UConn Physics

UConn Physics I 

An in-depth course relating experimental techniques and mathematical foundations.  Topics treated in detail 

include equilibrium, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, impulse and momentum, 

heat and thermodynamics.  Moreover, this course will focus on the physical underpinnings of dynamics and 

kinematics. After successful completion of this class, four college credits are available from the University of Connecticut.

UConn Physics II

An in-depth course employing mathematical and experimental techniques in gaining an understanding of 

periodic wave motion, sound and acoustics, electricity and magnetism, light, optics, and introductory relativity 

theory and quantum mechanics.   On successful completion of this course four college credits are available from the University of Connecticut.

Course Syllabus/Outline UConn ECE Physics
Text:  University Physics (ninth edition) by Young and Freedman

First Semester




Measurement, Units and Vectors; standards, precision vs accuracy, vector notation and operations


One Dimensional Motion; graphical representation of motion, average and instantaneous velocity and acceleration, free fall, relative motion


Two and Three Dimensional Motion; velocity vectors and acceleration vectors, projectile motion, circular motion, relative velocities


Motion Laws; force, Newton’s first law, mass, acceleration and the second law, mass and weight, the third law, free body diagrams


Applying Motion Laws; equilibrium conditions, application of second law, contact forces and friction, circular motion dynamics, natural forces


Work and Kinetic energy; energy and its conservation work and work variable forces, work and kinetic energy, power


Conservation of Energy & Potential Energy; potential energy and its conservation, gravitational and elastic potential energy, conservative and nonconservative forces, force and potential energy, internal work and energy


Momentum, It’s Conservation and Impulse; momentum, conservation of momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions, impulse


Rotation of Rigid Bodies; angular displacement, velocity and acceleration, rotational inertia and kinetic energy, moment of inertia


Dynamics of Rotational Motion; torque, torque and angular acceleration, rotational equilibrium, angular momentum and its conservation, gyroscopic motion, work and power in rotational motion


Equilibrium and Elasticity; conditions of equilibrium, center of gravity couples, tension and compression, stress and strain, elastic and plastic deformation


Gravitation; law of universal gravitation, weight and mass, field intensity, potential energy, satellite motion, Kepler’s laws, international gravity formula


Fluids and Fluid Mechanics; density, pressure of fluids, buoyancy, surface tension, fluid flow, Bernoulli’s principle and equation, real fluids


Temperature, Heat and Thermal Effects; temperature and heat, thermal equilibrium and scales, thermal expansion, modes of heat transfer, calorimetry, quantity of heat, state equations, heat capacity, ideal gases and the kinetic molecular theory, phases of matter


The Laws of Thermodynamics; expanded energy conservation law, work in isobaric isothermal isochoric and adiabatic processes, internal energy and the first law, times arrow, Carnot engines, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy


Periodic Motion; simple harmonic motion, circle of reference, pendulum motion, forced and damped oscillations, resonance


Mechanical Waves; types of matter waves, periodicity and waves, propagation velocity of wave forms, energy in wave motion


Superposition, Normal Modes and Sound; boundary conditions, superposition principle, normal modes and standing waves, wave interference, resonance, sound waves, absolute and relative intensity scales, beats, Doppler effect

Second Semester




Electrostatics & Electric Field; electric charge, conductors vs. insulators, conservation of charge, Coulomb’s law, fundamental law of electrostatics, electric field and force, dipoles


Gauss’ Law; electric flux, Gauss’s law, application changes on conductors


Electric Potential; electric potential energy, potentials, equipotential surfaces, potential gradients


Capacitors and Dielectrics; capacitors and capacitance, series and parallel capacitors, electric field energy, dielectrics


Current, Resistance, Electromotive Force and D.C. Circuits; current, resistance and resistivity, electromotive force, electric power in circuits, parallel and series resistors, Kirchhoff’s rules, RC circuits


Magnetic Field and Force; magnetism, magnetic field, flux lines and field mapping, moving charge in a magnetic field, magnetic force and electric current, force and torque on a current loop, D.C. motors


Sources of Magnetic Field; magnetic field of charge in motion, force between parallel conductors, magnetic field of a circuit loop, Amperes’ law and its application


Electromagnetic Induction; Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law, induced electric field, eddy currents, Maxwell’s equations


Inductance; mutual inductance, inductors, magnetic field energy, R-L, L-C, and R-L-C circuits


Alternating Currents; phasers and alternating current, resistance and reactance, L-R-C series circuits, power in A.C. circuits, series and parallel resonance


Electromagnetic Waves; speed of light, sinusoidal waves, energy of electromagnetic waves, standing waves, electromagnetic spectrum


Nature and Propagation of Light; wave particle duality, reflection, refraction, internal reflection, dispersion, polarization, Huygen’s Principle


Geometric Optics; planar reflection, spherical reflectors, refraction and thin lenses


Interference Effects, a source interference, intensity distribution and interference patterns, thin films


Diffraction, single and double slit diffraction, gratings, e-ray diffraction, holography


Relativity; invariance principle, simultaneity, relativity of time and space, Lorentz transformation, relativistic Doppler effect, momentum and mass, work and energy


Atomic Physics; emission and absorption spectra, photoelectric effect, energy levels, Bohr model, lasers, continuous spectra


DeBroglie Waves; particles as waves, electron diffraction, probability and uncertainty, wave functions


Quantum Mechanics; particle in a box, Schrodinger equation, potential wells, barriers and tunneling, harmonic oscillators