2023-2024 / PHYS1986-1

General physics II, Part A


35h Th, 25h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in chemistry6 crédits 
 Bachelor in mathematics6 crédits 


Ngoc Duy Nguyen

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This component of the spring semester physics course is devoted to electricity and magnetism, including an introdution to wave optics. The table of contents of these parts is given here below.
Electric force and electric field - Flux of the electric field and Gauss's law - Electric potential - Capacity, capacitors and dielectrics - Current and resistance, Ohm's law - Steady currents, Kirchhoff's laws - Magnetic induction field - Faraday's law - Inductance - AC currents - Maxwell's equations - Propagation of electromagnetic waves - Optical reflection and refraction - Polarisation, diffusion and dispersion

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The purpose of the course is to give students the basics of electricity and magnetism. Focus is put on a phenomenological and intuitive presentation in order to ensure a physical understanding of phenomena and to facilitate the access to the more general formalisms of subsequent studies.
The experimental aspect of physics will be particularly emphasized. This approach should allow the sudent to realize that physics is not a fixed science but that, on the contrary, it is an ever-evolving discipline.
Besides the assimilation of knowledge and know-how, students will need to sharpen their critical sense and develop their ability to establish links between observations and laws, between practice and theory.
At the end of this course, students will have to be able to describe, rigorously and by using the appropriate wording, the basic physical phenomena linked to electricity, magnetism and optics, as well as to answer correctly to questions related to those topics. As they face new problems, they are expected to be able to identify the laws of physics to be applied and to propose consistent solutions based on the competencies that they will have acquired from the recitations. Finally, they should be able to practically apply the theoretical concepts of the course by using experimental setups they will have learned to manipulate during the labs.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Secondary school mathematics. Knowledge and know-how from semester 1 physics course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Additionally to ex cathedra lectures focused on theory, recitations (problem solving) and lab assignments will be organized. These sessions take place in small groups in order to encourage interaction.
Besides the problems solved under the guidance of the tutor, students are strongly encouraged to train themselves in the solving of additional problems given in the reference book.
Moreover, in order to fill possible gaps, numerous remediation sessions are proposed during the semester and allow students who feel the necessity to review, under a more focused guidance, some parts of the lectures.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course contains about twenty theoretical lectures, two hours each, which are focused on the fundamental concepts. These lectures are illustrated by experimental demonstrations.

About twelve sessions of recitations are also planned. The accurate schedule will be given during the first lecture.

In order to create an environment leading to collaborative study groups, discussion spaces will be allocated on that platform. Students are therefore encouraged to use those extra resources which are meant to stimulate the learning process.

Recommended or required readings

Slides and complementary resources (illustrations, texts, videos) will be available on eCampus. The formatting of the slides is meant to encourage the participation of students during the lectures. Practical details concerning the access to eCampus will be given during the first lecture.
The course is based on several textbooks. The main source is the following reference : "Physics for Scientists and Engineers", R. A. Serway and J. W. Jewett (Brooks Cole Edition, 2009) Ed. 9.
Other bibliographical resources are also used as complements. Here are some examples of useful textbooks : "Physique Générale 2, Electricité et Magnétisme", D. C. Giancoli (De Boeck, 1997). "Physique 2, Electricité et Magnétisme", H. Benson (De Boeck, 2004) Ed. 3.

An electronic copy of the laboratory notebook will also be available on eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions ) AND oral exam

Additional information:

For each session, the assessment consists in an exam on problem solving (P%), an exam on the lab practicals (L%) and an exam on the theory (T%).

The weight of each assessment is given as follows, depending on the code of the course followed by the student :

PHYS1986-1 (bachelor in chemistry and mathematics) P = 40 / L = 10 / T = 50
PHYS1986-2 (bachelor in physics) P = 40 / L = 15 / T = 45

In the case of a course with several components, the above-mentioned weights P/L/T denote the assessments resulting from the whole set of components.

In the scenario of in-person exams, the 'problems' part of the evaluation will be organized via a written exam (open questions) while the 'theory' part and the 'lab' part will be organized via an oral exam (open questions).

In the scenario of remote exams, all parts of the evaluation will be organized via written exams from the ecampus platform (open questions and MCQ). A rehearsal will be implemented in order to allow everyone to get familiar with the environment of the evaluation.

Educational assessments in the form of MCQ will be organized during the semester. Moreover, the completion of a dedicated homework, the details of which will be given in due time, can give students a bonus to be used for the final grade.

Students must hold their ULiège student card and their identity card to take the in-person examinations. In case of default, access to the exam could not be granted.

Programmable calculators are forbidden during the in-person assessments. Only basic scientific calculators are allowed (in case of doubt, ask the teacher during the semester).

A partial exemption can be obtained for each of the 3 parts of the evaluation (P, L, T). This exemption is granted automatically after the session of May/June for students who have obtained a grade equal or higher than 10/20 for the corresponding evaluation. It cannot, in principle, be carried out to the next academic year.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The pedagogical team (teacher, assistants, tutors, logisticians) are willing to answer all student questions during the lecture periods.
The teacher will be available for weekly sessions during which students may ask specific questions concerning the lectures. The schedule of these sessions will be communicated during the first lecture. Appointments can also be made, within the scope of the teacher's availability.
For questions about recitations and lab works, students are invited to address them directly to the involved assistants and logisticians.
During the exam periods and the official holidays, the pedagogical team is not expected to answer questions as it will be assumed that all required information would have already been given.
The results of the first session exams will be communicated at the monitor boards of the Department of Physics in building B5a. Exam copies could be consulted during specific periods which will be communicated in due time. No detail about the marks can be given by e-mail nor by phone.


The offices of the Physics Department are located at the Institute of Physics, building B5a. In particular, the secretary is located on the first floor, room 1/47.
The ULiege email account (address type identifier@student.uliege.be) is one of the official means of communication offered by the University. As a consequence, students must use their ULiege account to send emails to the pedagogical team. Moreover, they are asked to specify at the beginning of the message title "[Student PHYS1986-x]" (with x=1 or 2, depending on the code of the course followed) in order to facilitate the processing of the message.
Teacher : N. D. Nguyen - R/49 (building B5a, level 0) - tel. : 04/366 3604 - e-mail : ngocduy.nguyen@uliege.be
Secretary : A. Ortega - 1/47 (building B5a, level 1) - tel. : 04/366 9074 - e-mail : a.ortega@uliege.be
Logisticians : C. Becco - tel. : 04/366 3707 - e-mail : C.Becco@uliege.be, Ch. Prosperi - tel. : 04/366 3663 - e-mail : Christelle.Prosperi@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.