ASU Spring 2017 Session A Week 1 Update

Winter break is over and it’s back to the books. Spring 2017 Session A official started up on Monday 1/9. Both PHY 131 – Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism and PHY 132 – Physics II Lab Blackboard sites were available Friday 1/6. These two classes are the last two pre-requisites before I can dive in on the electrical engineering course work next session. Pretty excited to be so close to taking EEE 202 Circuits I next session provided all goes well this session.

PHY 132 has 7 lab assignments and 7 prelab quizzes due each week. The labs have us using LoggerPro for data analysis. ASU provides the software so no extra purchase necessary. Also, rather than purchasing lab equipment, we’re using two simulation websites.

The KET Virtual Physics Labs were used for PHY 122. This will be the first time I’ll be working with the University of Colorado Sim Labs. It looks like there are quite a few that might be interesting to tinker with. No lab assignments were due the first week, but there was a syllabus quiz and has a exercise reviewing error analysis.

There was an exercise practice problem with the pre-lab quiz system (worth no points mind you). I struggled for far too long on a problem that was asking the following:

Calculate the value of the error (only) with two decimal places: 
(6.3 +/- 0.2) / (2.6 +/- 0.1)

I don’t know why I didn’t catch what was going on  with this problem right away. It turns out that you’ve got something in the form f(x,y) = x/y hidden in there. Took me a while to figure out what I was looking at. Hopefully this helps someone:


PHY 131 covers 11 chapters from the Mastering Physics Textbook. Each chapter has a homework assignment with 14 problems. Some problems have multiple parts. Homework is worth 30% of our grade. There are three tests, each worth 15% and a Final Exam at 25%.

In PHY 131 we start off in Chapter 25 of the Mastering Physics book. The professor recorded 5 video lectures presenting the new topics and works out a few example problems. In addition, the TA has a video that gives some tips on the homework problems if you get stuck. The homework problems are done through the Mastering Physics website. You only have 6 attempts to get a problem correct which adds more stress than I would like, but it is what it is.

In PHY 131 week one covered:

  • Coulomb’s Force Law for Point Charges
  • Concept of Electric Field

I was able to get all of Chapter 25’s homework assignment completed and have gotten a start on Chapter 26. The problems so far are pretty complicated, but pretty interesting.



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