General Physics II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PHY 222

       Course Name: General Physics II

       Credits: 5 (4 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MAT 250 with minimum grade of C.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course continues PHY 221. Content includes quantitative methods utilizing differential and integral calculus. Content includes mechanical waves and sound, charge, electric field and potential, basic DC and AC circuits, Gauss’s Law, Ampere’s Law, Faraday’s Law, magnetic properties of matter, inductance, capacitance, electromagnetic radiation, geometrical optics, and physical optics.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Explain the physics of wave motion including: traveling waves, standing waves, interference, reflection, refraction, and energy transport.
  2. Apply the mathematics of wave mechanics to sound waves and describe characteristics of sound such as intensity, pressure variation, beats, and the Doppler Effect.
  3. Apply the mathematics of wave mechanics to light waves and describe characteristics of light such as intensity, the electromagnetic spectrum, the index of refraction, reflection, refraction, and the basics of diffraction and interference and polarization.
  4. Explain the workings of lenses and mirrors and how to determine the size and distance of images formed.
  5. Apply Coulomb’s Law to simple systems of charges and calculate the electric field due to these charges.
  6. Determine the electric field for simple charge distributions using Gauss’s Law.
  7. Explain the relationship between the electric potential and electric field and apply this relationship to calculate the electric potential for various charge distributions.
  8. Explain the operation and use of capacitors including the effect of dielectrics, how they can be included in electric circuits, and how energy is stored within them.
  9. Apply Kirchhoff’s rules to calculate currents and voltage drops across various components of an electric circuit.
  10. Describe how a magnetic field affects the motion of charged particles and calculate forces to current carrying wires.
  11. Apply Ampere’s Law to determine the magnetic field due to simple current distributions and explain how the Biot-Savart Law can be used to determine the magnetic field of complex current distributions.
  12. Apply Faraday’s Law and Lenz’s Law to determine the induced electromotive force within closed circuits in a magnetic field.
  13. Describe the operation of electric motors, generators, and transformers.
  14. Solve problems involving inductors combined with capacitors, resistors and DC voltage sources in electric circuits. This includes LR circuits, LC circuits and electromagnetic oscillations, and LRC circuits.
  15. Calculate average currents and voltages in circuits with alternating currents that include inductors, capacitors and resistors. This includes explaining the concepts of impedance, reactance and resonance.
  16. Explain how Maxwell’s equations describe the production of electromagnetic waves.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Wave motion, traveling waves, standing waves, superposition, reflection and refraction.
  2. Sound waves, pressure waves, intensity, air columns, interference, beats, Doppler effect.
  3. Coulombs Law, the electric field and motion of charged particles.
  4. Gauss's Law and electric flux.
  5. Electric Potential and its relationship to electric field, equipotential surfaces, and electric dipoles.
  6. Capacitors, dielectrics, and energy storage.
  7. Resistivity, Current, Ohm’s Law, electric power, and alternating current.
  8. DC circuits, circuits containing resistors and capacitors, and Kirchhoff’s rules.
  9. The effect of magnetic fields on moving charged particles and current carrying wires.
  10. Sources of magnetic fields, Ampere’s Law and the Biot-Savart Law.
  11. Solenoids, ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, and diamagnetism.
  12. Induced EMF, Faraday’s Law, Lenz’s Law, back EMF, counter torque, generators and motors.
  13. Inductance, LR circuits, LC circuits, electromagnetic oscillations, LRC circuits.
  14. AC Circuits, impedance, reactance, and resonance.
  15. Maxwell’s equations, production of electromagnetic waves, and energy in electromagnetic waves.
  16. Reflection and refraction of light, mirrors, lenses, image formation, and dispersion
  17. Light interference, Young’s double slit.

Laboratory Exercises: A minimum of ten laboratory exercises will be done from the following list:

  1. Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
  2. Operations of a Current Limiting Power Supply
  3. Ohm's Law
  4. Ammeters and Voltmeters
  5. Resistances in Series and Parallel
  6. Joule Heat
  7. The RC Time Constant
  8. Reflection and Refraction
  9. Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
  10. Air Column Resonance: The Speed of Sound in Air
  11. EMF and Terminal Voltage
  12. The OpAmp
  13. OpAmp Applications
  14. Resistivity
  15. Multiloop Circuits: Kirchhoff's Rules
  16. Electromagnetic Induction
  17. The Diode
  18. The Oscilloscope and AC Circuits

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, demonstration, problem solving, cooperative learning, and discussion methods will be used throughout the course. In addition, laboratory demonstrations and hands-on activities will be performed, and selected videos may be shown.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. The required readings will include the textbook, laboratory manual, and selected material supplied by the instructor.
  2. Mathematics and problem solving will be emphasized. Differential and integral calculus will be used throughout the course. A review of these skills may be necessary. Students should be aware that such a review might be needed and should seek appropriate assistance. Students will be expected to use a hand‑held scientific calculator throughout the course.
  3. Laboratory practice includes correct setup of the apparatus, performing the experiment, collecting and analyzing the data, and submitting a write-up as required by the instructor. Students are required to locate, retrieve and replace all needed lab equipment at designated places and clean up the work area before leaving.
  4. Students will be expected to write at least six laboratory reports. The instructor will determine the experiments that will be written up.
  5. Team work is encouraged and needed for efficient lab work.
  6. Safe work practices, as established by the instructor, must be strictly followed by all students.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Text Equivalent to: Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Knight, 3rd edition, Addison Wesley, 2014.

Lab activity handouts produced by Oakton Community College’s Department of Physics will be available electronically.

Calculator:  Any Scientific Calculator. However, the instructor may require a specific calculator to be used during quizzes and exams.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

This may vary by instructor. In general, methods of evaluation will include tests and quizzes that include an opportunity for students to demonstrate problem solving ability and conceptual understanding of the material. Homework will be assigned, but its inclusion in the student’s grade may vary by instructor. Lab write-ups will be required but their format and weight on the student’s grade may vary by instructor.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance policy is determined by the instructor.

Tutoring services are available through the Learning Center.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at