Physics 207 - University Physics

Texas A&M University, Fall 2023

Web-page for sections using the University Physics, Vol. 2, 15th edition, by Young & Freedman, published by Pearson.

This course covers the principles and applications of Electricity and Magnetism. For most students this is a follow-up to the Physics 206 course on Mechanics. The course requirements, common exams, and grading for all of these sections are generally the same, with some additions for the Honors sections, but consult the syllabus for your instructor for contact information and schedule details for your lecture. We will post updates on this page as the course proceeds, and additional information will also be included in in-class announcements -- you are also responsible for this information!
Section # Instructor Lecture Days Lecture Times Room #
519-523 Dr. Olga Kocharovskaya MWF 1:50-2:40 204
525-529 Dr. Larry May MWF 10:20-11:10 204
531-535 Dr. Mike Youngs TR 8:00-9:15 203
537-541 Dr. Olga Kocharovskaya MWF 3:00-3:50 203

    General Requirements:

Course PRE-REQUISITES are either PHYS 218 or 206 and either MATH 152 or 172.

The textbook and all other components are integrated with the MyLab & Mastering system. Registration is done using your NetID via Canvas. Step-by-step instructions to sign up for MyLab & Mastering are given here


We expect that all of the common evening exams will be conducted in-person. There are 3 midterms throughout the semester and a comprehensive exam that will take place at the end of the term. These are the evening times that were included when you registered for the course. The material discussed in the prelectures, together with the homework, recitation and concept quiz problems, essentially defines the scope of the exams. Formula sheets to be used in the exams will be posted here before the exams, and the common exam rooms will be announced as the semester proceeds.

The exam dates, times and chapters for the Spring 2024 semester are:
Midterm 1 - Chapters 21-23: Monday February 19 from 7:30-9:30 pm
Midterm 2 - Chapters 24-26: Monday March 25 from 7:30-9:30 pm
Midterm 3 - Chapters 27-30: Monday April 15 from 7:30-9:30 pm
Comprehensive - Chapters 21-30 and 32: Friday April 26 from 5:00-7:00 pm
(Chapter 31 will NOT be tested on the comprehensive)

    Formula sheets:

    Previous Exams:

    Homework Problems and Recitations

Cooperative work and discussions of the homework are ok, but it is important that you solve the problems individually, as an essential part of understanding the material for the exams. Questions can be addressed to your course or recitation instructors, who will be happy to help you (preferably during office hours). RECITATION attendance is also a course requirement (this is the 80-minute session that is part of your class schedule). Your recitation grade will be determined by your TA based on your participation, preparedness, and active contributions in the recitation sessions.

Click here for recitation grading expectations.

Click here for the recitation schedule..

    Rough Chapter Schedule

Each lecture/instructor will move at a slightly different pace, however in general they should follow the rough schedule at the link below. This chart contains dates when we expect that students will have read each chapter, completed the prelecture, and suggested dates for when the homework should be completed for each chapter. These dates are provided to give students some guidance so that they do not fall behind in this course.

Click here to see the schedule.

    Strategy and FAQ

This course brings together physics and math concepts in ways that you may not be familiar with. You can succeed, but to do so you will certainly need to spend enough time to keep up with the material. To do this, you will need to participate in all the course requirements, and carefully think through and solve the Recitation problems and weekly HW (being able to work these problems on your own is the best indicator that you are prepared for exams). It can be difficult to catch up after falling behind, so if you need help, please contact your lecturer or the TA in your recitation section as soon as possible. We are here to help you succeed.

Instructors often get asked "What can I do to be successful in this course?" or "How do I do better in this course?" Unfortunately there is no singular answer for this question. Every student is different. Every student will need a different amount of time spent with the course. There are a few bulletpoint approaches that can help many students though and they are the same approaches to most math, physics, chemistry and engineering courses.

  • Study concepts, definitions, terms and phrases. Don't have your primary study focus be the algebra to get from the first couple lines of a solution to the final answer. If you don't understand the concepts and definitions then you can't solve different, yet similar, problems.
  • Study the equation sheet. Make sure you know what each variable means and how it is defined. Make sure you know when that equation is valid and when it isn't.
  • In Canvas, there is an example set of "flashcards" going through the Chapter 21 equations and some of the concepts, phrases and physical laws of that chapter. This is certainly not a complete set that would be needed by every student. But this is something that each student should be building for each chapter on their own based on their own needs. We expect that this is a regular component of studying each chapter for each student.
  • When it takes you several attempts to solve a problem, don't immediately move to the next question. Ask yourself, "What was I missing? What didn't I understand?" Take note of that concept/idea/phrase that you struggled with. Make sure to pay attention to similar uses in future problems.
  • When studying solutions that are posted by someone else, or when reviewing your own work, make sure to ask yourself, "Does each line in this make sense? Do I understand where this came from and how they got here?" If it doesn't, spend the time to work it out for yourself.
  • A good general rule when working problems is this. If you get a problem wrong or if you struggle with reaching the solution. Ask yourself if this was a conceptual issue or a simple math issue. If it was a simple math issue, you can probably move on to the next problem. If your issue was that you didn't understand a concept or how to use an equation, you should find an additional 2-3 similar problems. Once you are consistently solving these problems without conceptual issue, you can move on.
  • Treat previous/practice exams like the actual exam. Find a distraction free environment, set a timer and make a legitimate attempt at completing that exam like you were taking it for real. If you are able to consistenly score highly on the previous exams, you are likely to be reasonably well prepared for the upcoming exam. Keep in mind, that solving the same exam over and over and scoring highly is not the same as scoring highly on exams you see the first time.
  • This is perhaps the most difficult thing to hear. There is no way to become a skilled problem solver in physics/math/chemistry/engineering/etc. without solving problem after problem after problem until you see the patterns in getting from the prompt through the solution to the answer. For some people, this may only take a handful of problems or examples. For others, This may take hundreds. Each student is unique, but the necessary path is to just solve problems.