Introductory Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS*1010)

Code and section: PHYS*1010*01

Term: Winter 2022

Instructor: Detong Jiang, Huan Yang



Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via Courselink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.  

Course Information


This is a course for engineering and physical science students on the phenomena of electromagnetism and introductory DC circuit analysis. Topics include electric charges and fields, electric potential and current, electric resistance, capacitance, inductance, magnetic fields, electric circuits, Ohm's Law, and application of Kirchhoff's Laws to node and mesh analysis of DC circuits. The course will conclude with an introduction to AC circuits.

Course Prerequisite: (1 of IPS*1500, MATH*1080 or MATH*1200) and (1 of 4U Physics or equivalent)
Restrictions:  IPS*1510
Credit Weighting: 0.50 credits

Course Aims

Due to the ubiquitous existence of electric charge in nature and technological applications, the theoretical framework describing electromagnetic interactions is necessary in fields as diverse as engineering, physics, biology, and chemistry.  This course serves as a survey of classical electromagnetic theory, starting with Coulomb’s law governing interactions of charged systems and culminating in Maxwell’s equations.  The main goals of this course are (1) to teach students the fundamental concepts in electricity, magnetism and elementary circuit theory, (2) to teach students how to collect and analyze experimental data including rigorous error analysis and (3) to prepare students for intermediate and advanced science courses that build on electricity and magnetism.

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of technical problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • obtain high quality experimental data and assign appropriate experimental uncertainty to measured values.
  • analyze experimental data using rigorous error analysis and correct accuracy, precision, digits and dimensional homogeneity to verify physical theories.
  • clearly articulate and differentiate the vector (electric fields, Coulomb’s law) and scalar (electric potential, electric potential energy) formalisms of electrostatics.
  • use the superposition principle to derive the electric field and electric potential arising from collections of point charges using summation or integration.
  • articulate knowledge of electric current, resistance, and capacitance in terms of electric field and electric potential.
  • use Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s rules to analyze direct current (DC) circuits consisting of parallel and/or series combinations of voltage sources and resistors.
  • Quantitatively describe the transient behaviour of DC circuits that contain capacitive and inductive components.
  • describe the magnetic field produced by magnetic dipoles and electric currents.
  • use Faraday-Lenz and Faraday-Maxwell laws to articulate the relationship between electric and magnetic fields and how magnetic fields can be exploited to generate electricity.

Text & Other Materials


There are three distinct required resources that students will need for this course:

  1. Textbook:  The course text is the same book that was used in PHYS*1130.
    PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS, 2ND EDITION (2019)9T, Hawkes, Iqbal, Mansour, Milner-Bolotin, Williams. Print and eBook copies available.
  2. Lab Equipment:  Labs in PHYS*1010 will be conducted remotely and will make use of iOLab devices to acquire and analyse data at home. This is the same equipment that was used in PHYS*1130.  There are two required components:
    •    iOLab version 2.0
    •    accessory pack for Electricity & Magnetism (look under ‘Study Extras’)
    iOlab version 2.0 can be purchased or rented from MacMillan Learning.
  3. This Course Outline: includes important dates and deadlines, lecture schedule, evaluation information.

Course Access

Students in this course are required to access Courselink to complete all course evaluations. As soon as possible, you should log-in to Courselink and establish a course profile:

Course Administration

Course Contacts

Role Name Email
Course Administrator Cindy Wells
Quiz Technical Support JP East

Contact the Course Administrator for inquiries/issues related to:

  • Illness
  • errors in your posted grades in your Courselink record
  • situations related to course administration (i.e. not questions about physics)

Contact Quiz Technical Support if you experience issues accessing your quiz/lab or uploading/submitting your quiz/lab solutions
When emailing support staff, include the course code, PHYS*1010, in your subject line (and attach your quiz solutions if experiencing upload issues).


Lecturer Email
De-Tong Jiang
Huan Yang


Lecture Sections

Section Day Time Location
01 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30pm - 1:20pm ALEX 200
02 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:30pm - 4:20pm ALEX 200

