Spring 2018

Instructor: Prof. Michael S. Vogeley
Department of Physics
Office: Disque 811
Phone: (215)895-2710
Office hours: Thursdays 8:30-10:30am and by appointment

Teaching Assistant (recitations): Christopher Brown
Office: Disque 923
Office hours: Mondays and Fridays 3:00-4:00pm and by appointment

Teaching Assistant (grader): Joseph Fabritius
Office: Disque 808

Course Meetings
Course Outline
Textbook and Reading Assignments
Course Rules of Conduct
Homework Solutions
Programming Assignments
Course Schedule


Welcome to the home page of Contemporary Physics III. This is your resource page for information about the course, including homework assignments, exams, and solutions. This web page is also the syllabus for the course. To save paper, I will not usually print and distribute copies of documents in class. You may read them on the web or your computer and print out if you need.

Course Meetings

Lectures will be given on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-10:50am in Pearlstein 307. Please be on time.

Recitations will be on Wednesday 2:00-3:50pm and 4:00-5:50pm in the physics computer lab, Disque 704.


This web page is the syllabus. Please print this out and save it and/or bookmark this website for the future (no printed copies will be distributed). If you're reading a printed copy, and don't remember the URL, you can find the web page at You should check the web page frequently for updates.

Course Outline

In this final, and most fun of all part of Contemporary Physics, we'll delve into further properties of electricity and magnetism. Topics include
  1. Magnetic Fields
  2. Electric Circuits
  3. Magnetic force (including the Hall Effect)
  4. Patterns of EM fields (focus on Gauss's Law)
  5. Faraday's Law
  6. Electromagnetic Radiation (yeah!)
  7. Waves and Particles (EM waves are also particles!)

Textbook and Reading Assignments

Chabay and Sherwood, Matter & Interactions, 4th Ed. In Physics 115, we will cover chapters 17-23 and Supplement S3.That supplement is online at Supplement S3: Waves
Other resources are online at Matter and Interactions Resources for Students.

See the course schedule below for the reading assignments. You should do the reading before class so that you are prepared to ask questions about material that you did not understand.


Grades will be based on the following weighting of different components of the course:
Homework: 30% (2/3 written problem sets and 1/3 computer assignments)
Midterm: 25%
Final Exam: 35%
Class Participation: 10% (Woody Allen said "90% of life is just showing up." In this class you get somewhat less.)

Course Rules of Conduct

Most of this is common sense, but some folks need a gentle reminder.

Electronic distractions: Silence your cell phone or leave it home. Only phone calls (to me) from the Nobel Prize committee will be tolerated. Laptop computers may be used only for taking notes. Web surfing, texting, reading/sending email is prohibited during class. I will ask you to leave the class if you violate this rule.

Food, no. Coffee, yes. Maybe small snacks are also OK, but nothing that will tempt me to steal it (triathletes are always hungry!).

Plagiarism: Use your own very large brain (you're a physicist!) and don't even think about cheating. The usual University rules apply. By stepping into the classroom, you agree to abide by Drexel's policy on Academic Integrity

Students with disabilities requesting accomodation and services at Drexel University need to present a current accomodation letter (AVL) to faculty before accomodations can be made. This cannot be done retroactively. AVL's are issued by the Office of Disability Services (ODS). For additional information, contact ODS at 3201 Arch St., Suite 210, 215-895-1401 (V), or 215-895-2299 (TTY).

Homework: Problem Sets

Problem sets will be due at the beginning of class on each Friday (except the first week and week 6 of the midterm). Solutions will be available on the web page on that same day, so late homework will not be accepted. The lowest homework will be dropped (so you're covered for one and only one hungry dog incident or late homework if that's how you want to use it). Please neatly and accurately write up your solutions to these problems.

You may discuss the homework with your classmates, but you and you alone are responsible for the work that you turn in. Please write up your own solutions to the problems and computer assignments. Breaches of this policy will result in homework scores being divided by the number of ``participants.'' Second offenses may result in failure (of the class).

Note that answers to odd-numbered problems are in the back of the book. You get zero credit for just copying those numbers. Use of solutions to these problems from any other source without reference constitutes plagiarism. You must attribute (by giving the correct reference) any significant help that you receive from outside sources.

Problem Set Solutions

Solutions will be posted here on the afternoon of the day that they are due.

Programming Assignments

Program assignments will be discussed in recitation, will count as one-third of your total homework grade, and are due at the beginning of recitation on Wednesday in weeks 3, 5, 8, and 10 (see schedule below)


The midterm will be given during recitation in Week 6 (on Wednesday, May 9). It will cover chapters 17 through 20. An equation sheet will be provided.

The final exam date will Friday, June 15, 10:30am-12:30pm in PISB 108. It will include material from the entire course, with more weight given to the second half (roughly 30% first half, 70% second half). An equation sheet will be provided.

Course Schedule

Please note the following schedule of readings and assignments. Dates are for lectures. This schedule may be revised, so you should recheck this web page. Notation of "HW#" indicates that a homework is due that Friday at the start of class. "Program#" means that a programming assignment is due that Wednesday at the start of recitation. You should do the indicated reading before class.

Week Class Dates Reading Homework Exams
1 April 2, 4, 6 ch. 17
2 April 9, 11, 13 ch. 18 HW1 due
3 April 16, 18, 20 ch. 19 HW2 due, Program 1 due
4 April 23, 25, 27 ch. 20 HW3 due
5 April 30, May 2, 4 review chs. 17-20 HW4 due, Program 2 due
6 May 7, 9, 11 ch. 21 Midterm in recitation 5/9
7 May 14, 16, 18 ch. 22 HW5 due
8 May 21, 23, 25 ch. 23 HW6 due, Program 3 due
9 May 30, June 1 (no class 5/28) ch. S3 HW7 due
10 June 6, 8 (no class 6/4) review chs. 21-23, S3 HW8 due, Program 4 due
11 June 11 Final Exam review Final Exam 6/15 10:30-12:30

Last update: June 8, 2018