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Physics II

Code: EIC0014     Acronym: FISI2

Classification Keyword

Instance: 2020/2021 - 1S

Active? Yes
Web Page: https://def.fe.up.pt/eic0014
Responsible unit: Department of Engineering Physics
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 214 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
Jaime Enrique Villate Matiz 6,00
Luís Miguel Fortuna Rodrigues Martelo 2,00
Joana Cassilda Rodrigues Espain de Oliveira 4,00
Francisco Carvalho Neto de Queiros Pimenta 4,00
Mais informaçõesLast updated on 2020-09-15.

Fields changed: Program, Bibliografia Complementar, Bibliografia Obrigatória

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.

Mandatory literature

Jaime E. Villate; Eletricidade, Magnetismo e Circuitos, 3ª edição, Edição do autor, 2019. ISBN: 978-972-99396-6-2 (Available at http://def.fe.up.pt/eletricidade)

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
Steve Adams, Jonathan Allday; Advanced Physics. ISBN: 0-19-914680-2

Comments from the literature

The book can be freely accessed and copied from http://def.fe.up.pt/eletricidade

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 Department of Engineering Physics's computer room (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 some practical activities or simulations, 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 master classes are used for conducting experimental demonstrations, as well as giving further explanations for the material on the textbook. 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 (https://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

Passing requirements
The only requirement for a student-worker to pass the course is to obtain a final great of at least 10. In order to pass, all other students must fulfill three requirements, in the following order: 1st. Attending the recitation sessions. 2nd. Obtaining a grade of at least 5 in the mean of the tqo quizzes. 3rd. Final grade of at least 10. The first two requirements may have already been fulfilled in any previous year; in that case, the student can decide not to skip the requirement already fullfilled (attending the recitation sessions and obtaining the minimum grade in the mean of the two quizzes), proceeding to the next requirement.

Minimal attendance
To fulfill the requirement of attending the recitation sessions, a student must be registered in one of the recitation groups and not to be absent to more than 25% of the recitation sessions for that group. For instance, if the student's recitation group has 11 sessions during the semester, he can be absent to two of those sessions, but not to three, because 3 is greater than 25% of 11. The number of recitation sessions for students with late acceptance to the program is counted from the date of their regular registration; for instance, if the student is registered when there are only 7 recitation sessions remaining, one absence is admitted but not two, because 2 is greater than 25% of 7.

Distributed-component grade
The distributed-component grade (with a weight of 40% in the final grade) is the average of the grades of two quizzes. A student who has already obtained that grade in a previous year may attempt to improve it by taking the quizzes again this year (no need to attend the recitation sessions again). If the new grade is lower that the one previously obtained, the previous grade prevails.

Absence justifications
An absence can be justified by submitting a written prove to the teacherwithin one week of the date in question.

Calculation formula of final grade

If D denotes 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 )

Namely, 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 grade will have one decimal digit. The final grade will be 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 do not need to make any additional tests or assignments before the exam. The final grade will be equal to the exam grade rounded to an integer.

Classification improvement

Students can attempt to improve the grade obtained in an exam, only once, up to the remedial exam of the following year in which the course was passed. The final grade to the course is the highest between that previously obtained and the one resulting from the new exam taken. The distributed-component grade can be improved in subsequent years by taking the two qizzes again (see the section "Distributed-component grade").


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. The physical concepts covered in this course can only be fully grasped by reflecting on them during the whole semester. It is also recommended to periodically check the announcements and forum messages posted in the e-learning server.
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