Physics II

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Physics II

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    First semester Algebra and Calculus courses and knowledge on single particle dynamics.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Physics II (280 - 15076)
    Study: Bachelor in Energy Engineering
    Semester 2/Spring Semester
    1st Year Course/Lower Division

    Please note: this course is cross-listed under the majority of engineering departments. Students should select the course from the department that best fits their area of study.


    First semester Algebra and Calculus courses and knowledge on single particle dynamics.

    Competences and Skills that will be Acquired and Learning Results:

    This course should make the student familiar with the basics concepts of electromagnetism. Since this is a first year course one of the main goals is to develop the student abilities in understanding abstract physical concepts through the combination of lectures, experiments and problem solving with the aid of mathematical tools.

    In order to achieve this goal, the following competences and skills have to be acquired:

    - Disposition to learn and comprehend new abstract concepts.
    - Ability to understand and use the mathematics involved in the physical models.
    - Ability to understand and use the scientific method.
    - Ability to understand and use the scientific language.
    - Develop abilities in problem solving.
    - Ability to use scientific instruments and analyze experimental data.
    - Ability to retrieve and analyze information from different sources.
    - Ability to work in a team.

    Description of Contents/Course Description:

    1 Coulombs Law
    1.1 Electric charge
    1.2 Coulombs Law. Electromagnetic interaction
    1.3 Dimensions and units.
    1.4 The Superposition Principle

    2 The Electric field
    2.1 Definition of Electric Field
    2.2 The Electric Field created by a point charge
    2.3 The Superposition Principle
    2.4 The Electric Field Lines. Graphic representation
    2.5 Electric Field created by continuous distributions of charge. Examples

    3 Gausss Law in vacuum
    3.1 Flux of Electric Field through a surface.
    3.2 The Electric Field created by various charge distributions
    3.3 Gausss Law
    3.4 Application of Gausss Law: Calculate the Electric Field

    4 The Electric Potential
    4.1 Electrostatic potential Energy of a point charge
    4.2 Electric potential. Electric potential created by different charge distributions
    4.3 Electric field and potential. Graphical representation. Equipotential surfaces
    4.4 Electrostatic energy. Discrete and continuous distribution of charge
    4.5 Electric dipole. Dipolar approximation. Effect of the electric field on a dipole

    5 The Electric Field in matter. Conductors
    5.1 Conductors and insulators
    5.2 Conductors in electrostatic equilibrium
    5.3 Charge distribution in conductors
    5.4 Electric shielding and edge effect

    6 The electric field in matter: Dielectrics. Generalized Gausss Law
    6.1 Capacitors and capacitance. Combination of capacitors
    6.2 Energy stored in a charged capacitor
    6.3 Faraday experiments with dielectric materials. Effects on capacitor parameters
    6.4 Electric polarization in matter. Vector P. Electric susceptibility
    6.5 Electric Displacement D. Constitutive equation. Generalized Gausss Law

    7 Electric Current
    7.1 The Electric Current: Current and Current Density. Generalized Ohms Law
    7.2 Electric Resistance and Electric Conductivity
    7.3 Power dissipated in an electric conductor. Joules Law. Differential form
    7.4 Electromotive force (emf)

    8 Magnetic field. Magnetic Forces
    8.1 The Magnetic Field
    8.2 Lorenzs Force. Charged particle movement in a magnetic field
    8.3 Magnetic force acting on a current-carrying conductor. Amperes Law
    8.4 Magnetic moment
    8.5 Torque on current loops. Magnetic potential energy. Analogy with electric dipole

    9 Sources of Magnetic Field
    9.1 Biot-Savart Law. Application to the magnetic field created by currents
    9.2 Ampères Law. Application to the calculation of magnetic fields.
    9.3 Magnetism in matter: Magnetization(M). Magnetic field strength H. Constitutive equation.
    9.4 Magnetism in matter: Magnetic materials. Ferromagnetism

