ASU Fall 2016 Session A Week 7 Update

PHY 122 should be interesting this week. The past 5 labs the instructor and TAs have provided lab report templates. This week, no lab template and we’re supposed to come up with our own. This week lab is on collisions which should be fun. We are to explore 5 different types of collisions and it was recommended to create either an Excel spreadsheet to help with the momentum and kinetic energy calculations or create it through LoggerPro. I ended up going the Excel route and that worked out pretty good.

It did take a lot of time to gather the data and type up all the data analysis on the lab. I have to derive one more equation and then write up the discussion and conclusion section. For a 1 unit class, PHY 122 takes up way more time than I thought possible.

PHY 121 has been brutal. I can’t believe how long it took to get through all of the week 6 homework over the past weekend. For me, this stuff just takes longer than I think it will. I do have a 2 year old helper during the day though so that could be part of it.

On the week 6-2 homework a lot of the questions had multiple parts and were a bit complicated. Not to mention that the problems were picked from four chapters in the book. I’m still not as comfortable with all of the material as I would like to be although I did adequately on Test 6 Tuesday.

Week 7 has us looking at

  • Universal Gravitation
  • Gravitational Potential Energy
  • Oscillations
  • The Pendulum

Only two chapters in the book which is a nice change.

I wrapped up the 7-1 homework set on gravitation and it was much more straightforward than the last two weeks which was a relief to be honest. I plan to wrap up 7-2 which covers the oscillations and pendulum chapter over the weekend.

Test 6 was better than I thought. It was enough to knock out my lowest test score. Hopefully my last test on Tuesday will be a good one. Definitely not in any failure, but at this point, my final exam performance will dictate my final grade in PHY 121.

We’re definitely in the home stretch now. The final is coming up on 10/7 and I started last week my preparations. I’ve been running through the end of chapter problems and have some topics I need to do a bit more studying on, but I think the pieces are coming together.

I did get a surprise Monday. I wasn’t expecting to see my session B MAT 275 – Modern Differential Equations or MAT 343 – Applied Linear Algebra courses to be available in blackboard, but they showed up. I have the same professor for both math classes so should be interesting. I haven’t looked too much into the classes yet. The assignment dates for one still show last session so I think there is a little bit of updating in the works. Not to mention Physics is still consuming most of my of waking hours.

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ASU Fall 2016 Session A Week 6 Update

According to the professor, Week 6 is the toughest week. I didn’t think it could get more complicated than Week 5, but I was wrong! Didn’t do that great on Test 5 last week so anticipating that it will be one of the two tests that are dropped. So much new information to process and I am struggling a bit with energy conservation still.

I started going back through the text book and working problems which is helping me fill in some of the gaps. Also hoping the book problems will help in preparation for the final that is coming up October 7th. Probably should have been practicing a lot more book problems earlier on in the course, but I can’t travel back in time. At first was thinking that the assigned work and lectures would be sufficient, but for me, I need more practice to figure this stuff out.

Week 6 we’re “only” working on:

  • Conservation and Non-Conservative Forces
  • Force and Potential Energy
  • Pseudowork and System Energy
  • System Energy Examples
  • Internal Energy
  • Collisions
  • Energy of a Closed System
  • Torque
  • Angular Momentum
  • Static Equilibrium

Yes, that is 10 topics. The two homework assignments are larger than previous weeks with 14 and 15 problems for 6-1 and 6-2 and so far the problems in 6-1 have had multiple parts. Took me most of Wednesday to get through 7 problems and I hope to wrap up the other 7 in Homework 6-1 today.

Our PHY 122 lab this week is exploring uniform circular motion. No more dynamics track. The lab has us investigating how mass, velocity, radius and centripetal force relate and how friction behaves on circular motion.

I’ve been doing really well on the PHY 122 labs. Only complaint is they take a lot of time to decipher the lab manuals, gather the data, run the calculations and write up the discussion section. I was able to get all but the discussion written up yesterday on Lab 5 and plan to wrap that up over the next few days so I can submit it on Monday.

Back to work!

ASU Fall 2016 Session A Week 5 Update

PHY 121 continues on. A better performance on Test 4 than on Test 3 so feeling like some of the missing pieces are falling into place. Not a perfect score, but a B+ on it. Still a bit shaky on some topics. Michel van Biezen’s videos on YouTube have been great. I spent a bit of time going through his videos earlier in the week. I need to do a little bit better job actively solving the examples he works. Definitely could use another week or so to digest all this information and work problems.

Week 5 finds me venturing into some new topics in PHY 121- Part II of our textbook moves from Newton’s Laws into Conservation Laws. I don’t remember much about these topics from my physics course at UCR almost 20 years ago so interested to learn more.

