Course
Syllabus
(Based on previous PHYS 224 course by Prof Ian George)
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· PHYS 224
(from Catalog)


Introductory Physics III [3
credits] [PhyMaj] [PhyMin]
This course emphasizes vibrations, wave motion and optics. Topics includemathematical
characterization of vibrations and waves, sound, superposition of standing
waves, geometrical and physical optics, diffraction, interference and
polarization of light.

Prerequisite: PHYS 122
The course requires that students have the background in Physics provided by
PHYS121 and PHYS122. Concepts from these courses will be used on a daily
basis.
Corequisite: MATH 251
The course requires students to have a good working knowledge of
singlevariable Calculus. This includes differentiation & integration,
formulae for algebraic & trigonometric functions, computation &
manipulation of power series, Taylor
series, and polar coordinates.
Course Objectives
This course is the third part of the Introductory Physics program for Physics
Majors at UMBC, and the stepping stone to almost all the upperlevel Physics
courses. However, despite its name, it is not really a continuation of the
first two courses. Instead it sets the foundation (mainly mathematical) for
the upperlevel courses. Many of the concepts introduced in this course will
be encountered again (& expanded upon) in later courses in Quantum
Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism, Classical Mechanics, Optics etc.
Thus the main objective of this course is to provide students an introduction
to these fundamental concepts, and a thorough grounding in the mathematical
techniques, required in future courses.
By the
end of the course, successful students will be able to:
 describe
several forms of simple harmonic motion, including
 amplitude,
velocity, acceleration & energy exchange as a function of time
 write,
manipulate & solve the differential equations that describe the
behaviour of free, damped & forced oscillators, using both
 trigonomical
functions
 the
complex exponential formalism
and easily be able to switch between the two.
 describe coupled oscillators and normal
modes of a system
 describe
wave motion, including
 discrimination
of transverse vs longitudinal waves
 discrimination
of standing vs progressive waves
 deriving/solving
the equation for a propagating wave
 deriving/solving
the equation for a standing wave
 description
of energy transported by a wave
 description
of resonance
 have
an understanding of boundary effects & Huygen's Principle
 describe
the propagation of both sound and electromagnetic waves (light),
including use of
 the
Poynting Vector
 Doppler
shifts
 understand
the concept of superposition, including
 interference
& diffraction
 understand
the propagation of light encountering mirrors and lenses, including
 the
difference between geometric and physical optics
 refraction
& reflection
 focal
points & magnification
 introduction
to Fourier methods, including
 Fourier
spectral analysis
 Understand
applications of oscillations and waves in nature and in daily problems
in Physics
