Electromagnetim Syllabus

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)

25% - Quizzes (~2 per week)
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:

  1. Your hand-drawn artistic cover showing a 3D field (magnetic or electric, with or without some other object)
  2. The assigned full-length lab write-ups
  3. All quizzes in a separate section
  4. All worksheets/homework assignments in a separate section
  5. All your in-class notes in a separate section

Homework, which consists of the following:

  1. Checking the website EVERY AFTERNOON for a list of daily homework assignments.
  2. Readings given out in class, on the website, or linked from the website.
  3. Watching short videos and completing computer-experiments on or linked from the website.
  4. Studying your notes and reviewing the basic principles on a regular basis
  5. Completing your lab write-ups
  6. Research, design, building, testing,  and understanding the principles of your construction project

Extra Credit:
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.

Construction Project:
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: