# Fall 2012 Term Ends

This morning was my final exam in the C programming course for electrical engineers. We started with 7; only 3 completed the course; only I submitted the final project: basic BMP editor that opens a BMP and offers to create negative, blueshift, redshift, greenshift, and variable intensity versions that are written to file.

Earlier I finished physics and circuits.

I earned As in all three classes, so I am pretty happy; I am also very ready to enjoy some time off.

# Fall Break

The end of my mechanics LAN marked the start of the week-long fall break at Ivy Tech. A number of things have piled up, notably final projects for two classes: C and digital circuits. This break will be quite busy.

# Fall Break

The end of my mechanics LAN marked the start of the week-long fall break at Ivy Tech. A number of things have piled up, notably final projects for two classes: C and digital circuits. This break will be quite busy.

# Ch. 7, #34

Problem: 15.0-kg block, 70.0N force at 20.0°, 5.00m rough horizontal surface, μk .300.

1. Work done by force: (70.0N)(cos20°)(5.00m) = 329J
2. Work done by normal force: 0.
3. Work done by g: 0.
4. Energy increase due to friction: fk•x = (15kg)(9.8m/s^2)(.300)(5.00m) = 221J.
5. Block's final speed. First, find block's change in K: 329J - 221J = 108J. Now 108 = (.5)(m)(v^2), so v = 4.65 m/s.

# More on smartPhysics.com

Having finished the first test in mechanics, I'm moving into work and energy. The online content of smartPhysics.com is proving more useful. The animations of concepts and shifting through equations to reach useful versions are more helpful. Whether this is because the online content is improved, I am more accustomed to smartPhysics, I have a foundation on which to build, or the whim of the gods, I don't know.

Regardless, smartPhysics is coming into its own.

# Test Week 1

This week is a hectic one. Tuesday saw the first exam in "Digital Fundamentals," which included wiring an AND with diodes on a breadboard.

Yesterday was the first physics test over six textbook units about kinematics, Newton's Laws, and friction. Despite much anxiety about the test, I do believe I did well.

Tomorrow will be the first C exam.

# smartPhysics.com

...isn't.

My physics course in mechanics requires a textbook and online site (smartPhysics.com) package that is reasonable. The textbook was about \$50; the site access is bundled, which is not the case with chemistry.

Each unit of the book has an identical online lecture, which we are to watch before the course lecture. The online pre-lecture is word-for-word identical to the textbook content, although the online version includes some explanatory animations. Each unit's pre-lecture has a question or two to help clarify whether you understand the content.

Once the pre-lecture is finished, there are "checkpoint" questions that are scored by the instructor, despite the name that suggests an immediate check. If you're unsure of the checkpoint answers, which are often more difficult than yet more conceptually important than ten pre-lecture content, you must seek answers elsewhere. If you wait until the actual lecture to better learn the concepts, you will lose much time and have trouble with the homework.

The homework problems for each smartPhysics.com unit are reasonably good problems. They are relevant to the material of their unit. However, they often have little or no guidance in how to approach them. Had I not bought a large dated physics book as a supplement, I would normally be unable to solve the smartPhysics problems. The textbook is just too thin and wholly devoid of problem-solving approaches. Since I view problem-solving as the goal of physics, I am quite dissatisfied with the book and online lecture content.