Having a birthday the day before a final exam isn’t much fun. Studying for finals and wrapping up a lab wasn’t really the way I wanted to spend a birthday. All I wanted for my birthday this year was to pass PHY 131 and PHY 132 and looks like I have! I walked away with an A+ in PHY 132 Physics II Lab and somehow an A in PHY 131. Very surprised about my PHY 131 grade and by my math should have been a little lower but the professor made some adjustments that bumped me up a bit. I’ll take it!
PHY 131 is a challenging course and at 7.5 weeks and 11 chapters it is a lot to absorb. I am glad I didn’t try and take another course this semester so I could focus on it. It sets the stage for a lot of topics that EE will study in greater detail. To be successful you really need to understand the concepts. You can’t expect to be able to just plug in values and solve for unknowns. Those type of problems don’t come out very often. Electricity and magnetism is so important, its made possible so many technological advances and brought on this information age we now live in.
I found reviewing the past exams, working through the conceptual questions and end of chapter exercises very helpful to prepare for the final exam. I re-read the chapters and focused in on sections I was struggled with and then once again found Michel Van Biezen’s youtube videos helpful, in addition to Walter Lewin’s MIT physics lectures good supplements. The PHY 131 videos are very good in my opinion, but for me sometimes hearing something explained helps reinforce what I’m studying.
The PHY 132 final lab was on Faraday’s Law of Induction. We used a new KET simulator for it and then LoggerPro and a little MS Excel. The lab wasn’t as complicated as previous labs, but had three parts to work through. Biggest issue with the physics labs is the amount of time it takes to type everything up. Error propagation can also be a bit tricky, but the professor and TA had a couple of handouts that helped explain the topic. This lab didn’t have any propagation to deal with which was nice.
Next up for me is a little rest and relaxation. Session B starts up official on March 13th and I am taking PHY 241 – Physics III and finally EEE 202 Circuits I! For EEE 202 the professor sent out a materials list of parts we’ll need for the labs. Luckily it is the same set of materials we used for EEE 120. We are once again using the Digilent Analog Discovery USB Oscilloscope, their analog parts kit, multi-meter and a breadboard.
I had to laugh, I had finished up my PHY 131 exam and was sitting at my desk, just enjoying the feeling of being done with all course work and not 15 minutes later the EEE 120 professor emails the class with the materials list. No rest for me I suppose!