Green sheet for Section 3


Reading & Pre-lecture (PL) simulation assignments


Pre-lecture (PL) simulations


Practice Problems


Chapters covered
and class slides


Course overview


Course instructor


Continuation Green Sheet

Continuation Green Sheet
(SJSU Requirements)











The course starts with an introduction to the basic concepts of electric charge and electric field. Just as the gravitational field makes it easy to calculate the force on a mass placed in the field (F = mg), knowing value of the electric field, caused by electric charges, makes it easy to calculate the force on a charge placed in an electric field (F = qE).

The concept of force between electric charges, positive and negative, is studied. Calculations involve the addition and subtraction of vector quantities. Vector addition, subtraction, and multiplication (dot product and cross product) will be used EXTENSIVELY during the rest of the semester. Students have learned these topics in Mechanics (Physics 50/70) but should review / learn them now before we start to use them. Forces between charges give rise to the movement of the charges and hence electric currents.

Calculating the electric field caused by one or two electric charges is fairly simple, but calculation of the field caused by a distribution of many electric charges is more complicated and will require the use of integral calculus (Math 31 is a prerequisite for this course). Using Gauss' Law makes the integrals really simple and the calculation easy. Also, one can calculate the field by first calculating the electrical potential, a scalar quantity related to the potential energy - a concept learned in Mechanics (Physics 50/70). As an application of electric fields, soot particles are removed from industrial smoke stacks by having electric fields in the stacks that exert horizontal forces on the electrically charged soot particles. And electrons moving inside a TV or computer monitor toward the screen are deflected horizontally and vertically to form images in the phosphor coating on the screen interior.

Then basic electrical circuits are covered where students gain a working knowledge of the concepts of electric charge, electric current, and voltage - topics covered in the early lab exercises. Simple calculations regarding the relationship among voltage, current, and electrical resistance in circuits are learned. Elementary circuit analysis techniques are studied to determine power dissipated in electrical resistors in more complex circuits.

The magnetic field, another vector quantity, is caused by electric charges that are moving with a velocity, either in an electric current or in space, like the charged cosmic particles that arrive on Earth from the Sun. Calculation of the magnetic field in this course generally involves integral calculus, but the integrals in Ampere's Law are simple and tabulated. Magnetic fields are essential for the operation of electric motors and computer memory.

Voltages can be induced, or generated, in a wire loop by varying the magnetic fields near them. These generated voltages produce electromotive forces and induced, or generated, electrical currents. Faraday's Law governs the generators used by power plants to produce electricity so important in our modern technological lifestyle.

With a knowledge of electric and magnetic fields and the energy associated with them we can understand and analyze how alternating current (AC) circuits work. These circuits provide the high frequencies necessary to operate our cell phones, TV stations, and other communications systems.

The course ends with a discussion of Maxwell's equations, most of which we will already have used in the course. These equations provide the basis for all of electromagnetic theory and predict the propagation of the electromagnetic waves (radio, TV, microwave, x-rays, light) used in our communications systems and optical devices and systems.


COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Joseph F. Becker

After receiving his PhD in Physics in 1976 from New York University, Dr. Becker spent three years as a post-doc at UC Berkeley in the laboratory of Prof. Melvin Calvin (who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work using radioactive carbon-14 to elucidate the intermediate steps in photosynthesis). Dr. Becker spent five years on the faculty at CSU Fullerton before coming to San Jose State in 1983. Before returning to graduate school to earn his PhD, Dr. Becker was employed in the engineering department at Grumman Aerospace Corporation in Bethpage, NY.

While at SJSU Prof. Becker has worked on optical measurements of excited states of molecules, and has worked on the development of an optical method for measuring the isotopic mass ratio of the stable isotopes C-12 and C-13 with Dr. Todd Sauke at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. In 1996 and 1997, Drs. Sauke and Becker were awarded two US patents for the stable isotope laser spectrometer they developed for use on NASA planetary exploration missions. The instrumental technique has potential for commercial use in human breath medical diagnostics.

Prof. Becker has authored over a hundred publications, reports, and successful grant applications (NASA, NSF, Research Corporation). He is a member of several technical societies, including the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Click here for a complete Curriculum Vitae.





Class PPT slides



Bring these printed handouts to class with you
to save time copying info during the lecture.

Ch. 21A Electric Charge and Electric Fields and Equipotential Lines

Ch. 21B Coulomb's Law and Electric Fields

Ch. 22 Gauss's Law

Ch. 23 Electric Potential

Ch. 24 Capacitance and Dielectrics

Ch. 25 Current Resistance, and Electromotive Force

Ch. 26 Direct-Current Circuits

Ch. 27 Magnetic Fields and Magnetic Forces

Ch. 28 Sources of Magnetic Fields / Ampere's Law

Ch. 29 Electromagnetic Induction / Faraday's Law

Ch. 30 Inductance

Ch. 31 Alternating Current Circuits

Ch. 32 Electromagnetic Waves



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© 2012 J. F. Becker