Geophysical    Engineering
Geophysical Engineering
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PHSX   2086

Xiaobing Zhou, Associate Professor of Geophysicis

GEOP 302

Electricity,  Magnetism  &  Motion

Lecture: (PHYS 2086 - 01): Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm at ELC203

Lab: (PHSX 322 - 11): Tuesday 3:00 pm-5:50 pm at ELC 327

Instructor: Dr. Xiaobing Zhou, Email:, Tel: 496-4350

Office Hours: M/W/F 4:00 -5:00 pm, ELC 304

Textbook (required):
Serway, A. S. & J. W. Jewett, Jr., Physics for Scientists and Engineers, (Chapters 23-34), 7th Edition, Thomson-Brooks/Cole publishers, 2008.

References (recommended):

  1. Electricity and Magnetism, online textbook by Benjamin Crowell,
  2. Electricity and Magnetism 1
  3. Electricity and Magnetism 2
  4. Molecular Expressions: Electricity and Magnetism
  5. HyperPhysics Concepts
  6. Bloomfield, Louis A., How Things Work, The Physics of Everyday Life,2nd Ed., Wiley, 2001.
  7. de Armond, John, "Ground Fault Interrupters",, posted 11/00, Link
  8. Craford, M. George, Holonyak, Nick, and Kish, Frederick, "In Pursuit of the Ultimate Lamp", Scientific American 284, 62, February 2001.

Course Description:

This is the third course in the calculus-based physics sequence. Basic physical concepts, laws, properties, nature, and implication for modern sciences of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetic waves are covered. Basic electronic elements - resistor, capacitor, inductaor, etc. are introduced. Basic circuit analysis is covered. The development of problem-solving skills fundamental to students of all branches of engineering will be emphasized. Corequisite: Math 2236 (Differential Equations).


Undergraduate level PHYS 1046 (General Physics - Mechanics) Minimum Grade of D and Undergraduate level MATH 2510 (Calculus III) Minimum Grade of D and/or Undergraduate level MATH 2236 (Minimum Grade of D)

  1. To develop an understanding of the basic concepts, laws, properties, and physical processes in electric field, magnetic field, basic circuit analysis, and application;
  2. To develop the skills to solve physical problems in electricity and magnetic using calculus.

Course outcomings (complying with ABET A-K):

After this course, you should have:
B. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
E. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
F. an ability to communicate effectively
G. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
I. an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global economic, environmental, and societal context
J. a knowledge of issues facing contemporary society
K. a recognition for the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning.


Homework will generally be assigned on Monday and due the following Monday, otherwise, just follow the announcement in classes. Keys to the answer of homework will be given in the assignments. No more than that. Homeowork will be put in the "Homework" subdirectory under "Course Documents" direcotry in Blackboard for this course. Group discussing in doing homework is permitted but copying answers from others or any other resources is prohibited. Copied homework will be graded as “zero” or “F”. No homework will be dropped in calculating your course grade. All homework is due on the date specified. Late homework will not be accepted.


Basically, a quiz will be given each week, but may be on an irregular basis. The content of each quiz will generally within that covered in the previous lectures from the last quiz. The final grade for the quizzes will be the average of all your quizzes.

Grade Policy:

Your final grade for the course will depend on your active participation, ability to understand and apply the various concepts, laws, physical process and calculus in solving electric and magnetic problems. The final grade of the course will be determined approximately as follows:

  • Attendance: 10%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Quizzes: 35%
  • Two exams: 35%

Grading scale observes: A=(92,100], A-=[90, 92], B+=(87, 90), B=[83, 87], B-=[80, 83), C+=(77, 80), C=[73, 77], C-=[70, 73), D+=(67, 70), D=[63, 67], D-=[60, 63), F=[0, 60). [ or ] means inclusive, ( or ) means exclusive. Also: A= 4.0, A-=3.7, B+=3.3, B=3.0, B-=2.7, C+=2.3, C=2.0, C-=1.7, D+=1.3, D=1.0, D-=0.7, F=0.

Tentative schedule:

Date   Day   Lecture No.   Topic   Homework
Read assignment pages  
Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Electric charge: properties, conductor, and induction
Coulomb's law and electric field
Lecture 3
Lecture 4
Lecture 5
Field line and particle motion
Electric flux/Gauss's law
Applications of Gauss's law/electrostatic equilibrium