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Week Dates Topics Weekly Guide
1 Jan 10 - 14 -    Electric charges; conductors & insulators
-    Coulomb’s law
2 Jan 17 - 21 -    Electric fields
-    Continuous charge distributions
3 Jan 24 - 28 -    Motion of charges in fields
-    Work done by an electric field Electric 
-    Electric potential energy
-    Electric potential
4 Mar 31 - Feb 4 -    Field lines and equipotential surfaces 
-    Electric Flux & Gauss’ Law 
-    The electric dipole
5 Feb 7 - 11 -    Capacitance, capacitors and dielectrics
-    flow of charges, resistance & electromotive force
-    Introduce Ohm’s Law
6 Feb 14 - 18 -    Ohm’s Law, Power
-    Kirchhoff’s laws
  Feb 21 - 25 Winter Break  
7 Feb 28 - Mar 4 -    Kirchhoff’s laws
-    RC circuits
8 Mar 8 - 11 -    Magnetism
-    Force due to magnetic field
-    Motion of charges in magnetic field
-    Magnetic dipoles
9 Mar 14 - 18 -    Sources of magnetic field
-    Ampere’s Law
-    Motional emf
10 Mar 21 - 25 -    Magnetic flux
-    Faraday-Lenz Law
-    Inductance
11 Mar 28 - Apr 1 -    Inductors
-    RC and RL circuits
-    Maxwell’s Eqns -> EM waves
12 Apr 4 - 8 -    Review     N/A

Note: The information in the “Lecture Topic” column is provided as a rough guide for the term. Future announcements about changes to the table or of any kind will be made in class and posted on Courselink; these announcements take precedence over the original course outline!

Course Structure

Assessment Weight
10 quizzes available; best 8 quiz grades x 5% each (excluding Quiz #0) 
At-home Labs
5 labs, each worth 4%
Final Exam 40%
TOTAL  100%

Instructor’s Role and Responsibility to Students

The instructor’s role is to develop and deliver course material in ways that facilitate learning for students with differing learning aptitudes.  Lectures will be delivered virtually during weeks 1 and 2 and on campus beginning in week 3 following the schedule above adhering to the health and safety measures put in place by the University.  Lecture notes will be provided on Courselink after lectures for students who struggle to get everything copied in lecture, but these notes are not intended to replace the lecture experience.  Discussions resulting from student questions, for example, are of particular importance for students.

During lectures, the instructor will expand and explain the content of the assigned course reading, and example problems will be discussed.  Due to time constraints, these problems cannot simulate the difficulty of problems students can expect on the exams or quizzes but are instead intended to reinforce concepts discussed in lecture.  Lecture demonstrations will be provided where appropriate.

Students’ Learning Responsibility

Students are expected to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided during lecture periods.  Students having difficulty with the course content are advised to consult with the course instructor when they encounter concepts:  do not wait until the week before an exam or (worse) after an exam to approach the instructor ... this is too late!

Students who do (or may) fall behind must contact the Course Administrator

Students are expected to attend lectures and are expected to do the practice the suggested problems in the weekly guide.  Do not leave practicing problem solving until the week before the midterm and/or final exams as this historically puts students at a much higher risk of failing the course.


Regardless of the combination of lectures and/or self-study you use to acquire knowledge in the course, the question is "how do you demonstrate this knowledge and receive credit for it?"  You will then complete the on-line Diagnostic Quiz. There are 10 quizzes to be completed and they are designed to test your mastery of the material. 

Quizzes will be administered through Courselink from week 3 to week 12, and occur Tuesdays, either at 4:30 pm-5:20 pm or 5:30 pm-6:20 pm (consult WebAdvisor to find which time you are scheduled for your quiz – this is noted as your “seminar” time).  The quiz time is not adjustable, so make sure that the registered time fits your schedule.

The format will typically be scored out of 8 marks, with question formats:

  • 2-3 multiple choice questions
  • 1-2 calculation-based questions in which only the final answer is submitted and, 
  • 1 worked problem worth 4 marks, that students will complete work on paper, then upload a picture of their work into the Courselink quiz. This question will be hand marked by the graduate teaching assistants with part marks being awarded when solutions clearly show detailed and correct steps

Students can access their quiz within the first 10 minutes of their period and will be given 40 minutes to complete their quiz from the moment their attempt begins. This includes the time taken to upload their quiz solution into Courselink, so ensure that your uploaded solution file is not too large – you may wish to adjust the resolution of your phone/laptop camera to balance image quality with file size.  

A practice quiz, Quiz #0 (not for marks), will be provided at the beginning of the course, for students to familiarize themselves with the submission process.  Quiz #0 must be completed by all students within the first two weeks of class, prior to Quiz #1.

10 Quizzes will be offered during the course; however, only 8 of the quizzes will count for marks in the course – this is to accommodate for students who miss a quiz due to illness or unforeseen circumstances.  If you complete more than 8 quizzes, your best 8 quiz grades will be used for the quiz evaluation portion of your final grade.  Each quiz then is worth 5% of your final grade i.e. 8 quizzes x 5% = 40%.

Alternate attempts will not be provided for missed quiz attempts, so ensure that you are prepared to begin each quiz within the 10-minute access time each week.

