This class will deal with the mysterious phenomena associated with Electricity and Magnetism. Some topics include: so-called ‘static’ electricity, fields, electrodynamics, series and parallel circuits, magnetic fields, natural magnetism, induction coils, electromagnets, generators and motors, AC and DC, and the electromagnetic spectrum.
The focus of this class will be an experiential and phenomenological look at one of the most profound sets of phenomena in the history of science. Emphasis will be placed on the harmony and interrelationship exhibited by the phenomena via direct, careful observation. We will try to develop capacities for clear thinking, curiosity, attention to detail, and imagination, which will allow us to get a sense for the phenomena that penetrates more deeply than abstract ‘textbook-knowledge’ can usually achieve.
Grading: (See rubric below for more details)
20% - Final Exam
20% - Construction Project and Presentation
15% - Lab Write-ups (i.e. “Main Lesson Book”)
15% - Homework Completion, In-Class Participation, Attendance, and Lab Participation
5% - Worksheets
“Main Lesson Book”:
The MLB for this block is non-standard. The following must be included in the following order:
- Your hand-drawn artistic cover showing a 3D field (magnetic or electric, with or without some other object)
- The assigned full-length lab write-ups
- All quizzes in a separate section
- All worksheets/homework assignments in a separate section
- All your in-class notes in a separate section
Homework, which consists of the following:
- Checking the website EVERY AFTERNOON for a list of daily homework assignments.
- Readings given out in class, on the website, or linked from the website.
- Watching short videos and completing computer-experiments on or linked from the website.
- Studying your notes and reviewing the basic principles on a regular basis
- Completing your lab write-ups
- Research, design, building, testing, and understanding the principles of your construction project
Extra credit for this block consists of additional formal lab write-ups for in-class experiments for which lab write-ups are not already assigned. Each additional, fully complete, formally documented and illustrated lab is worth 2% of your grade, for a maximum 10% total (i.e. 5 additional write-ups); this is the equivalent of one full letter grade.
Your construction project can be completed either as an individual or in groups of two (no more). You must choose a project that is sufficiently difficult and complex to require significant time to complete outside of class (imagine at least 30-40% of your homework time from this class goes to your project). More than one individual or group may choose the same project topic, although they should be completed independently. You should start this project immediately upon approval of your idea by me. Your project idea must be approved by me no later than the first Thursday of the block. See the website for project ideas.
When you need help on a particular topic, your first recourse is the class website:
Then, examine any handouts given in class, ask other students, or ask me.
The internet is an extremely useful source of information as well (the website has a number of links).
Electromagnetism Grading Rubric
The grading rubric below is for an A+ grade and will give you an idea of the basic requirements for the block. Lower grades are characterized by including items below but with less quality or quantity, by not including items below, by turning items in late, etc.
To receive an A+ grade in this block you must have:
- Your lab write-ups are turned in on time and completed accurately with comprehensive, detailed sections as follows:
(see the Lab 1 Sample Write-up for more detail on how to complete a lab write-up)
- Includes a paragraph of background/lead-up for the experiment. The background you provide includes information that allows the reader to understand why you performed the experiment and what you are investigating.
- Includes historical information from independent, outside research to help give a context for the experimental question being dealt with.
- Materials and Procedure:
- Includes a description of the materials used and their initial setup.
- Includes a complete and accurate description of the process of the experiment, i.e. what you actually did with the materials.
- Includes a nicely made, colored drawing of the initial setup.
- Includes complete, detailed, accurate descriptions of what happened at each stage of the experiment from a purely observational standpoint. This is just a record of the directly observable/sensible facts.
- Includes a nicely made, colored drawings of various important stages of the experiment as needed to help show what you observed.
- Includes notes about the conditions under which the experiment was performed: i.e. ambient weather conditions, lighting, time of day… all sorts of things that may affect the experiment, whether or not you know for sure.
- Includes a detailed, accurate analysis of the experiment, based on our discussions in class.
- Includes information from outside, independent research that helps to explain the phenomenon or give a different perspective on the observations
- Enough detail is provided so a reader really feels a depth of understanding concerning the phenomenon in question.
- Includes any further drawings that might help explain the phenomenon.
- Includes a discussion on the possible sources of error in the experiment.
- Includes your own thoughts on ways you could improve this same experiment (i.e. reduce errors stated previously).
- Includes your own thoughts about what the results mean, point to, indicate, or have to say that is interesting.
- Includes a paragraph that sums up all the major points in the discussion section – the “golden nugget” (or two).
- Includes your own thoughts on possible further experiments that could be performed that take the topic further or into different areas.
- Construction Project and Presentation
- It is a sufficiently complex project which works as designed
- Demonstrates one or more principles of electromagnetism, electrodynamics, electrostatics, and magnetism
- Presentation includes a working demonstration of the apparatus
- Presentation includes a detailed and succinct explanation of the electromagnetic principles at work in the device
- Accurate and complete notes, included in a separate section in your main lesson book.
- Quizzes completed with a grade of 97% or better, included in a separate section in your main lesson book.
- The final exam completed with a grade of 97% or better.
- Worksheets completed with a grade of 97% or better, turned in on time, and included in your main lesson book in a separate section .
- Appropriate participation in class: raising your hand to contribute to discussions at least once every class, staying focused during class, being present every day, arriving on time every day ready to go, following instructions promptly and accurately, being generally respectful of yourself, the class, and the teacher.