PHY 2049

General Physics II


You should be asking what to do to prepare for this class.

My answer is in some notes on preparing for the first day of class.

WARNING:   Talk to me before taking both PHY2049 physics
and calculus during the 10-week summer semester!


If you are new to my class, please be advised that you will need to purchase a good two-line-display scientific calculator. There are many good choices in the $15 to $20 price range. My comments about some of the options can be found by following this link. If you used a crappy calculator on tests last semester, it is time to get a good one that will make it easy to handle the large and small numbers in "engineering" notation that are common in this course.

I suspect (based on years of experience) that just about everyone needs to learn some basic solid geometry, such as the surface area and volume of cylinders and spheres and how to apply those formulae to hollow objects. We use solid geometry a LOT in PHY2049. We also use vectors a lot, and you will use them even more if you are also taking MAC2313 this semester. The best review of dot products and cross products and the different ways of calculating them are in Chapter 12? of Stewart, the first chapter covered in MAC2313. I also suspect that some of you need to review the 5 equations of motion we use and commit them to permanent long-term memory along with the rules for drawing a free-body diagram. For reference, here is the link to a pdf file providing a one-page summary of key 2048 ideas for students taking 2049.

Textbook information and ISBN numbers are given on a separate page.
Information about allowed calculators is also on that page..
If you used a crappy calculator on tests last semester, it's time to get a good one that will make it easy to use "engineering" notation to handle the large and small numbers in that are common in this course.

This course is for students planning to major in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc. Because so many students are planning to be engineers, I place particular emphasis on the topic of AC circuits as an application of driven, damped, simple-harmonic motion that we barely touch in PHY2048. A passing grade of "C" in both PHY2048 and MAC2311 is required to take this class and it is expected that you still know everything from MAC2311 and anything we happen to use from PHY2048. The most commonly used skill from calculus is the chain rule, which gets used in the homework and on several exams. We also use free-body diagrams and the equations of motion from PHY2048, just like your engineering classes will, and will set up and do some application integrals.
There will never be a final exam on a subject you will use every day.
My expectation is that most students will be enrolled in or have already passed MAC2312 and that the students who passed MAC2312 will be taking MAC2313 this semester. PHY2049 and MAC2313 deal with similar 3-dimensional conceptualization challenges and work well together. (It is usually the case that almost everyone taking PHY2049 in the fall is taking MAC2313, but it is more 50-50 in the spring.) I will not require any sophisticated integration techniques specifically taught in MAC2312 at TCC, but we will apply calculus by using the same kinds of "application problem" techniques that are normally taught at the end of MAC2311 and the start of MAC2312 at TCC. I will also teach how to apply calculus to physics problems, a skill that I think is more important to engineers than actually doing the integrals, but learning it in both classes at the same time makes it easier. If you decided to put off taking MAC2312, you will have to learn this based on what you should have learned in MAC2311 and what we do in PHY2049.

Major reconstruction for Summer semester in progress.
Check back around May 10 for final course plan.

Updated 21 May 2017.

Ref. no. 174738   --   MTWR 11:40-1:15 in SM 116  


Link to old draft of course plan


Engineering majors need to read and understand all of the warnings below about the STRICT limits on attempts at "core" classes like calculus and physics. You should also understand that you need to know all of the BASIC SKILLS taught in pre-calc, trig, calculus, and physics classes. The FAMU-FSU college does not apply a strict limit to PHY2049, but UF does.

In addition, other science departments at FSU have also adopted very strict limits on the total number of D or F grades accumulated in ANY of the courses required for their majors. If PHY2049 is required for your major, this applies to you. Pay attention, as these transfer rules can change with little notice.


Future engineering majors must realize that they rarely get more than one attempt, sometimes two, at any of the required classes for their major. Engineering schools look at every grade on your transcript, and each has its own specific policy on the total number of failing grades and/or withdrawals they will accept and the required minimum grade and/or GPA you must have in "core" math and science classes.

For example, the FAMU-FSU policy requires at least a C in PHY2049 but does not apply any special conditions on repeating it because PHY2049 is not one of the four "core" classes at FAMU-FSU. In contrast, UF considers PHY2049 a core course, so they only give you two attempts at it, counting withdrawals as attempts. However, students attending FSU are expected to pass PHY2049 on their first attempt and you should also. You normally get only one try at an engineering class, and you should think of PHY2049 in the same way.


Basic Scientific Calculator

One other thing remains the same from PHY2048: You are only allowed to use a basic scientific calculator on exams and quizzes in this class.

You may NOT use a TI-83 calculator, any other graphing calculator, or a cell phone during exams.


Study suggestions from former students:
Go to the TCC Canvas site around the first week of class and read the advice from last year's students on how to be successful in this course. Canvas is also where I put copies of last semester's exams.

My Study Suggestions

Comment: A key thing to learn in physics is how to ask yourself the questions required to address a broader, not-so-well focussed question. Thus part of solving a problem is to ask yourself "what question might I answer that will help me to deal with this one?".


Note that this class has earning a "C" in General Physics I (PHY2048) and its lab (PHY2048L)
as well as a "C" in Calculus I (MAC2311) as prerequisites
and that PHY 2049L must be taken at the same time as PHY 2049.

My comments on the calculus requirements for my physics courses.

My comments on the calculators you are allowed to use.

Old Syllabus


 ?? Contact me if you have any questions.

My TCC home page.