Sho Iwamoto / 岩本 祥

@ 國立中山大學物理系 NSYSU–Physics

General Physics 2

Important Remark

This course assumes students have taken my course of General Physics 1 (and passed the exams, preferably). If you are a student who wishes to enroll but has not taken my General Physics 1, please contact me before selecting the course. (Otherwise it will be difficult to pass the exams.)


An introductory course to wave mechanics and electromagnetism. The goal is Maxwell’s equations (in integral form), which encapsulate the laws of electromagnetism. Additionally, we explore the nature of light, deriving its properties as an electromagnetic wave from Maxwell’s equations and understanding it as a classical wave phenomenon.

You are required to have a foundational understanding of mechanics, calculus, and the application of vectors. Based on this knowledge, you first learn oscillations and waves: its mathematical description. You then step into electromagnetism. You get used to the concept of fields, which is the most crucial in electromagnetism (and even in modern physics), and learn various laws of electromagnetism. Finally, you learn Maxwell’s equations, the monumental achievement in 19th-century physics. You notice that the equations contain not only the electromagnetic laws you have learned but also the electromagnetic waves, known as lights.

Several important topics are not covered in this lecture, which include electric circuits, electromagnetic fields in matter, vector calculus in cylindrical/spherical coordinates, and the differential formulation of Maxwell’s equations.

Students’ Goals

  • I am familiar with line integrals and surface integrals of vectors.
  • I can express waves by trigonometric functions and analyze them using calculus techniques.
  • I can describe/calculate electromagnetic forces between charged objects or electric currents.
  • I am used to dealing with fields (electric field and magnetic flux density ).
  • I can analyze electric potential and relate it to work and potential energy.
  • I can use various laws of electromagnetism to calculate forces or fields in simple situations.
  • I can explain Maxwell’s equations and their relations to electromagnetic laws.

Guidance document


Serway & Jewett, Physics for Scientists and Engineers (with Modern Physics), 10th ed. Cengage Learning.

  • This course corresponds to Chapters 15–17 (Volume 1) and Chapters 22–33 (Volume 2).
  • We use this book in in-class activities (preferably a physical book rather than an e-book).
  • Other references are as follows, but you do not need them. Instead, stick to the textbook at this stage.

Past Exam Problems

Schedule (2023‒2)

1 (Feb. 21)
Wave and its motion.
2 (Feb. 28)
Peace Memorial Day (no class)
3 (Mar. 6)
Superposition of waves.
4 (Mar. 13)
NSYSU Sports Day (no class)
5 (Mar. 20)
Coulomb's law. Gauss's Law.
6 (Mar. 27)
Gauss's law. Electric potential.
7 (Apr. 3)
Electric potential.
8 (Apr. 10)
Midterm exam
9 (Apr. 17)
Electric dipole. Capacitor.
10 (Apr. 24)
Electric current. Power.
11 (May 1)
Magnetic flux density. Lorentz force.
12 (May 8)
Biot-Savart law. Ampère's law. Magnetism.
13 (May 15)
Faraday's law.
14 (May 22)
15 (May 29)
Lorentz's equations. Light.
16 (Jun. 5)
Term exam
17 (Jun. 12)
Flexible learning week (no class), compensating for the duty of essays.
18 (Jun. 19)
Exam review. Modern particle physics. Topics requested by students.

Other Information