Physics 24, Winter 2012 - Prof. Nelson

The final will take place Wednesday, March 21 from 4pm to 7pm in 1640 Broida. One sheet of notes, both sides; bring a calculator and a bluebook; a ruler will be useful to.

For Problem Set 10, delete problem 44.8. Problem set 10 is now due on Tuesday, March 20 by 1pm. Then solutions will be posted by 3pm.

Solutions for PS 1-9 and lecture notes are now posted.

Professor Nelson will have extra office hours 3-5pm on Tuesday, March 20 at his office (5103 Broida) and also Wednesday, March 21 11-1pmam.

Practice Midterm... Solutions.

Times and People

Welcome to Physics 24 for Winter, 2012. Our lectures are MWF 1-1:50 pm in Broida 1640. Attendance is required at section, Thursday 1-1:50pm in Psychology 1924, taught by Curt Nehrkorn.


We plan to cover Chapters 5-9 in Purcell in the first portion of the course, and then move to material from Halliday, Resnick, and Krane... 4th edition. Our goal is Chapters 43-47. I have a few used copies I'll sell at cost.

Required Items

The required items are:

  1. Purcell, Electricity and Magnetism. Any version of the second edition if fine; there is an online edition (a little clunky and pricey) available at Powell's.
  2. An old edition of Resnick, Halliday, & Krane; we'll decide which one in class.

  3. Please register your iClicker... use your Perm # as your Student ID.
  4. Calculations must be done, so a scientific calculator (must have trig, exponential, etc) is essential.

Recommended Items

Purcell is a challenging textbook, and assumes that you have or are rapidly developing good ability in vector calculus. For those who want to turbocharge or refresh their vector calculus, Schey, Div, Grad, Curl and All That is a good resource.

A laptop is very useful for a variety of reasons, among them... it is really nice to do calculations in Excel.


The heart of this course is the working of problems. Much of the discussion sections will consist of doing problems. Weekly problem sets will be due Mondays, to be turned in to the Physics 24 boxes in the lobby of Broida Hall, by 5pm. The problems are generally not the type of problems that you can get done in a few minutes... some may take a few hours, so start early, and utilize our office hours. You are also encouraged to work together to figure out how to do problems, but, you must write up your own solutions independently.

Unfortunately, solutions can be found sometimes on the web. Copying such solutions and turning them in is forbidden, and will hurt you when you try to take the tests for this course, because you can't copy during the test. And often the solutions on the web are wrong.

Write up your solutions carefully and neatly. Generally, make a clear diagram, introduce algebraic variables for unknowns, and solve for answers symbolically. Plug in numbers at the end, and, do some cross checking as well as consideration of limiting cases (like, what if each mass in the problem becomes very large or very small?).

If homework is late by more than two days from the due date, you will get no credit. If you turn it in up to two days late, you will receive 50% credit.

Grading and Tests

The plans for grading are: Class Participation (measured in part with the iClickers), 10%; Problem sets, 25%; Midterm 25%; Final 40%. Current plan is for one midterm, on Monday, February 13.

Office Hours

Prof. Nelson will hold office hours Friday and Monday from 2:00-3:00pm, in 5103 Broida at the moment. Curt Nehrkorn will hold office hours in the PSR Monday 3:30-5:00pm, and Tuesday 2:00-3:30pm.

Treat Everyone with Respect

Some serious issues of harassment have from time to time arisen in our classes. If you feel you have experienced hazing or harassment, this document can help you do something about it.


The first column shows the week number, and a link to the course lecture notes, when available... don't count on these!
The second column has the date.
The third column has the textbook sections in Purcell or RHK4 to read.
The fourth column has a partial list of topics.
The fifth column has the problems due for the week.
The last column has links to some pertinent web pages.

Week Date Reading Partial Topics Problems Links/Comments
1 1/9 Purcell Chap 5, Appendices A and B Fields of Moving Charges, Radiation Due 1/18 Solutions Earth's Magnetic Field Figure, Historical Location of the North Magnetic Pole, Dan Schroeder's talk on this portion of Purcell, Wolfram Demo, Caltech Moving Charge
2 1/18 Purcell Chap 6.1-6.5 Magnetic Field, Biot-Savart Due 1/23 Solutions Curt's Section Notes
3 1/23 Purcell Chap 6.5-6.7, 7.1, 7.2 Field Transformation, Hall Effect, Induction Due 1/30 (note problem 6.33 was added) Solutions Solar Flare, CMS Solenoid, CMS Event Display, Curt's Section Notes
4 1/30 Purcell Chap 7 Magnetic Induction Due 2/6 Solutions (Solutions for 7.1 and 7.2 had slight corrections on 2/12) Aurora from recent Solar Flare, THEMIS Aurora Explanation, Giant Soap Bubbles illustrate a surface for calculating flux, bounded by a circuit. Curt's Section Notes
5 2/6 Purcell Chap 8 AC Circuits Due 2/15, (added problem 7.23) Solutions
6 2/13 Purcell Chap 9 Displacement Current Due 2/22 Solutions
7 2/22 Purcell Chap 9, Begin Chapter 10 EM Waves, Dielectrics Due 2/27 Solutions
8 2/27 Purcell Chap 10, Begin RHK4 Chapters 42, 43 Dielectrics, Light Due 3/5 Solutions Electromagnetic and Visible Spectrum Visible Spectrum with Atomic Emission
9 3/5 RHK4 Chapters 43, 44 Reflection, Refraction Due 3/12,Scan of problems, Solutions Huygens' Principle, Illustration of Diffraction, Water Tank Diffraction, Index of Refraction Table, Reflection, Transmission Intensities
10 3/12 RHK4 Chapter 44 Lenses and Devices Due 3/20,Scan of problems, Solutions Aurora 1 , Aurora 2 , Moon's Magnetism