PHYS 152


Overview and Course Learning Objective – This course focuses on fields and topics in modern physics.  Students will learn how to use basic equations of physics to model and describe electric and magnetic fields, light, mirrors and lenses, electromagnetic waves, basic electrical circuits, special relativity and introductory quantum physics.

This course and its associated laboratory section are entirely online.  For this lecture section, the online book required is “Physics”, 10’th edition by Cutnell and Johnson.  The book, reading assignments, chalkboard examples, homework problems, and exams are all accessed online through “Wiley Plus”.  All students in this course must create an account for themselves in Wiley Plus to purchase the online book and access the online course materials and assignments.  You may create your account by visiting, and typing in University of Nevada Las Vegas in the search box to find the course(s) PHYS 151/152.  Register for the course and pay for the online book and course at that time.

In addition to Wiley Plus online, short video lectures and examples for each module or chapter are required viewing.  These videos may be accesses through your UNLV online portal for the course.


Modules and Individual Learning Outcomes – The chapter listed for each module below indicates the Wiley Plus chapter that is covered for that course module.  Assignments for each module are available and listed online at Wiley Plus.


Electric Fields, Chap 18.  Learn basic concepts concerning electric fields and Gauss’ Law.

Electric Potential, Chap 19.  Use fundamental equations to model electrostatic potential.

Resistance, Chap 20.  Use Ohm’s law to study resistances in series and parallel circuits.

Magnetic Fields, Chap 21.  Model basic magnetic fields and currents that produce fields.

Exam 1 – Covers material in Chapters 18 through 21.

Faradays Law, Chap 22.  Use Faraday’s law to model systems with changing magnetic fields.

AC Circuits, Chap 23.  Model electric circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors.

EM Waves, Chap 24.  Study electromagnetic waves including the Doppler effect, and energy transfer.

Mirrors, Chap 25.  Model the reflection of light using equations for spherical mirrors.

Exam 2 – Examination covering material from chapter 22 through 25.

Refraction, Chap 26.  Model the refraction of light using the equations of refraction and thin lenses.

Interference, Chap 27.  Study the interference and diffraction of waves and light.

Relativity, Chap 28.  Use equations of Special Relativity to model systems moving with relative motion.

Quantum Physics, Chap 29.  Learn basic concepts related to wave-particle duality and quantization.

Atoms, Chap 30.  Learn the basic quantum concepts related to simple atoms such as hydrogen.

Exam 3 – Examination covering chapters 26 through chapter 30.




All course assignments except for the assigned video files are accessed through Wiley Plus.  Each student must create their own account in Wiley Plus to purchase the book and access the assignments.  Go to:

to register yourself for the course prior to the start of the semester.  You may type in “University of Nevada Las Vegas” in the search box on the Wiley Plus login page, then find the courses PHYS 151/152 to begin the registration process.

Each module or chapter covered in this course will contain 5 assignments.  The five assignments for each module will consist of (1) reading assignment, (2) chalkboard video assignment, (3) question assignment, and (4) problem assignment. (5)  Each chapter will also have two short video files to watch.  The book, reading assignments, chalkboard examples, homework problems, and exams are all accessed online through Wiley Plus. 

Reading Assignments – The reading assignments for each chapter will consist of a list of sections in the online or printed textbook that are required for study in that particular chapter.

Chalkboard Video Assignments – These are worked example problems presented as short videos.

Question Assignments – These are homework questions that each student must complete online prior to the due date for each question assignment.  These questions are graded.  Students are given more than one attempt at arriving at the correct answer, however credit for each question is reduced by 25% after two attempts and zero credit is given after the third attempt.

Problem Assignments - These are homework problems that each student must complete inline prior to the due date for each problem assignment.   Home “problems” are generally more difficult that homework “questions”.  These problems are graded.  Students are given more than one attempt at arriving at the correct answer, however credit for each question is reduced by 25% after two attempts and zero credit is given after the third attempt.  After the second unsuccessful attempt at a solution, a “hint” may be given for a problem.

