Physics 1B             Spring 2012
 Course Information

The only constant is change.  You must check the class web site before each class for changes:, on the left, choose “Quick Links/Course Web Pages”, or

Updated 6/22/2012 9:42:45                 Section 744401


The Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Museum has a new, hands-on electric exhibit in the first room inside the entrance.  It’s fun to see and play with.

Someone may have lent a calculator to another student at the final exam, and left without collecting the calculator.  I have it.  Please let me know if it’s yours.


Please do NOT ask me to change your grade.  Grades are calculated, not negotiated.  To be fair to everyone, the spreadsheet calculates grades.  Final grades are already submitted, and can only be changed in the event of clerical error.  Final grades are posted under “General Information,” and should be available on your academic record in two days.

I updated the electricity slides with an electric circuit model of the heart (p 58), also reproduced here: ElectricHeart.pdf

Thank you all for all the good wishes, and for a great quarter.

Updated study idea #2:  Review each slide, and say out loud what its main concept is.  Every slide is there for a reason.

Let me know if any of the study or problem solving ideas have been useful.  Send me your methods that have worked for you

Updated “How to solve any problem” on Electricity slides: if you’re stuck on step 6, go back to #3 and add more things.

Study idea #1: Go over every formula on the formula sheet (start with the ones you already have).  For each formula, draw a diagram illustrating it, and describe in words every symbol in it.  For example, for delta-V = IR, draw a resistor with + on one end, and - on the other.  Draw current from + to -.  delta-V is the voltage across the resistor.  I is the current through it.  R is its resistance in ohms.

General Information

Final grades are posted here.  You should check all your grades as they are posted.  You must notify me of any grade questions within 1 week of their posting.            class.pdf


Podcasts available:



Dr. Eric L. Michelsen   
emichels at physics etc.
Office: SERF-317

Office hours:     Wednesdays, 12:30-2:30 in SERF-317

Teaching Assistant

Pengfei   Chen 
pec008 at physics etc.

Office hours: Wed 4-6pm, SERF-329


Serway & Jewett, Physics I Vol 2 (UCSD Custom Text+solutions), Volume 2, 4 Edition


Course coordinator



Lecture times

MWF 11-11:50

York 2622

Problem Session

Thursdays, 7-9pm,      
Center Hall 216



On selected Fridays


Final Exam

Confirm with schedule of classes.  As of 5/3: 06/15/2012 Fr 11:30a - 2:29p, York 2622

Location TBA

Physics Department Tutorial Center

Sunday-Thursday from 3-8 pm

2702 Mayer Hall Addition

Check the Schedule of Classes for updates.

Cool Websites

Get a feel for the size of the everything:  (Thanks to a Winter-2011 student.)

Electric Field Hockey game:

My Funky Physics tutorials: .

Thank you to Dr. Sutterly for her help in preparing this class.

Course Description

From the catalog: Second quarter of a three-quarter introductory physics course geared toward life-science majors. Electric fields, magnetic fields, DC and AC circuitry.


Tentative Schedule of Topics

Quiz dates are firm,
topics may vary


Chapter 19: Electric Forces and Electric Fields.  HW Ques 2, 5, 8, 9 Prob 3, 5, 13, 21.  New: 25, 27, 31, 49, 59




4/13: Quiz 1


Chapter 20: Electric Potential and Capacitance

HW: Chap 19 Ques 15, Prob 32, 65

HW: Chap 20 Ques 3, 4, 11, 12 Prob 1, 5



Final Ch 20:  Prob 29, 35, 48, 50

4/27: Quiz 2


Chapter 21: Current and DC Circuits

HW: Chap 21 Ques 3, 7, 13, 15. Prob 1, 5, 17, 23, 25, 30, 31, 45(a)




5/11: Quiz 3


Chapter 22: Magnetic Forces and Magnetic Fields

HW: Chap 22: Q1, 5, 9, 11.  P 1, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 33, 35, 37, 39, 45.  Not 57.




5/25: Quiz 4


Chapter 23: Faraday’s Law and Inductance

HW: Q 1-6, 8, 9.  P 1, 3, 6, 12, 13, 21.  P25 is withdrawn.




6/8: Quiz 5



6/15: Final Exam: Student ID required

We want you to succeed.  As part of that, we expect you to read ahead of the class, and start the homework even as it is being discussed in class.  I don't cover every topic in class; some I leave to the book.  I encourage questions in class, but if you want more individual questions answered, I also recommend going to the office hours, discussion/problem sessions, and the Physics Tutorial Center.


Physics 1A, and calculus.  There will be some calculus.

Problem Sessions

There is a weekly “Problem Session,” hosted by the TA.  The topics are driven by student questions during the session.  This is a chance for you to get answers to your questions.  After working on the homework, please come with good questions.  You should ask, “I tried doing the problem this way, and ran into a roadblock.  Can you help me through it?”  Or, “What concept do I use to get started on this problem?”  (You should not ask, “How do I do this problem?”)


The classroom response system is used to stimulate discussion and thought throughout the lectures.  You must bring your iClicker to every class.  Responses are a small part of your grade, though credit will be given for any overall effort judged significant. 

The point is thinking, not necessarily getting right answers the first time. 

Please think for yourself, as that will improve your grade on other materials much more than letting others think for you.  Don’t bother searching the book for the “right” answer; that only hurts you.  Instead, think for yourself.

Registering your iClicker:  You must register your iClicker online every quarter to get credit.  Register at .  Use your full 9-character student ID, starting with “A”, and the full 8-digit clicker ID, including any leading zeros.

You can share an iClicker with someone in a different class, but not with someone in the same class.  More answers at:   

iClicker scores count the days where a student answered 75% of the questions.  This will be enough for full credit.  Extra credit will be determined by overall class performance (essentially, curved).


The purpose of homework is to help learning. 
To understand the material, you must practice solving problems. 

Problems will be assigned roughly weekly.  Class discussion provide conceptual understanding for the numerical calculations.  HW is essential for numerical practice; class discussion alone is insufficient for passing the exams.

The first step in solving a problem is often the most difficult, so it is very important for you to start work on your own.  Consult your solutions only as a check, or if you are stuck.  Studying in groups may be valuable, but can not completely replace working on your own.  Problems given on the quizzes will often resemble the homework problems.  The textbook contains numerous worked sample problems, and a number of problems and questions at the end of the chapter.

Learning physics is about understanding why a solution works,
rather than just getting the correct numbers. 
Blindly plugging numbers into formulas is useless.


You must bring your Scantron form, and two soft pencils with you to quizzes, and know your Student ID.  Fill out your student ID ahead of time.  Please do not fold your Scantron sheet.

There may be reading quizzes done with iClickers on any day after reading is assigned.

There are 5 closed-book quizzes, given on the schedule above.  No note-sheets are allowed.  You must know some basic equations (e.g., F = ma); any equations beyond those will be given.  I will post ahead of time the formulas that will be given on the quiz.  Quiz scores and correct answers will be posted on the web.  Your overall quiz grade will be computed from your best 4 of the 5 quizzes; one quiz can therefore be missed without penalty.

The purpose of dropping one quiz is to accommodate one unavoidable conflict for medical, academic, athletic, or other reasons.  The purpose is not to improve your grade.

The quizzes are multiple choice. You must provide your own Scantron form (form # X-1018640PAR-L) and #2 (soft) pencil.  They are available at the bookstore and the general co-op store.  I recommend you fill in your 9-digit Student ID (use “1” for “A”) and quiz code before coming to class.

Final Exam

Your student I.D. is required to take the final exam.

The final will be just a big quiz: a closed-book exam, with no note sheets, and uniformly cover the whole course.  It will be multiple choice problems, just like the quizzes.  As always, you should bring a Scantron form (same as quizzes) with you, and a calculator (but not a laptop or phone).  You may wish to bring some blank scratch paper as well.  There will be approximately 30 questions.

Course Grade

The final grade weighting will be determined when all the scores are in, as part of the overall grading process.  Ranges are:

Classroom response = 5%, plus up to 5% extra credit for above-average contribution

Quizzes (best 4 of 5) = 65%

Final Exam = 30%

Academic Integrity

Every honest student benefits from maintaining high academic integrity.  Please read “UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship” in the UCSD General Catalog,  These rules will be rigorously enforced.  Any confirmed case of cheating will result in an “F” grade in this course, and referral to the dean for disciplinary action.  Cheating includes submitting another person’s work as your own; copying from another student on homework, or exams; knowingly allowing another student to copy from you; use of unauthorized materials during a quiz or exam; or any attempt to obtain a higher grade by means other than honest effort.  Cheating also includes attempts to manipulate grades unfairly; and intentionally misusing code numbers.

Course Notes

Announcements_1B.pdf            Prerequisites_1B.pdf   

Electricity_1B.pdf                     Magnetism_1B.pdf



The book’s solution to HW 19.49 is correct (but I don’t like it), and gives the same answer as what we did in class with a “thin” sheet.  A full analysis and comparison is here:       Sol_Chap_19.49.pdf




Quiz1_formulas_v2.pdf Quiz 1 scores   quiz1_solutions.pdf

Quiz2_formulas.pdf      quiz2_solutions.pdf       Quiz2_scores.pdf

Version 3: Quiz3_formulas.pdf  quiz3_solutions.pdf       quiz3_scores.pdf


The book’s solution to P22.13 approximates the angle of deflection, measuring it from the “middle” of the magnetic field region.  This is a very reasonable approximation, but makes the use of 3 significant digits in the calculation unrealistic; 2 digits is fine.

Sol_Chap_22.pdf         B_from_wire.pdf

Quiz4_formulas.pdf      quiz4_solutions.pdf       quiz4_scores.pdf


Sol_Chap_23.pdf         Note that Problem 25 is withdrawn: you don’t need to know the electric field from a changing B-field for this course.

MRI.pdf           For your enjoyment.  MRI is not part of the course.


quiz5_formulas.pdf       quiz5_solutions.pdf       quiz5.pdf


final_formulas.pdf         final_solutions.pdf         final_scores.pdf