PHYS& 115: General Physics II with Lab

Class Program
Lab Science
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 44 Lab Hours 22

The second course in an three-quarter algebra-based sequence. A balance of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability is emphasized; laboratory and lecture are integrated in the sequence. In this second quarter the topics studied will include fluids, oscillations, waves and sound, thermodynamics, geometric and physical optics. Biological applications of physics will be studied whenever possible.


Completion of PHYS& 114 with 2.0 or higher.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Apply algebra and right-angle trigonometry to the solution of problems involving fluids, oscillations, waves, sound, thermodynamics, geometric and physical optics.
  2. Apply conceptual reasoning to analyze situations involving the material studied in this course.
  3. Present well-reasoned solutions of problems.
  4. Present experimental results in clearly written laboratory reports.
  5. Use technology such as calculators and computer spreadsheets to perform calculations, analyze data, and present data in graphical form at levels appropriate for the course.
Institutional Outcomes
IO2 Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to reason mathematically.
Course Content Outline
  1. Fluids
    Density and pressure
    Motion of fluids
  2. Oscillations
    Describing simple harmonic motion
    Energy in simple harmonic motion
    Pendulum motion
    Damped and driven oscillations
  3. Waves and Sound
    Types of waves
    Mathematical and graphical descriptions of waves
    Sinusoidal waves
    Pressure waves and sound
    Wave power and intensity
    Loudness of sound and the decibel scale
    The Doppler effect and shock waves
    Superposition and standing waves
    Speech and hearing
    Interference of waves
  4. Thermodynamics
    The atomic model of matter
    Thermal expansion
    The ideal-gas law
    Thermal properties of gases
    Heat transfer processes
    Thermodynamic processes
    The first and second laws of thermodynamics
  5. Geometric Optics
    The ray model of light
    Reflection and refraction
    Image formation with thin lenses and mirrors
    Thin lenses
    Optical instruments: the camera, the eye, magnifiers, microscopes, and telescopes
  6. Physical Optics
    The wave nature of light
    Interference from thin films and multiple sources
    Diffraction from single slits and circular apertures
Department Guidelines


Exams and Quizzes 50-60% Homework 20-30% Laboratory Reports 20%


Lecture In-class active learning Small group work Laboratory observation, measurement, and Experimentation

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.