academic penalty is Friday 8 March 2019.

7. Expectations/Responsibilities

Here is a summary of our expectations of you, which are your responsibilities. You are expected to:

  • attend each scheduled lecture and laboratory session.
  • do your work honestly.
  • attend lectures having prepared in advance by reading relevant parts of the textbook, and trying some homework problems. You are also expected to bring pencil and paper to lectures so that you are ready to work during the session.
  • attend labs having prepared in advance by reading relevant parts of the lab manual, and having completed the pre-lab assignment.
  • attend each test, with only a non-graphics calculator and writing instruments. Don't bring your formula sheet, as we'll give you one.

To get the most out of the course, work on it a little bit every day. Daily work is key for placing your learning in long-term memory, where it will be readily available to help you to advance your knowledge in second year and beyond. (And, of course, having the course content in long-term memory will help you ace the final exam!)

Prepare for each lecture by reading the textbook, trying some homework problems, and writing down specific questions about points that you find difficult. If you do this, you will be very pleased with the results.

The same kind of advice applies to the laboratories as well. If you attend lab superbly well-prepared, then you will be extremely efficient, you will collect your data successfully, and you will even be able to complete some of your lab report in the lab. You will be especially efficient because you will be able to ask your lab demonstrators good questions while you are in the lab, and this will help you to complete your lab report efficiently.

Remember, it is impossible for your course instructor to effectively cover an entire chapter of the textbook in less than three hours of lectures per week. It is your responsibility to learn the course material. The lectures are there to guide you and assist you in learning the material, but remember whose responsibility it is to actually do the hard work of learning the course material. Showing up to lectures is important, but is not nearly enough to succeed in the course; you must do additional work on your own, and ideally also with your study partner or study group, to really learn the course material well.

8. Pay Attention to Your Life

There is a kind of art to living life, and if we thought of our lives as works of art, imagine how this would change the way we live. All of us are inundated with distractions every day, crafted by experts in addiction to steal the most valuable of our resources: Our time and attention. We all have to figure out how to cope with this insidious problem, but it's particularly dangerous for you young people, because you are in the primes of your lives, with the potential for rapid development. Your brains could indeed develop rapidly and beautifully if you stimulate them effectively, but this is difficult to do because of the intense pressure we all feel from addictive electronic gizmos.

I highly recommend that you put into place some system that helps you to avoid your addictive electronic devices for long periods of time during the day so that you can focus your attention on what truly matters, which is to develop yourself to the highest degree. To help you in this quest, laptops or portable alert devices like smartphones or smartwatches are not allowed during lectures. Turn them off, and put them well away from your consciousness. Research shows that even if your phone is turned off but it is within your view, it poses a significant distratction. Physics is hard enough to learn as it is; there is no reason to try to learn it while you are cognitively impaired.

This may be appear to be inconvenient, but there are important reasons for this. Multitasking is known to reduce the quality of performance in all tasks, and not just for you but also for people around you. Our lecture room is a cramped space, with students seated in close proximity, and even silent visual alerts on a screen affect others.

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Taking lecture notes longhand ensures that important cognitive encoding takes place. This is particularly important in a conceptual course such as physics. See here for more details; and a ScienceDirect link to the source of the [Canadian!] data.

The following are the only exceptions to the policy of no electronic devices:

  • a registered learning disability that requires the use of a laptop (requires a note from the Student Accessibility Services, delivered to the instructor in person);
  • an electronic paper device, laid flat on the desk and used to make hand-written notes electronically, must be in airplane mode;
  • volunteer firefighters or medical professionals on-call are allowed network-active devices on silent (requires a letter from the employer, delivered to the instructor in-person).