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Physics II

Code: EIC0014     Acronym: FISI2

Classification Keyword

Instance: 2014/2015 - 1S

Active? Yes
Web Page: http://def.fe.up.pt/eic0014
Responsible unit: Department of Physics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIEIC 186 Syllabus since 2009/2010 2 - 6 56 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Jaime Enrique Villate Matiz

Teaching - Hours

Lectures: 2,00
Recitations: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Lectures Totals 1 2,00
Jaime Enrique Villate Matiz 2,00
Recitations Totals 8 16,00
Maria Helena Sousa Soares de Oliveira Braga 8,00
Jaime Enrique Villate Matiz 8,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students


Nowadays information processing, storage and transmission are done using electromagnetic phenomena. Therefore, the background knowledge for a computer engineer must include the study of electricity, magnetism and electric circuits.

This course aims to provide the students with basic knowledge on electromagnetism and signal processing. An experimental approach is used with simple on-hands experiments that the students may conduct during the practical sessions, in order to strengthen the subjects covered in the lectures and to gain experience with the use of measuring devices. The Computer Algebra System (CAS) used in Physics 1 is also used in this course to help solve problems and to visualize electric and magnetic fields.

Learning outcomes and competences

In order to pass this course students must prove to be able to:

  • Analyze simple electrical circuits explaining their working principles.
  • Identify electromagnetic phenomena in their daily experience.
  • Use physical principles to explain how electric appliances work.
  • Evaluate different electrical devices which perform the same task (for instance, displays based on CRT, plasma, LCD, OLED, etc) pointing out their pros and cons.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Enrolled students are expected to have attended the first-year courses Physics I and Complements of Mathematics or other equivalent courses.


  1. Electrostatics. Atomic structure. Electric charges and forces. Conductors and insulators.

  2. Electricity. Electrostatic potential. Electromotive-force (EMF) sources. Conductors, semiconductors and diodes. Electric current. Electric Power. Ohm's law. Resistance. Superconductivity. Resistors combinations.

  3. Electric capacity. Isolated conductors. Capacitors. Electrostatic energy. Capacitors combinations.

  4. Direct-current circuits. Circuit diagrams. Circuit laws. Meshes method. Stationary state of circuits with capacitors.

  5. Electric field and potential. Field and potential produced by a system of point charges. Field lines and equipotential surfaces. Critical points of the electric field. Electric flux. Gauss law. Field and potential in the conductors.

  6. Magnetic field. Magnetic forces. Magnetic momentum and torque. Ampère's law. Loops and coils.

  7. Electromagnetic induction. Induced electric field. Faraday and Lenz laws. Alternating current generators. Inductance. Self-induction.

  8. Signal processing. Circuit's transient state. Differential equations of circuits. Transfer function. Time constants. Generalized impedance. Impedance combinations.

  9. Alternating-current circuits. Sinusoidal functions. Phasors. Alternating voltage. Complex impedance. Power dissipated in circuits. Frequency filters. Response function. Resonance.

  10. Electromagnetic waves and light. Maxwell equations. Induced fields. Electromagnetic field in vacuum. Wave equation. Plane polarized waves. Harmonic waves. Electromagnetic spectrum. Ondulatory and corpuscular theories of light. Light-emitting diodes (LED).

Mandatory literature

Jaime E. Villate; Eletricidade, Magnetismo e Circuitos, 2012. ISBN: 978-972-99396-2-4 (Available at http://def.fe.up.pt/en/Electricity,_Magnetism_and_Circuits)

Complementary Bibliography

Villate, Jaime E.; Electromagnetismo. ISBN: 972-773-010-8
Herman J. Blinchikoff, Anatol I. Zverev; Filtering in the time and frequency domains. ISBN: 1-884938-17-7
Eugene Hecht ; José Manuel N. V. Rebordão; Óptica. ISBN: 972-31-0542-X
Steve Adams, Jonathan Allday; Advanced Physics. ISBN: 0-19-914680-2
Jaime E. Villate; Dinâmica e Sistemas Dinâmicos, edição do autor, 2012. ISBN: 978-972-99396-1-7 (available at http://def.fe.up.pt)

Comments from the literature

The book can be freely accessed and copied from http://def.fe.up.pt/en/Electricity;_Magnetism_and_Circuits

Teaching methods and learning activities

This is a practical course, with an active teaching methodology. Laboratory equipment is used during the lectures and practical sessions, as well as computing systems for e-learning and computer algebra system (CAS).

