PY212 - General Physics II, Fall 2008

Prof. B. Lee Roberts, Prof. Ulrich Heintz, and Dr. Manher Jariwala

Lecture Section Time/Location Instructor Contact Information
A1 Tues. & Thurs. 8:00-9:30 am
in room SCI 115
Prof. B. Lee Roberts
Office: PRB 373
Phone: (617) 353-2187
B1 Tues. & Thurs. 2:00-3:30 pm
in room SCI 107
Prof. Ulrich Heintz
Office: PRB 371
Phone: (617) 353-9057
B1 Tues. & Thurs. 5:00-6:30 pm
in room SCI 115
Dr. Manher Jariwala
Office: PRB 251
Phone: (617) 353-5766

and Laboratory
Contact Prof. Roberts.
Contact Prof. Heintz or Dr. Jariwala.
Discussion Section
Teaching Fellows
Jason Olejarz
John Roush
Ying Tang
Email:, Office: SCI B21
Email:, Office: SCI B37
Email:, Office: PRB 268
Laboratory Section
Teaching Fellows
Rafael Hipolito
Zhiqiang Su
Duan Wang
Jingdi Zhang
Email:, Office: SCI 315
Email:, Office: PRB 368
Email:, Office: PRB 368
Email:, Office: PHO 701


Course prerequisites

PY 211 (General Physics I) and MA 124 (Calculus II) are required prerequisites. You MUST see your professor if you do not fulfill these conditions. Additionally, MA 225 (Calculus III) is strongly suggested as a co-requisite to this class.

Required texts

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Volume 2, by R. A. Serway and J. W. Jewett, 7th ed. The course book comes with a pass code for access to useful on-line content.


To get the most out of lecture, please read over the material ahead of time.

Web pages contains all information regarding the course, such as lecture schedule, homework assignments and solutions, practice exams (posted before exams), lab instructions and experiment write-ups. The page also contains links to interesting web sites about the history of electromagnetism as well as some other fun physics web sites. (spring 2008 listing) for grades etc. Your login name is your regular BU acs login name and your password is your acs kerberos password. In case of any problems, please contact Prof. Heintz. If you do not have an acs account you must get one. You can start the application process on-line at You will need to go to 111 Cummington for about 5 minutes to complete the process. You will be able to check your grades (labs, homework, quizzes, etc.) during the semester. It is your responsibility to check that your grades have been recorded correctly.


Weekly homework assignments consist of a set of problems you are required to neatly work out on paper and drop into the mailboxes of the TFs in the basement of SCI by 5 pm on the due date. All the problems are from the course text book; the problems for the full semester are listed at, where the solutions will also be posted after the due date (access to the solutions is restricted - you will be given the password in class). You are strongly encouraged to obtain help during discussion sections and/or during office hours. You may discuss homework with classmates but the work you turn in must be your own. The homework counts for 10% of your final grade.

Discussion sections

Discussion sections begin on the second week of classes. The discussion sections give you an opportunity to discuss the material in a small group. Each week during discussion you will be given a quiz or conceptual exercise. The exercises will count for 10% of your final grade.


There are seven labs; the schedule is posted at  Note that you are expected to do the pre-lab exercise before coming to lab, which will be turned in at the beginning of the laboratory section. Laboratory time will not be used to finish the pre-lab. The room assignments for a particular lab will be posted on all lab doors.  Experiment write-ups/instructions should be downloaded from the web-site, printed and brought with you to the lab. The format of the lab report is detailed on the web site. Lab reports MUST be turned in at the end of the 3-hour sessions, so you should prepare as much of the report ahead of time as possible. The labs count as 15% of your final grade.


Two midterm exams and one final exam will be given. All exams will be closed-book. Concerns about midterm grading MUST be brought to your professor's attention within one week after the midterms are returned. Midterms may be photocopied before being returned to discourage cheating on re-grade issues.
- Midterm Exam I will be given on Monday, September 29th, 8:00-9:30 pm.
- Midterm Exam II will be given on Monday, November 10th, 8:00-9:30 pm.
- The Final Exam is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 16th.

Course grade

Your final course grade will be based on:
- 20% Midterm Exam I.
- 20% Midterm Exam II.
- 25% Final Exam.
- 10% Homework (at least 50% of the maximum homework score required).
- 10% Conceptual Exercises given in discussion sections and occasionally in lecture.
- 15% Labs


You will need a standard scientific calculator for homework and labs. Calculators will not be allowed for the exams.

Makeup policy

It is YOUR responsibility to take all quizzes/exams and do all homework and labs according to the posted schedules. LATE WORK WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY CREDIT except in exceptional circumstances. Missing a midterm or a final exam will lead to a FAILING GRADE. If you miss an exam, lab, or discussion due to a medical reason, you must contact your professor as soon as possible to arrange a makeup.

Switching sections

To switch discussion sections, please see Prof. Roberts.
To switch lab sections, please see Dr. Jariwala.
Please keep in mind that section enrollment is very often limited due to space limitations.

Getting help

If you have difficulty with any of the material there are a number of ways to get help. You should ask questions of your teaching fellow during discussion section. You may also obtain help from one of the teaching fellows or any PY212 professor during office hours. You may make use of the physics resource center in SCI 121 to drop in and ask questions. Free tutoring is also available from the University Resource Center at 1 University Rd., Suite 150. Call 353-7077 for more details.

Ethics policy

You are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Conduct Code. In particular, cheating on exams, quizzes, homework or unauthorized collaboration on lab work will not be tolerated. Evidence of cheating will be reported immediately to your Academic Conduct Committee. Students found guilty of cheating may be penalized by suspension or expulsion.