Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology


Semester: Spring 2024                 Course: PHYS 202 - General Physics II
Credit hours:
4                        Pre-requisite: A grade of C or better in PHYS 201
PHYS 202L         

Meeting Place, Days & Time: Sims 209, T & Th 12:30-1:45.                          Course  Schedule       

Professor: Dr. Ponn Maheswaranathan (HUMahesUH).
Office Hours: T & Th 11-12:30, T 3-4:30, and W 4 - 5  (Sims 213-B) and  virtual (  WebLink    ) by appointment.   
Cell Phone: 803-504-9399, E-mail:

Textbook: College Physics, 2nd Ed, by OpenStax, Free Online Textbook   

Laboratory: W 5:00 - 7:50 PM or R 2-4:50 PM. 
Students need to register for one of the above lab sections, PHYS 202L.
Laboratory will meet during the first week of classes, it will start on 1/10/24 and 1/11/24.      

Course Description:
The PHYS 201-202 sequence covers the major branches of classical physics: PHYS 201 deals with mostly mechanics, wave motion, and sound while PHYS 202 covers thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics. The course emphasizes understanding of fundamental physics concepts and principles as well as the development of conceptual and analytical problem solving skills by using physics concepts, principles, and mathematics in the solution of various interesting and challenging real world problems. This course should also help you review and master your algebra, trigonometry, and apply them in physics.

Course Objectives:

University-Level Competencies:

General Physics II introduces students to the role of scientific reasoning in solving introductory physics problems using algebra & trigonometry (e.g. calculating entropy changes in thermodynamics, calculating magnetic field due to electric currents, and analyzing circuits). They will apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry during the laboratory, PHYS 202L, and write well-reasoned conclusions. They will also be introduced to the history of scientific discovery (e.g., topics and devices are introduced with historical perspectives) and learn that the theories in physics evolve into laws after continuous re-evaluations and arguments. In addition they will see how scientific advances made in a laboratory transform into useful technological devices (e.g., the development of the transistor from vacuum tube to silicon chip).   

Attendance and Participation:
Students are encouraged to attend all the lectures and to actively take part in classroom activities. Regular attendance and good participation efforts will help in the final letter grade assignment for borderline cases. 

COVID-19 Statement: During this pandemic period each student is expected to act in the best interest of the WU community by behaving responsibly to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All students, faculty, and staff must wear masks inside buildings and classrooms, unless alone in a private office. All members of the campus community must follow campus guidance on masking. Please do not attend class if you have fever or any signs of the COVID virus; do not attend class if your roommate or someone you have close contact with acquires the virus and be respectful of others to remain COVID-free. Students who violate WU guidelines will be asked to comply. Continued failure to comply may result in referral to the Dean of Students Office as a student conduct violation.  

COVID-Related Absence: Students should contact Health Services regarding a positive test, close contact, or enhanced COVID-like symptoms. Any student who has either tested positive, has COVID-like symptoms, or has close contact with someone who has COVID, must contact Health Services. Students should log in to the Patient Portal to schedule a TELEPHONE TRIAGE Appointment w/ COVID as the reason and upload the positive test result if applicable. Health Services will communicate with the student on what steps to take next, and if need be, the Dean of Students Office will get absence verification for required isolation and quarantine. Students who verify their absences through the Dean of Students Office often minimize any academic impact caused by missed class time. Health Services will only provide dates of absence, not medical information. Please note, residential students who test positive or are a close contact are expected to follow their personal COVID Quarantine and Isolation Plan.  

Chapter sections, questions, and problems are assigned for each lecture. It is important that you read the chapter sections before coming to a lecture. After attending the lecture you should re-read the chapter, answer the questions and solve problems. Get help when needed. Homework will be collected via paper and BlackBoard.    

Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access:
Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility (OA) at 803-323-3290, or,
. Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Accessibility.

Winthrop’s Academic Success Center:
Winthrop’s Academic Success Center (ASC) is a free resource for all undergraduate students seeking to perform their best academically.  The ASC offers a variety of personalized and structured resources that help students achieve academic excellence, such as tutoring, academic skill development (test taking strategies, time management counseling, and study techniques), group and individual study spaces, and academic coaching.  The ASC is located on the first floor of Dinkins, Suite 106.  Please contact the ASC at 803-323-3929 or  For more information on ASC services, please visit

Winthrop’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA) identifies and assists highly motivated and talented students to apply for nationally and internationally competitive awards, scholarships, fellowships, and unique opportunities both at home and abroad. ONCA gathers and disseminates award information and deadlines across the campus community, and serves as a resource for students, faculty, and staff throughout the nationally competitive award nomination and application process. ONCA is located in Dinkins 222. Please fill out an online information form at the bottom of the ONCA webpage and email for more information.

Student Conduct Code: The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct" website and the Student Handbook. 

Syllabus change policy: The instructor will make changes to this syllabus as deemed necessary for the progression of the course.

Tests & Final: Three tests (30% total) and a comprehensive final (25%) are scheduled as follows.


Tests and Final


Content Description


Test #1

13,14,15, 18

Temperature, Heat, Thermodynamics, Electric Forces, and Electric fields .  


Test #2


Electric potential and Electric Circuits. 


Test #3

22, 23,24

Electromagnetism, ac circuits, and electromagnetic waves.




Geometric and Wave Optics.

4/25/24, 11:30

Comprehensive Final Exam


Points & Grade:
Tests: 30% (10% Each), Homework: 18%, Laboratory: 25%, Course Evaluation: 2% (1% for 202 and 1% for 202L), and Final: 25%.
The letter grade will be assigned as follows:

100% - 90% = A   
 89% - 87% = A-    86% - 84% = B+    83% - 80% = B    79% - 77% = B-   
    76%-74% = C+   73% - 67% = C     66% - 64% = C-     63%-60% = D      59%- 0%  = F