Physics 210B: General Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sonoma State University


Spring 2011




Class: M W F 12-12:50 pm, Darwin 102

Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi

Phone: 664-2013


Office: Darwin 300J

Office Hours: Tu 1-1:50 pm, Th 2-2:50 pm and by appointment

Learning Objectives

Course Description and Goals: This is the second semester of an algebra-based physics class, which also requires geometry and trigonometry. You will be working on the Ideal Gas Law, Thermodynamics, Electric Charge and Field, Potential, Electric Current, Magnetism, Electromagnetic Waves, Wave Nature of Light, and Optics. The course is designed for students in the biosciences with material selected to be of use to Biological and Medical professionals, which should also give good preparation for the MCAT. If time permits, Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity will also be covered.

At the completion of the course you are expected to be able to apply physical principles to investigate a variety of problems and provide quantitative analyses consistent with the mathematical level of the course. You are going to learn the methods of problem solving and critical examination of the principles underlying each problem, not the mere memorizing of a method of solution.

Required Textbook: Physics, 2nd edition by Giambattista, Richardson, and Richardson, published by McGraw Hill. ISBN: 9780078089817.

When you purchase the book, make sure you also get the access codes to use both the ALEKS and CONNECT features to improve your math skills, and to complete the online homework assignments. Use the following course code to register for ALEKS: VGDMT - AF6W3. The access codes should be bundled with the new textbook for student purchase. If you decide to buy a used textbook or purchase an online version of textbook, you need purchase the access codes separately. CONNECT provides guidelines for each homework assignment, i.e., how each homework is structured, submitted and graded.



Course Schedule

Grading Policy


Final Exam, Friday 5/27, 11 am-12:50 pm. Comprehensive!


Exam 1


Exam 2







Course Grade











Below 60

A few things to remember:

1. Reading and homework will be assigned every week from the book. Homework is due the following week. There is no tolerance for late homework submission without medical or tragic reason.

2. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when your class grade is calculated.

3. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework, discussing the problems. You will be also asked to work on many in-class problems to improve your understanding. If you are working on a research project which involves physics, you are welcome to present your results to the class before the end of the semester. You will earn extra credit by doing so.

4. All quizzes, exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one (1) index card (3" x 5") to the class with equations and formulas. No makeup will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware the makeup exam/quiz may be entirely different from the original one.

5. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed through the semester.

Strategies to succeeding in this course:

1. Try your best to attend every class. Your grades will suffer if you often miss the classes. Participate and ask questions.
Read subject material before each class.
Start homework problems as early as you can. Never fall behind!
Study and understand every pertinent example in the covered topics. Try to understand which principles or laws are employed, and how.
Come to my office at my office hours with questions. Remember I am here to help you in any way I can so that you can do well.

Disability: If you have a disability and need special consideration, please contact the Office of Disabled Student Services, located in Salazar Hall, Room 1049, Phone 664-2677. Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, can be found at

Email me if you have questions or comments.

Last updated 2/2/2011