Physics 202 Spring 2019 MWF 10:20 and TR 11:10 Lectures
Course info and weekly notices

Howdy! Welcome to PHYS 202. The info here will be updated weekly.

  • last updated 7/26/2019

  • My office is Rm 315 in the Mitchell Physics Building (same building as where the class meets). The office phone number is 458-7908. A good way to contact me is via email: .

  • Labs will be done using Webassign. Click here for information and for instructions on accessing Webassign. You will have to purchase access for WebAssign; the access for PHYS 201 from fall does not carry forward to PHYS 202. But, there is a free trial period. Webassign access includes the online Lab Manual; you do not buy a printed lab manual.

    Each lab has three parts: Prelab, Inlab, and Postlab. You do the Prelab individually and it is due 15 minutes before the start of recitation on the day the lab will be done. The Inlab is done during the lab period. It is done in groups of 2 or 3 and all results are entered into Webassign and are graded immediately. The Postlab is done individually after the lab period is over and is due 30 minutes before the start of the next week's recitation. It is essential to read the description of the lab in the online lab manual before starting the Prelab. We will often encounter topics first in lab, before we talk about them in lecture.

    The URL for Webassign is . You will login using your NetID and password. There are two red LOGIN buttons on the login page. Use the one on the left hand side of the middle of the page. Do NOT use the login button in the upper right-hand corner of the login page. You do NOT need a class key. Our course Home Page in eCampus has this link to the Webassign URL at the Weblinks tab that is on the right-hand side of the page, just below the Mastering Physics Homework tab.

  • If you must miss a recitation and lab for a valid reason, the best thing to do is to attend another section (501 through 512) that same week. All the section times are listed on the lab schedule. If you attend another section, tell that TA which section you belong to.

  • Homework will be entering using the Mastering Physics system. You will access Mastering Physics through eCampus. Your eCampus should include PHYS 202 in the course list. Click on that course. On the course home page on the left hand side there is a link Mastering Physics Homework. Click on it. You then will be in Mastering Physics. Instructions for getting started in Mastering Physics can be found at Mastering Physics instructions If you had an account for PHYS 201 this past fall that account should still be active and you can use it and won't need to purchase a new access code. Let me know if you have any problems with access to Mastering Physics.

    There are assignments for each week that count for your homework grade. The Week 1 etc. assignments consist of the problems (including the Multiple Choice Problems) that are listed for week 1, etc. on the syllabus. The problems on Mastering Physics are identical to the end-of-chapter problems in the textbook, except that often in Mastering Physics one of the numbers given in the problem is changed so each student will have an individualized problem and your answers won't be correct for someone else's Mastering Physics. The homework should be done and entered on Mastering Physics weekly. The due dates for each assignment are given in Mastering Physics. After the homework due date you can't enter any answers for credit for those assignments.

    There is also an introductory assignment about using Mastering Physics that is optional and that isn't graded.

    In addition to the end-of-chapter problems there are one or two Tutorial Problems assigned for almost every class period. They are due by the start of the next class. The intent is for you to read the sections in the textbook listed for that class period and then do the assigned Tutorial Problesm, before class. The Tutorial Problems have hints that you can open for help in doing the problems. You can also ask questions about the Tutorial Problems in class. The Tutorial Problems count towards your homework grade. It is VERY important to study the sections covered each class period BEFORE class and the Tutorial Problems help you do this. These problems are due at the start of the following lecture period but they should at least be attempted before the lecture for which they are assigned. For example, the assignment Tutorial for Jan 23 should be attempted before the Jan. 23 lecture and must be completed before start of lecture on Jan. 25. An exception is the tutorial problems for the first week that aren't due until Jan 23 (MWF) or Jan. 24 (TR). The title of the tutorial assignment indicates which day's class it applies to.

    When doing homework on Mastering Physics, avoid rounding in intermediate steps. Keep at least 4 significant figures in intermediate calculations and round to 3 significant figures for the answer you input. Also, if you are working with angles in degrees, be sure that your calculator is set to degrees, not to radians. For the Multiple Choice Problems you are penalized for each incorrect attempt. For the Problems, you are allowed up to four attempts for each answer. For Problems no penalty for wrong answers is assessed until you use up all your attempts.

    If you are having problems with viewing assignments on Mastering Physics, click on the System Requirements link at the bottom of the Welcome Screen. This link talks about browser settings (must enable popups etc.) and other computer system issues.

  • I encourage you to use email ( as a means of communicating with my about any problems concerning the course: questions about the material from lecture, about the homework problems, or about the course administration.

  • Lewis Ford
    Physics Department
    Texas A&M University
    send email to Lewis Ford