Quizzes begin in week 3 – Tuesdays 4:30-5:20 pm and 5:30-6:20 pm

Week Date Quiz Guide
Wk 3 Tuesday Jan. 25 Quiz #1 Weekly Guide 1
Wk 4 Tuesday Feb. 1 Quiz #2 Weekly Guide 2
Wk 5 Tuesday Feb. 8 Quiz #3 Weekly Guide 3
Wk 6 Tuesday Feb 15 Quiz #4 Weekly Guide 4
Wk 7 Tuesday Mar. 1 Quiz #5 Weekly Guide 5
Wk 8 Tuesday Mar. 8 Quiz #6 Weekly Guide 6
Wk 9 Tuesday Mar. 15 Quiz #7 Weekly Guide 7
Wk 10 Tuesday Mar. 22 Quiz #8 Weekly Guide 8
Wk 11 Tuesday Mar. 29 Quiz #9 Weekly Guide 9
Wk 12 Tuesday Apr. 5 Quiz #10 Weekly Guide 10

(Content from Weekly Guide 11 will be on the final exam)


There are 5 labs to be completed.  Experiments have been designed to be completed ‘at-home’, using iOLab devices; however, students will have access to TA support during virtual help sessions (see Courselink for schedule and access).

Detailed instructions for each lab will be posted on Courselink, and support will be provided through TA virtual help hours.  Labs must be completed by 6:00 pm on the due dates listed below.

Lab Topic Due Date
Lab #1 Electrostatic field mapping due wk4 Thursday Feb.3
Lab #2 Ohm’s Law and RC circuits due wk6 Thursday Feb. 17
Lab #3 Kirchhoff’s Law due wk 8 Thursday Mar.10
Lab #4 Induced magnetic fields due wk 10 Thursday Mar.24
Lab #5 LRC circuits  due wk 12 Thursday Apr. 7

No lab exemptions will be granted for labs completed in another semester.


There are no midterms for this course

Final Examination

The final exam for PHYS*1010 is intended to be administered on campus.  However, if the situation with COVID-19 dictates remote delivery of the exam, it will be offered online via Courselink, using the Respondus Lockdown Browser system.  Students will be notified well in advance of the final exam details.

The final examination typically consists of 18 - 25 multiple-choice questions of equal weight. Usually there are 2-3 questions from each of the Weekly Guide modules. 

The copy of the formula sheet used for writing quizzes can be found on Courselink and will be provided for the final exam.

It should be noted that many students have found the final examination difficult, even with a perfect mark on the Quizzes.

Final Exam Date: MONDAY, APRIL 25 2:30-4:30 PM

Obtaining Course Help

  1. Student learning will be supported by providing access to teaching assistants (TAs) who can answer questions regarding course content.  Virtual TA-help sessions will run using; access to sessions, and a schedule of office hours will be posted on Courselink. 
  2. Your instructor will also have regular office hours posted on Courselink.


Course and University Policies

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph takes a serious view of academic misconduct and will severely penalize students, faculty and staff who are found guilty of offences associated with misappropriation of others' work, misrepresentation of personal performance and fraud, improper access to scholarly resources, and obstructing others in pursuit of their academic endeavors.  Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar academic misconduct section.

Accuracy of Records

It is your responsibility to use Courselink to check that your marks are recorded correctly.  Please check your record often and report any discrepancies immediately to the Quiz Room Supervisor Cindy Wells ( ONLY. 


If you are away for brief periods of time due to medical, psychological or compassionate reasons, email the Quiz Room Supervisor Cindy Wells ( immediately.  There are no quiz extensions provided as the course offers 10 quizzes counting your best 8 to accommodate students who have circumstances arise throughout the semester.  If you miss the final examination because of illness or for other reasons, consult regulations in the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Notices

Notices pertaining to the course will be posted on Courselink or given in lectures.  It is your responsibility to keep yourself informed regarding these special announcements.

E-mail Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their <> e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is Friday April 8. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar “Dropping Courses” section.


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible.  SAS councillors will email me (Cindy Wells) stating your approved accommodations which will be incorporated into quizzes and the final exam.

For more information, contact SAS at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or refer to the SAS website.

Recording of Materials

Presentations which are made in relation to course work—including lectures—cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer. 

Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.

Use of Personal Information 

Personal information is used by University officials in order to carry out their authorized academic and administrative responsibilities and also to establish a relationship for alumni and development purposes. The University of Guelph’s policy on the Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar. (

Final Examination Conflicts

The University’s policy regarding examination conflicts, as stated in the Undergraduate Calendar, is as follows: “Students who drop and add courses are required to consult the examination timetable to avoid conflicts in examination times.  Written approval must be obtained from the dean or director and the instructor-in-charge of the course to register in courses that have conflicting examination times.”

Course Evaluation

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching. 

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students. Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.