Courses / Physics / 5 units / PHYSICS 23S: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics with Laboratory

Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics with Laboratory

5 units
July 24 - August 19, 2017

How are electric and magnetic fields generated by static and moving charges, and what are their applications? How is light related to electromagnetic waves? Students learn to represent and analyze electric and magnetic fields to understand electric circuits, motors, and generators. The wave nature of light is used to explain interference, diffraction, and polarization phenomena. Geometric optics is employed to understand how lenses and mirrors form images. These descriptions are combined to understand the workings and limitations of optical systems such as the eye, corrective vision, cameras, telescopes, and microscopes. Discussions based on the language of algebra and trigonometry. Physical understanding fostered by peer interaction and demonstrations in lecture, and interactive group problem solving in discussion sections. Labs are an integrated part of the summer courses.


PHYSICS 21S or 21


  • This is an accelerated, four-week course that is equivalent to the second quarter of college-level physics plus lab.
  • Students enroll in both Section 1 and Section 2 for lecture. In addition to the lecture, there is a 3-hour discussion/lab section three days a week that students enroll in in Axess.
  • This course follows a non-standard schedule. Please see the Summer Session Non-Standard Schedule Calendar for special deadlines.


PHYSICS 23S Syllabus - 2016