www.psu.edu Physics Department


NewsFlash! Archive


The Introductory Course faculty and staff would like to extend a welcome to all new and returning students. We hope you all had an enjoyable break and are refreshed and ready to start a new and productive semester here at Penn State. We would like now to take this opportunity to provide you with some information about the start-up of the course. All information on the course, such as the syllabus, reading assignments, lecture notes, recitation and laboratory activities, etc. are available on the course website at


Please take the time to familiarize yourself with this website.

Also, you need to make sure that you are registered for BOTH 211L AND 211R. If not, you risk not being able to register for the lab section that you want (as they fill up very quickly), and you also risk not having a grade assigned to you at the end of the semester (you need both portions to receive a final grade for the course).

Required materials for this course include the textbook, an i>clicker, and access to Mastering Physics, the online homework system. A specially priced bundle of textbook and a Mastering Physics card is available in the bookstore. Details regarding these materials may be found at the website listed above.

First week of class 8/26:

Classes officially start on Monday August 26th and the first lecture will meet that day at the regularly scheduled times. . You are required to purchase an iclicker are available on the course website above. You may register your i>clicker through the Angel website using your PSU email ID.

Recitation and Lab Sessions

Recitation and lab sessions will start meeting starting Wednesday, August 28. Your meeting times and places can be determined by your PHYS 211R schedule. The 211R meetings scheduled for Monday or Tuesday of the first week of classes will not be held. Attend PHYS 211R at the time and room you are scheduled to do so on either Wednesday 8/28 or Thursday 8/29 this coming week; all sections of 211R will perform the same recitation activity in their Wednesday or Thursday meeting period, even those sections that would normally have a laboratory period. Most recitations will meet in 201 Osmond and all labs will meet in 312 Osmond.
Before coming to class you are required to print out a blank copy of the current recitation or lab. Files to print can be found on the course website by holding your mouse over "schedule" and clicking "Labs" or "Recitations" links.

Mastering Physics:

All learning activities outside of class (homework) will be done on Mastering Physics. There will be one assignment each week, due Tuesday evening. There will be no extensions on learning exercises and excuses will be accepted only in cases where an extended absence warrants one. There is a special introductory learning exercise due the first week of class: the assignment titled "MP00: Introduction to MasteringPhysics" is due Thursday, August 29 at 11:59 pm. This exercise is not for credit but is a mandatory introductory tutorial on using the system, which means you will be held responsible for completing it. Your first homework for credit is due Tuesday, September 3 at 11:59 pm. You can access these assignments by clicking on the “homework” menu item on the course website at:


or by going directly to Mastering Physics:


You must register for Mastering Physics in order to do the homework. Instructions for registering are here: http://intro.phys.psu.edu/class/p211fa/misc_items/MasteringPhysics/MasteringPhysics_211_Fa_13.pdf. Make sure to use your PSU email and Access Account ID (your email address without the @psu.edu; for example, xyz5123) as your login and student ID when registering. You will have a 14 day grace period after registering before you need to enter an access code for Mastering Physics; details can be found on the course website.

This semester we will also be using an online discussion forum called Piazza. Participation in this discussion forum is optional and free of charge. It is a place for instant feedback from your instructors and peers about physics.

Once again, welcome to (or back to) Penn State. We hope that you have a great semester!