    10- Electromagnetic induction: Faradays Law
    10.1 Faradays Law. Faradays experiments. Applications. Exceptions to the flux rule
    10.2 Induced emf on a moving circuit in a magnetic field
    10.3 Induced emf on a circuit in a time varying magnetic field. Eddy/Foucault currents
    10.4 Self-Induction and Mutual Induction
    10.5 Magnetic energy in an inductor. RL circuit

    11- Ampère Maxwells Law. Continuity Equation
    10.1 Displacement Current
    10.2 Ampère-Maxwells Law
    10.3 Continuity equation
    10.4 RC circuit

    12 Electromagnetic waves
    12.1 Maxwell equations (integral form)
    12.2 Wave equation. Particular solution: monochromatic plane wave.
    12.3 Wave parameters. Phase and group velocities. Impedance. Refraction index
    12.4 Power and energy carried by an EM wave. Poynting vector
    12.5 Stationary waves
    12.6 EM waves generation: oscillating dipole

    Learning Activities and Methodology:

    Lectures, where the theoretical concepts are explained

    The lecturer provide a file with the following information (1 week in advance)
    - Main topics to be discussed during the session
    - Chapters/sections in each of the text books provided in the bibliography were the student can read about these topics

    Recitations (~ 40 students divide in 2-3 people groups) to solve problems.

    The main skills to be developed in these activities are:
    - To understand the statement of the problem (for instance drawing an scheme that summarizes the statement)
    - To identify the physical phenomenon involved in the statement and the physical laws related to it.
    - To develop a strategy to reach the objective (for instance breaking the problem in small sub-problems).
    - To be careful in the use of mathematics
    - To analyze the result (is the final number reasonable?, are the dimensions consistent?)

    Small works focused to the search of scientific information in different sources (mainly internet).

    Laboratory sessions (~ 24 students divide in 2 people groups)

    The main skills to be developed in this activity are:
    - To understand that physics is an experimental science and they can reproduce the laws that have been theoretically explained in the lectures
    - To use scientific instruments and to be careful in its operation
    - To be careful in the acquisition of the experimental data
    - To learn the basis of the management of a scientific data set
    - To write a report with the main results of the experiment
    - To reason in a critical way these results: have we achieve the goals of the experiment?

    Assessment System:

    Despite the final mark is obtained with the percentages indicated bellow, attendance to the laboratory sessions is COMPULSORY to pass the course. Additionally, it is OBLIGATORY to obtain at least a score of 3 out of 10 in the final exam to pass the course.

    Laboratory sessions (15% of final mark) Evaluation based on:

    - Attendance to the laboratory sessions, participation and attitude. Activities in groups of two students.
    - Laboratory reports quality. Mark is shared by the members of the group.

    Recitation groups (25% of final mark). Evaluation based on:

    - Attendance.
    - Short test exams.
    - Delivery and quality of proposed activities

    Written exam (60% of final mark)

    This exam is made at the end of the semester and it is the same for all the students
    Consists in:
    - Problem solving covering the topics of the program
    and perhaps
    - Short theoretical questions

    Basic Bibliography:

    Alan Giambattista, Betty McCarthy Richardson and Robert C. Richardson. College Physics, Fourth Edition. McGraw Hill, ISBN 978-0-07-131794-8. 2010
    Paul A. Tipler and Gene Mosca. Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Volume 2, 6th Edition. W.H. Freeman, ISBN-10:0716789647, ISBN-13: 978-0716789642. 2007

    Additional Bibliography:

    Alan Giambattista, Betty MacCarthy Richardson and Robert C. Richardson. College Physics, Fourth Edition. McGraw Hill. 2010
    J.R. Reitz, F.J. Milford y R.W. Christy. Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory. Ed. Addison Wesley; ISBN-10: 0321581741; ISBN-13. 2008
    R.K. Wangsness. Electromagnetic Fields. Ed. Willey; ISBN-10: 0471811866 ISBN-13: 978-0471811862. 1986

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.