Introduction to techniques and methods that are used in physics experiments. The available experiments cover mechanics, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, optics, electrodynamics and nuclear physics.
We will learn how to set up and carry out a physics experiment, analyze the data, assess uncertainties, and discuss the results in a physics context. We will also practice the skills of keeping track of our work in a lab book, and of summarizing a research project in a written report.
|Course meets:||Swain West 137, Thursdays 1:25pm - 5:30pm.|
|Instructor:||Lisa Kaufman (SW337, firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Office hours:||Mondays 9am - 12 pm, in SW337, or by arrangement|
At the beginning of each class period, there will be a short lecture on experimental topics. The remainder of the class period is for lab work. The first few weeks of the semester are devoted to warm-up labs, mostly dealing with electrical measurements. During the remainder of the semester, you will tackle individual and more complex experiments that span a large range of physics topics and measurement techniques.
For each lab, written instructions are available from the web. It is important to read these instructions before you come to the lab, and to refresh your memory of the relevant physics. Much better use is made of the lab time if you come prepared. To help you prepare, there will be a short set of written pre-lab exercises due at the start of each lab session.
Scientists publish their research in journals. You will get the opportunity to write a scientific paper on one of the experiments that you have completed. You will also have the opportunity to present your work orally to the class.
|15%||4 Introductory experiments|
|45%||5 Regular experiments|
|18%||A formal write-up on one of the experiments which you have carried out during the semester|
|12%||An oral presentation of one of the experiment which you have carried out during the semeseter|
|10%||Short assignments due at the start of class|
My grading system will attempt to reflect how well you demonstrate progress toward these goals. Each lab will be graded on a 20 point scale with 5 points being assigned to each of these four broad categories:
The 5 point scale is 1-2 poor, 3=fair, 4=good, 5=excellent. These judgements will in part be based on my observation of your work during the class period, but will rely primarily on the notes you take in your log book. So, it is imperitive that you keep a well-organized, detailed record of your work in your log book. Please take a moment to read the guidlines on keeping a log book. A good standard to apply to your logbook is to ask yourself if you could repeat the experiment if you had only your log book and no other sources of information. Could you reconstruct the apparatus? Could you reproduce the data analysis you performed?