There are also video files to be viewed for each chapter.  These videos will cover important topics or examples for the given chapter.  These videos are not part of Wiley Plus, but may be accesses through your UNLV online portal for the course.



Your homework grade, consisting of graded questions and problems in each chapter will contribute 20% of your total, final grade for the course.


Course Schedule

All course modules or chapters are immediately available upon your registration for the course at Wiley Plus.  In general, each module must be completed per week of the course.  The exact due dates for each module or chapter are explicitly listed on the Wiley Plus website for the course.  You may, if you like, complete the course at a faster rate than the listed due dates.  If a module or chapter is not completed by the listed due date, however, a penalty is incurred.  The exact penalty is indicated on the website.



There will be three exams given during this course.  These exams will consist of two midterms and one final exam.  Each exam (including the final) will cover material in approximately one-third of the course.  This will generally consist of only the course material that has been covered since the previous exam.  I note, however, that exam 2 and exam 3 (final exam) are always “comprehensive” in nature since material presented throughout this course always builds upon, and thus requires knowledge and study of all previous course material.

Exams will be taken online through Wiley Plus.  On the day of an exam, you may login and take the exam anytime between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.  Once you begin the exam, though, the system will limit you to 90 minutes to complete the exam.  You MUST complete as much of the exam as you can during this 90 min. time period, as no extra time is given.

Each exam will consist of 20 questions and problems.  There are no multiple attempts, and no hints or partial credit given.  Some of the exam problems will be more difficult than others.  Do the best you can and complete as many problems as you can in the 90 minute allotted time period for the exam.

Exam Content – as mentioned above, each exam (including the final) will cover material in approximately one-third of the course.  There is so much material in this course that 20 problem exams will not be able to test you on all subject areas that are covered in the course, though we will try to include problems on as much material as we can.  Also, do not expect that exam problems will simply be exact duplicates or “clones” of homework questions and problems.  Exam problems will require that you apply the concepts, principles, and knowledge gained in the reading and video assignments as well as the homework assignments to similar, but generally new applications. 



Your final grade for the course will be calculated per the following weighting:

Homework – 20%

Exams – 60% (Three exams at 20% each)

Laboratory grade - 20% (Grade obtained in PHYS 151L).


Since the laboratory grade is part of the grade for this course, you will be given the same final grade in both PHYS151 and PHYS 151L.



UNLV Policies

Academic Misconduct – Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling in UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV’s function as an educational institution.

An example of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy (approved December 9, 2005) located at:


Copyright – The University requires all members of the University Community to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The university will neither protect nor defend you nor assume any responsibility for employee or student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action under University policies. Additional information can be found at:


Disability Resource Center (DRC)  It is important to know that over two-thirds of the students in the DRC reported that this syllabus statement, often read aloud by the faculty during class, directed them to the DRC office.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) coordinates all academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The DRC is the official office to review and house disability documentation for students, and to provide them with an official Academic Accommodation Plan to present to the faculty if an accommodation is warranted. Faculty should not provide students accommodations without being in receipt of this plan.

UNLV complies with the provisions set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, offering reasonable accommodations to qualified students with documented disabilities. If you have a documented disability that may require accommodations, you will need to contact the DRC for the coordination of services. The DRC is located in the Student Services Complex (SSC-A), Room 143, and the contact numbers are: Voice (702) 895-0866, fax (702) 895-0651. For additional information, please visit:


Religious Holidays Policy -- Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor no later than the last day at late registration of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. This policy shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship on the instructor or the university which could not be avoided. For additional information, please visit:


Tutoring  -- The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring and academic assistance for all UNLV students taking UNLV courses.  Students are encouraged to stop by the ASC to learn more about subjects offered, tutoring times and other academic resources.  The ASC is located across from the Student Services Complex, #22 on the current UNLV map. Students may learn more about tutoring services by calling (702) 895-3177 or visiting the tutoring web site at:


Contact Information


Timothy L Porter, Professor, UNLV

Office: PBP 226

Phone: 51714


Office Hours Online

MWF 10-11