PHYS& 116: General Physics III with Lab

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

The third 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 third quarter the topics studied will include electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic induction and waves, quantum physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Biological applications of physics will be studied whenever possible.


Completion of PHYS& 115 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 electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic induction and waves, quantum physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.
  2. Apply conceptual reasoning to analyze situations involving the material studied in this course.
  3. Present well-reasoned solutions of problems at a level appropriate for the course.
  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. Electric Charge and Electric Field
    Charges and forces
    Coulomb’s law
    The electric field
    Applications of the electric field
  2. Electric Potential
    Electric potential energy and electric potential
    Sources of electric potential
    Conservation of energy
    Calculation of electric potential
    Capacitors, dielectrics, and electric field energy
  3. Current and Resistance
    Introduction to current
    Batteries and EMF
    Ohm’s law and resistors
    Energy and power in circuits
    Circuit elements and diagrams
    Kirchhoff’s laws
    Series and parallel circuits
    Measuring voltage and current
  4. Magnetic Fields and Forces
    Magnetism and the magnetic field
    Magnetic field of a current
    Moving charges and currents in magnetic fields
    Torques on dipoles
  5. Electromagnetic Induction and Waves
    Induced current
    Motional emf
    Magnetic flux and Faraday’s law
    Induced fields and electromagnetic waves
    Properties of electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum
  6. Quantum Physics
    X-rays and diffraction
    The photoelectric effect and Einstein’s photon hypothesis
    Matter waves
    Quantization of energy
    The uncertainty principle
  7. Atoms and Molecules
    The quantum-mechanical hydrogen atom
    Multi-electron atoms
    Excited states and spectra
    Lasers and other applications of quantum mechanics
  8. Nuclear physics
    Nuclear structure and stability
    Forces and energy in nuclei
    Nuclear decay and half-lives
    Medical applications
    Quarks and leptons
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.