The practical sessions are conducted in the Physics Studio of the Department of Engineering Physics (room B233). During those sessions students work in groups of two at one of the computers in the room, which has access to the support material including electrical measuring devices, circuit components, lecture notes, multiple-choice questions and proposed problems. Students should answer the multiple-choice questions among and solve some of the problems in the chapter for that week. The remaining problems in the chapter are left as homework.

The lectures will be used to conduct experimental demonstrations and to explain the material on the textbook, trying not to repeat (when possible) the same explanations given in the book.

The support for this course, including lecture notes, teaching materials, quizzes results, and communication among students and teachers, is done using the e-learning server (http://def.fe.up.pt/eic0014) which has public access, except for the sections related to evaluation.




Physical sciences > Physics > Electronics
Physical sciences > Physics > Electromagnetism
Physical sciences > Physics

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 60,00
Participação presencial 0,00
Teste 40,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 106,00
Frequência das aulas 56,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams


To be evaluated, students must fulfill the minimum attendance requirement which consists of not exceeding the maximum 25% of unattended classes. This minimum attendance requirement is waive for students registered as working-students and students who have attended the course in one of the two previous years.

Distributed component of the evaluation

The distributed component of the evaluation (40% of the final grade) is the mean of the 2 quizzes. A minimum of 6 is required in this component of the evaluation in order to be admitted to any of the exams. Working-students are not required to do the quizzes and their final grade will be the grade obtained in the exam. Students who have obtained a grade for the distributed component in previous years might decide to attend the course again and do the quizzes; in that case, their grade for the distributed component will be the highest between the one obtained this year and that previously obtained.


There will be two quizzes, on October 24 and Dezember 12. The quizzes will take place within the shedule of the theoretical lectures. Quiz grades and their mean will be calculated using two decimal places.

Quiz absences

An unjustified absence in a quiz results on a grade of 0. Absences properly justified, within the specified time limit, give the student the right to do the missing quiz at a later date.

Calculation formula of final grade

If D stands for the grade for the distributed component and E the exam grade, the final grade is calculated with the following equation:

Maximum ( E; 0.4*D + 0.6*E )

Thus, if the grade of the distributed component is higher than the exam grade, the distributed component will have a weight of 40% and the exam 60%. But if the exam grade is higher, the distributed component will be ignored and the final grade will be the exam grade.

There is no minimum grade required in the exam and the exam is grade with one decimal digit. The final grade is rounded to an integer (9.5 is rounded to 10 but 9.4999 is rounded to 9).

Examinations or Special Assignments


Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Students who are not required to attend classes and obtain a grade for the distributed component are not required to take any additional tests or complete any assignments before the exam. The final grade is equal to the exam grade rounded to an integer.

Classification improvement

As stated in item 10 of the evaluation rules, students may attempt to improve their exam grade, only once, during either the normal or makeup exam scheduled for the course immediately after the exam where they obtained the former grade. If that next exam is in the following year it will not be necessary to attend the course again.

Students who have not passed the course but have obtained a grade for the distributed component in previous years, can attempt to improve that grade by attending the course again and taking the quizzes.


It is recommended a period of off-class independent work of at least 3 hours per week, in order to keep off with the subjects introduced every week. Independently of their attendance status, it is expected from all enrolled students to preview at home the chapter of the textbook which will be covered in the following practical session. It is also recommended to periodically check the announcements and forum messages posted in the e-learning server.

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