PHYSICS- I LABORATORY SYLLABUS
Purpose of the Lab
The purpose of the lab is for you to experience "hands-on minds-on" physics activities.
These activities will be closely coupled to the course. It is our intention
that the laboratory experience will help you to better understand the physical
phenomena that we discuss in class.
Every week you will perform an experiment and hand in the lab report by the end
of the lab period. You are encouraged (Your grade depends on it!) to collaborate
actively with your lab partners on these experiments, including the calculations
and the error analysis.
Each group will write a joint lab report (except for one lab during
the semester where each student will hand in their own report on the Friday
of that week) containing the following information:
INTRODUCTION, PROCEDURE, DATA,
RESULTS, and CONCLUSIONS
The introduction should contain one or two sentences describing the physics
that is being studied in the lab. The procedure section should give a brief
description of the procedure used to carry out the experiment(s) and it should
be written in paragraph form. In some cases a figure of the setup will be helpful.
The data section should contain all of the data taken during the lab. Sample
calculations should include a sample of each type of calculation performed in
the lab. Results are a presentation of your final results of the experiment.
The conclusions must discuss your results. Your report should be written in
very precise language with no ambiguities. Do the results make sense?
Do the results agree with theory? Do your results agree with accepted
values? Give possible reasons why your results may not agree with theory or
These reports are to be typed using the spreadsheet EXCEL and/or the
word processor WORD that are installed on the lab PCs. All of these must
be presented in a neat and orderly fashion so that your lab instructor
can easily understand what you have done. This includes the use of proper
The last two weeks of lab will be devoted to a special lab project on a
subject to be announced sometime during the semester. In the first week
of this project, each group will discuss and decide how they will approach
the problem. They will discuss their approach with the instructor to determine
its feasibility. If approved, the group will then carry out their experiment
over the course of the week. During the last lab meeting, each group will
demonstrate their project to the class. This lab will count as two labs.
Each student will hand in their own lab report for this lab. The format
will be the same as for other lab reports written this semester. This lab
report is due at 5:00 pm on the last day of class before the start of final
The group presentations of the special projects
and the laboratory final will take place during the same laboratory period.
After the group presentations are finished, you will take the lab final.
The final will consist of questions about the laboratory experiments and your
ability to use EXCEL. Two or three laboratories will be selected randomly by your
instructor. For these labs, you will have to answer the following questions:
a) What was the purpose of this lab? b) What procedure was followed?, and
c) What was the outcome of the experiment and did the lab fulfill the purpose
of the lab? You should know the answer to each of these questions for all
laboratories that you performed during the semester. Next, your ability
to use EXCEL will be tested. You will be expected to a) Use formulas in
EXCEL to do calculations, and b) Given data, plot the data, add a trendline to
the data, and print the graph displaying the data, the trendline and the trendline
equation. You will be also asked some questions about your graphs and data
The group lab reports will count as 66% of your grade, while the special
project report will count as 12% for a total of 78%. A maximum of 12 additional
percentage points will be added for your general laboratory performance thorough out
the semester according to the following scale:
The lab final will be worth up to 10 percentage points, depending on how
informative and readable your write-up .
12 points -- student's performance generally exceeded our expectations.
08 points -- student's performance generally met our expectations.
04 points -- student's performance often fell below our expectations
00 points -- student's performance generally fell below our expectations
Your average class grade will be the sum of these points and your course
letter grade will assigned according to the following scale:
Labs we did this semester
1). Motion detectors with reproducing graphs
2). Measuring g with a video cam
3). Adding 4 vectors
4). Projectile motion and hit the paper
5). Newton's second law with inclined air tracks
6). Newton's second law with level air track and hanging mass with glider
7). Coefficient of kinetic friction tabletop and floor
8). Work energy theorem, with spring and glider
9). Conservation of momentum
10). Conservation fo energy with pendulum
11). Conservation of energy with hook and rubber band
Remember FIZIKS IZ PHUN!!