•  Course Info

•  Course Syllabus

•  Course Calendar

•  Policies & Expectations

•  Material covered in class

•  Homework assignments


•  Presentations, demos, links, and programs

•  Class project

•  Opportunities for undergraduate research


• Solution HW5

• Solution Mid-Term Exam 1


Instructor:   Dr. Jose Vanderlei Martins
Office Hours/Contact:     MW 10:00–11:00 Physics Building – room 429                         Phone: 410-455 2764                martins@umbc.edu                                    

Grader/T.A.:    Tao Peng

Office Hours/Contact: 

M 3:00-4:00PM,  W  2:30-3:30PM

Physics Building – room 423

Phone: 410-455 1969


Lectures Time/Place:
MWF:  11:00-11:50 in PHYS201

Grading Method: Final Exam (20%), Mid-Terms (2x20%), Quizzes (10%), Homework (15%), Project (15%)

Required Texts:

“Vibrations and Waves”
Author: A.P. French
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series)
ISBN: 0393099369

"University Physics"(11th ed)
Authors: H.D. Young & R.A. Freedman
Publisher: Pearson Custom Publishing (UMBC Edition)
ISBN: 2004460053

Additional Material: (not required)

"The Physics of Vibrations and Waves" (6th edition)
Author: H.J. Pain
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
ISBN: 047001296X





Obs: A number of www-based aides, summary notes, etc. will be available but the students are always encouraged to take their own notes.


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] [Phy-Maj] [Phy-Min]
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 single-variable 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 upper-level 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 upper-level 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:

  1. describe several forms of simple harmonic motion, including
    • amplitude, velocity, acceleration & energy exchange as a function of time
  2. 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.

  1. describe coupled oscillators and normal modes of a system
  2. 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
  3. describe the propagation of both sound and electromagnetic waves (light), including use of
    • the Poynting Vector
    • Doppler shifts
  4. understand the concept of superposition, including
    • interference & diffraction
  5. understand the propagation of light encountering mirrors and lenses, including
    • the difference between geometric and physical optics
    • refraction & reflection
    • focal points & magnification
  6. introduction to Fourier methods, including
    • Fourier spectral analysis
  7. Understand applications of oscillations and waves in nature and in daily problems in Physics


Phys 224 Calendar - Spring 2008

Aug 27

First Day of Classes

Sep 1

Labor Day Holiday

Oct 15

Mid-Term #1

Nov 12

Mid-Term #2

Nov 27-30

Thanksgiving Break

Dec 9

Last Day of Classes

Dec 11-17

Final Exams




Students are expected to be familiar with the Policies & Expectations of this course, and all UMBC regulations.

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