Week 5 topics include:

  • Momentum and impulse
  • Momentum conservation
  • Center of mass
  • Kinetic Energy and Work
  • Work by variable forces
  • Potential energy and mechanical energy

PHY 122’s fourth lab has us looking at Friction this week. This had a lot of really great information on coefficient of static and kinetic friction courses. In retrospect, I should have looked ahead a bit more at the labs. There was some good information in the lab manual that would have helped me out a week or so ago.

ASU Fall 2016 Session A Week 4 Update

I’m feeling a bit lost this week in PHY 121. I’m missing something and haven’t quite figured out what yet. Didn’t do as well as I would have liked on Test 3. My perfect streak has ended. Lowest 2 tests are dropped, but still annoyed with my performance last Tuesday. Also doesn’t help when your batteries die in your calculator. Definitely will have a spare ready to go next time.

The grading scale is curved a bit so doing fine, but frustrated. I did manage to get the homework problems from week 3 solved, but had to do a bit of searching to figure out a few of the problems.

This PHY 121 class moves so fast. I keep comparing to UCR’s Physics 40A class and I think we spent the later half of a 10 week class on Newton’s Laws. We flew threw those topics in a week! If I did this over again, I would seriously consider taking physics at a junior college just to have more time to absorb the material.

Homework 4-1 was really frustrating. Only 9 problems, but still took the majority of a day to complete.  I still need to work on 4-2 and the Week 4 quiz this weekend, plus study up more on Newton’s Laws a bit. Definitely glad I am halfway done with this class.

PHY 121 Week 4 has us moving into:

  • Newton’s Third Law
  • Strings, Pulleys and Constraints
  • Dynamics of Circular Motion
  • Non-inertial Reference Frames

In the PHY 122, Lab 3 has us working with Newton’s Second Law of Motion. We’re still working with the KET dynamics track, but this time working with loading the cart up with various masses and then attaching a string and pulley system. Definitely starting to get more complicated. Our TA posted an instructional video early in the week which was really nice.

So far I’m doing well on the PHY 122 labs. 100%s on Labs 1 & 2 which is nice. These definitely take a lot of time to write up.

ASU Fall 2016 Session A Week 3 Update

Wrapped up Week 2 with much more success than I did last spring. Definitely took a lot of work (and some luck!) but was able to pull off perfect scores on the physics homework assignments, quizzes and test 2. Hopefully I can carry that trend the rest of the way through. 

A fellow student sent over a link to some YouTube videos by Michel van Biezen that have been extremely helpful. Professor Biezen’s video walk through problems in a few different ways. I was able to get a few new ideas on how to solve some of the more complicated problems I faced through his videos. 

Week 3 in Physics 121 we are going to be turning our attention to:

  • Newton’s First Law
  • Newton’s Second Law
  • Newton’s Third Law
  • Free Body Diagrams
  • Gravity, normal force and friction
  • Using Newton’s Second Law

Should be some good stuff!

Homework set 3-1 wasn’t too bad. 11 problems, but each problem had a bunch of questions attached. Certainly not as painful as the week 2 homework assignments. I still need to get started on Homework set 3-2 and the Quiz and my plan is to complete those Friday and Saturday. 

I wish PHY 122 was going smoothly. Lab 2 has been a pain in the butt. We were tasks with exploring constant acceleration in one dimension and free fall using the KET Physics lab site and Logger Pro. Seemed straightforward enough, but unfortunately for the free fall component of the lab, we’re to use Logger Pro’s video analysis capabilities that were removed in version 3.11. Took me quite a bit of time last Sunday to find a work around. 

Vernier has a Video Physics and Graphical Analysis application available for the iPad and I was able to load the video and gather some data. Hopefully it will be good enough for the lab. Apparently the video analysis capabilities were removed for the Windows version of Logger Pro due to security vulnerabilities with Apple’s QuickTime video program. Video Analysis works fine if you have a Mac, but unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac. 

So after trying to work ahead on Lab 2, the teaching staff changed the template, a few extra things were added and the TA provided the data we needed to analyze for the free fall component of the lab. I’m slightly annoyed since I had gotten started over the weekend using the old template. I then had to rework part of the lab and move all my data and analysis to the new template. I sure wish this stuff would have been sorted out sooner. I’ve spent a lot more time on this lab than I probably should have. For a 1 unit class PHY 122 is turning out to require a lot of time unfortunately. 

I did finally get graded work back and received 9 points on the Error Propagation Exercise and 30/30 on Lab 1. I sure hope after all this work on Lab 2 I get full credit!