Geophysical    Engineering
Geophysical Engineering
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PHSX   2376

Xiaobing Zhou, Associate Professor of Geophysicis

GEOP 302

Electricity,  Magnetism  &  Motion

Lecture: (PHSX 237 - 02): Monday/Wednesday/Friday 8:00 am - 8:50 am at ELC 203

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

Office Hours: M/W/F 4:00pm -5:00pm, 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 PHSX 234 Minimum Grade of C- and Undergraduate level M 273 (Multivaiable CalculusI) Minimum Grade of C- and/or Undergraduate level M 274 (Differential equations) Minimum Grade of C-).

Course outcomings (complying with ABET):

After this course, you (the student) should have:
A. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
G. an ability to communicate effectively


Homework will generally be assigned on Wednesday and due the following Wednesday; otherwise, just follow the announcement in classes or the specified due date on the homework sheet. Answer keys to the homework questions will generally be given in the assignments. No more than that. Homework will be put in the "Homework" subdirectory under "Course Documents" directory in Blackboard for this course. Group discussing in doing homework is permitted but copying answers from others is prohibited. Copied homework will be graded as “zero” or “F”. No homework will be dropped in calculating your course grade. Late homework will not be accepted absolutely. Not all questions in each homework assignment will be graded. Graded questions in each homework assignment will total 100 pts.


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 week. Of all the quizzes, the two that you got the lowest grades will be dropped in calculating your final course grade. Each quiz will total 100 pts. The final grade for the quizzes will the average of all your quiz grades with the two lowest dropped out.

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:

  • Homework: 20%
  • Quizzes: 30%
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 25%

The instructor reserves the right to give extra credit to active participation and demonstrated interest and capability. 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   Read assignment pages  
(Due each Wednesday)s  
Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Electric charge: properties, conductor, and induction
Coulomb's law and electric field
Holiday (MLK)
Lecture 3
Lecture 4
Field line and particle motion
Electric flux/Gauss's law
Homework 1

Other references (just for those who are interested and want to dig indepth in electricity and magnetism):
  1. Baseden, Alan, Lightning Destruction, Atlanta Journal, July 16, 1991.
  2. Blackwood, O H, Kelly, W C, and Bell, R M, General Physics, 4th Edition, Wiley, 1973.
  3. Diefenderfer, James, Principles of Electronic Instrumentation, 2nd Ed. , W.B. Saunders, 1979.
  4. Diefenderfer, James and Holton, Brian, Principles of Electronic Instrumentation, 2nd Ed. ,Saunders College Publ., 1994.
  5. Ewell, George W., Radar Transmitters, McGraw-Hill, 1981.
  6. Floyd, Thomas L., Electric Circuit Fundamentals, 2nd Ed., Merrill, 1991
  7. Floyd, Thomas L., Electronic Devices 3rd Ed., Merrill, 1992
  8. Giancoli, Douglas C., Physics, 4th Ed, Prentice Hall, (1995).
  9. Halliday & Resnick, Fundamentals of Physics, 3E, Wiley 1988
  10. Halliday, Resnick & Walker, Fundamentals of Physics, 4th Ed, Extended, Wiley 1993
  11. Horowitz, Paul and Hill, Winfred,The Art of Electronics, Cambridge University Press, 1980
  12. Jackson, J. D., Classical Electrodynamics, Wiley (1975).
  13. Jones, Edwin R (Rudy) and Childers, Richard L, Contemporary College Physics, Addison-Wesley, 1990. A well-illustrated non-calculus introductory physics text.
  14. Jung, Walter, IC Op-Amp Cookbook, Howard Sams, 1981
  15. Ladbury, Ray, "Geodynamo Turns Toward a Stable Magnetic Field", Physics Today 49, Jan 96, pg 17.
  16. Mims, Forrest M, Op Amp IC Circuits, Engineer's Mini-Notebook, Cat. No. 276-5011A, Radio Shack 1985
  17. Mims, Forrest M, Digital Logic Circuits, Radio Shack 1985
  18. Mims, Forrest M., Getting Started in Electronics, Radio Shack, 1983
  19. Mims, Forrest M., 555 Timer IC Circuits, 3rd Ed, Engineer's Mini-Notebook, Radio Shack Cat. No. 276-5010A, 1992
  20. Mims, Forrest, Optoelectronic Circuits: Engineers Mini-Notebook, Radio Shack Cat. No. 276-5012, 1986. Small notebook with practical details and sketches of circuit applications.
  21. Nave & Nave, Physics For the Health Sciences, 3rd Ed, W. B. Saunders, 1985
  22. Ohanian, Hans, Physics, 2nd Ed. Expanded, Norton, 1985.
  23. Reitz, J., Milford, F. and Christy, R., Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory, 4th Ed, Addison-Wesley, 1993.
  24. Rohlf, J. W., Modern Physics from a to Z0, Wiley 1994
  25. Schwarz, W. M., Intermediate Electromagnetic Theory, Wiley, 1964.
  26. Scott, W. T., The Physics of Electricity and Magnetism, Wiley, 1959.
  27. Sears, F. W., Zemansky, M. W., Young, H. D., University Physics, 6th Ed., Addison-Wesley, 1982.
  28. Serway & Faughn, College Physics, Saunders College, 1985
  29. Simpson, Robert E., Introductory Electronics for Scientists and Engineers, 2nd Ed., Allyn and Bacon, 1987
  30. Skilling, H. H., Fundamentals of Electric Waves, 2nd Ed, Wiley, 1948
  31. Summit Electrical, searchable database for technical information about electrical products, map/search.htm.
  32. Tipler, Paul A., Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd Ed, Extended, Worth Publishers, 1991
  33. Tocci, Ronald J., Digital Systems, 5th Ed, Prentice-Hall, 1991.
  34. Uman, Martin, Everything you always wanted to know about lightning but were afraid to ask, Saturday Review, May 13, 1972. Also text
  35. Lightning, McGraw Hill, 1969.
  36. Williams,E R, The Electrification of Thunderstorms, Scientific American Nov 88, p88.
  37. Young, Hugh D., University Physics, 8th Ed., Addison-Wesley, 1992.