Spring 2015

Instructor: Prof. Michael S. Vogeley
Department of Physics
Office: Disque 811
Phone: (215)895-2710
Office hours: Thursdays 2:00-3:30

Teaching Assistant (recitations): Kelly Douglass
Office: Disque 808
Phone: (215)895-2786
Office hours: Tuesdays 3:00-4:00, Thursdays 4:30-5:30

Teaching Assistant (grader): Shuting Zhang
Office: Disque 705
Phone: (215)895-2732

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 10:00-10:50 a.m. in CAT 76. Please be on time.

Recitations will be on Wednesday 2:00-3:50 p.m. or 4:00-5:50 p.m. 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 II, 3rd Ed. In Physics 115, we will cover chapters 18-25.

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

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).

Use of solutions to these problems from previous years or 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, 7, and 9 (see schedule below)


The midterm will be given during recitation in Week 6 (on Wednesday, May 6). If we keep to the schedule, it will cover chapters 18 through 21. An equation sheet will be provided.

The final will be held on Friday, June 12 3:30-5:30pm in PISB 104. 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 March 30, April 1, 3 ch. 18
2 April 6, 8, 10 ch. 19 HW1 due
3 April 13, 15, 17 ch. 20 HW2 due, Program 1 due
4 April 20, 22, 24 ch. 21 HW3 due
5 April 27, 29, May 1 review chs. 18-21 HW4 due, Program 2 due
6 May 4, 6, 8 ch. 22 Midterm in recitation 5/6
7 May 11, 13, 15 ch. 23 HW5 due, Program 3 due
8 May 18, 20, 22 ch. 24 HW6 due
9 May 27, 29 (no class 5/25) ch. 25 HW7 due, Program 4 due
10 June 1, 3, 5 review chs. 22-25 HW8 due
11 June 8 Final Exam, TBA

Last update: