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PHYS 2421 - Fundamentals of Physics
Course last offered 
Fall 2011/12
Shengwang DU, Rolf W LORTZ
No. of credits

Teaching Pattern
  • Duration of course: about 14 weeks
  • Lecture hour(s) / tutorial hour(s) / laboratory hour(s) per week: 3 / 1 / 2
  • Electric field due to point charges, dipole, line of charge and disk of charge
  • Electric charge in a E field, dipole in a E field
  • Electric flux, Gauss’ Law, application to isolated conductors
  • Gauss’ Law applied to systems with cylindrical, planar and spherical symmetry
  • Electric potential energy and electric potential, equipotential surface, potential due to point charges
  • Potential due to electric dipole, a line and a disk of charge, finding E from V, potential energy of a system of point charges, and
  • potential due to a charged isolated conductor
  • Capacitance, capacitors in series and parallel
  • Energy stored in a E field, dielectrics
  • Current and current density, resistance and resistivity, Ohm’s law
  • Circuits, Kirchhoff’s laws, RC circuits
  • Charged particles in a magnetic field, and cross E and B field, Hall effect, circulating and spiral paths of charged particles, mass spectrometer
  • Particle accelerators, magnetic force on a current-carrying wire, magnetic dipole moment
  • Magnetic field due to a current, Biot-Savart law, force between current-carrying conductors
  • Ampere’s law, solenoid and toroid, current carrying coil as a magnetic dipole
  • Faraday’s law of induction, Lenz’s law, induced electric field
  • Inductors, self induction, RL circuits, energy stored in a B field, mutual inductance
  • EM oscillation, RLC circuits, simple AC circuits
  • Series RLC circuit, power in AC circuits, transformers
  • Gauss’ law for magnetism, induced B field, displacement current, Maxwell’s equations, earth’s magnetic field
  • Microscopic origin of magnetism, dia-, para-, and ferromagnetism, hysteresis
  • EM wave
  • Temperature, heat, first law of thermodynamics, heat transfer mechanisms
  • Ideal gas law, kinetic theory of gases
  • Maxwell’s distribution, specific heat and degrees of freedom, adiabatic process, free expansion
  • Entropy and the second law, reversible and irreversible processes, heat engines
  • Exclusion: PHYS 1413, PHYS 1433, PHYS 2411, PHYS 112 (prior to 2007-08)
  • Prerequisite: AL* Physics/Engineering Science/PHYS 1411
* AL – Advanced Level of Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination
PHYS 2421 will not be offered w.e.f. Spring 2012/13. It can be substituted by PHYS 1114 or PHYS 1154, together with PHYS 1115.