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Introductory General Physics II

Course Code: PHYS 1207
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Physics
Credits: 5.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab, Hybrid
Typically Offered: Winter, Fall
course overview

This is a non-calculus based course intended for students pursuing a career in Life Sciences. Topics include electrostatics; direct current circuits; magnetic force and field; electromagnetic induction; geometric optics; interference, diffraction, and polarization of light; modern physics and radioactivity; temperature; thermal properties of matter; gas laws; laws of thermodynamics.

Course Content

Electricity and Magnetism: electrostatic force and field; electric potential; capacitance; direct current circuit elements; direct current circuit analysis; magnetic force and field; magnetic force applications; Ampere’s law; direct current meters; electromagnetic induction; generators.

Modern Physics:   time and length dilation, mass-energy, radioactivity

Light: wave nature of light, reflection and refraction, mirrors and lenses, interference and diffraction; polarization of light.

Heat: temperature and thermometers; thermal expansion of solids and liquids; Gas Laws; heat capacity and latent heats; heat transfer; thermodynamics.

Laboratory Experiments: the spectrometer; wavelength determinations; thin lenses; wave optics; charged particles in an electric field; electric circuits and resistance measurements; Kirchhoff’s rules and circuit analysis/capacitance; radioactivity; motion of charged particles in a magnetic field; introduction to the oscilloscope; electromagnetic induction; thermal linear expansion of solids; heating effect of an electric current/conservation of energy.

Methods of Instruction

Classroom time will be divided between the presentation and discussion of concepts on the one hand and the application of these concepts in problem solving on the other. The laboratory program will involve weekly, three hour sessions during which students will perform a set number of experiments. Some group work will be required.

Means of Assessment

The final grade in the course will be determined based on the following:

  1. final examination – minimum 30% / maximum of 40%
  2. test administered during the semester – minimum one test/maximum two tests - minimum 20% / maximum 30%
  3. submitted laboratory reports – 20%
  4. quizzes and/or assignments (possibly online) - minimum 10% / maximum of 20%


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

1.  Identify the following quantities and their SI units (where applicable): wavelength, frequency, velocity, index of refraction, focal length, magnification, electric charge, force, electric field, potential, potential difference, capacitance, permittivity, dielectric constant, electromotive force, current, resistance, resistivity, power, energy, time constant, magnetic field, torque, permeability, magnetic flux, radioactive decay constant,  temperature, coefficient of expansion, pressure, volume, mass, mole, gas constant, molecular mass, Avogadro’s number, heat, specific heat, latent heat, thermal conductivity, internal energy, work, efficiency.

2.  Demonstrate an understanding of the following concepts, procedures, and principles through the solution of problems: law of reflection; law of refraction / Snell’s law; total internal reflection; mirror equation; thin lens equation; constructive and destructive interference with light waves; Brewster’s law; Rayleigh’s criterion; Coulomb’s law; vector addition via components; electric field; electric potential energy, potential and potential difference; charged particle motion in an electric field; capacitance; capacitor combinations; energy storage in capacitors; electric current; Ohm’s law; resistance and resistivity; electric energy and power; resistor combinations; Kirchhoff’s rules; capacitor charging; magnetic force on moving charge; magnetic force on current carrying conductor; torque on a current loop; Ampere’s law; Faraday’s law; Lenz’s law; motional emf; time dilation, length contraction, mass-energy theorem, radioactivity,  thermal expansion of solids and liquids; gas laws; heat capacity; phase change; conservation of energy; calorimetry; heat transfer via conduction; first law of thermodynamics; thermodynamic processes; efficiency;  Camot cycle; entropy.

3.  Perform laboratory experiments and analyze the data obtained using appropriate graphing techniques, scientific notation, significant figures, and experimental uncertainty consideration.

4.  Write a formal laboratory report in the conventional format required for submissions to scientific journals.

course prerequisites

PHYS 1107 or equivalent


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.