PHY252 - Spring 2019

This class is the laboratory component that complements PHY251 - Modern Physics taught by Prof. Tzu Chieh Wei. The professor administering the laboratory component of the course is Prof. Matt Dawber, though you will spend most of your time in the lab interacting with your TAs.

Lab Times

  • Mon 12:00PM-1:50PM TA: Tudor Ciobanu
  • Mon 2:00PM-3:50PM TA: Tudor Ciobanu
  • Thu 12:00PM-1:50PM TA: Joshua Leeman
  • Thu 2:00PM-3:50PM TA: Joshua Leeman

Office Hours


Fall 2018 Schedule

Week Labs
1 8/27: No Lab
2 9/3: Labor Day - No Lab
3 9/10: Introduction to PHY252
Analysis and Plotting Tutorial
Example - Mathematica version
Example - Excel version
4 9/17: Michelson Interferometer
5 9/24: Measurement of e/m for electrons
6 10/1: Exam prep- No Lab
7 10/8: Winter break - No Lab
8 10/15: Photoelectric Effect
9 10/22: Measurement of electron charge
1010/29: Geiger Counter and Radioactive Decay
11 11/5: Exam prep - no lab
12 11/12: Emission Spectrum of Hydrogen
13 11/19: Scattering Angles
14 11/26: Bragg Scattering
15 12/3: Dynamics of elementary particles
16 12/10: Make up lab (if needed)

Spring 2019 Schedule

Week Monday Labs Thursday Lab
1 1/28: No Lab 1/31: No Lab
2 2/4: No Lab 2/7: Introduction to PHY252
Analysis and Plotting Tutorial
Example - Mathematica version
Example - Excel version
3 2/11: Introduction to PHY252
Analysis and Plotting Tutorial
Example - Mathematica version
Example - Excel version
2/14: Michelson Interferometer
4 2/18: Michelson Interferometer 2/21: Measurement of e/m for electrons
5 2/25: Measurement of e/m for electrons 2/28: No Lab
6 3/4: No Lab Photoelectric Effect
7 3/11: Photoelectric Effect 3/14: No Lab
8 3/18: Spring Break 3/21: Spring Break
9 3/25: No Lab Measurement of electron charge
10 4/1: Measurement of electron charge 4/4: Geiger Counter and Radioactive Decay
11 4/8: Geiger Counter and Radioactive Decay 4/11: No Lab
12 4/15: No Lab 4/18: Emission Spectrum of Hydrogen
13 4/22: Emission Spectrum of Hydrogen 4/25:Scattering Angles
14 4/29: Scattering Angles 5/2: Bragg Scattering
15 5/6: Bragg Scattering 5/9: Make up lab (if needed)

Lab reports must be submitted at the beginning of the next lab on the date specified in the above schedule. Late lab reports are penalized 20 points (out of 100) per day. Lab reports will not be accepted 48 hours after your scheduled lab start time i.e. you shall receive a zero credit on that report. These penalties are strictly enforced, unless there is a good excuse and you notify us sufficiently in advance of the deadline and the lateness is approved. You will have a lab partner, or two, in this course. You will have the same data but each person must hand in their own individual, and original, lab report.

You should not be late to your lab session. An attendance/lateness component may be incorporated in to the lab grade, especially if tardiness becomes an issue. You should obviously not miss a lab session. You will be allowed to make up a lab in the event of a medical or similar emergency with the proper documentation. For more extreme cases, information on the situation should be brought up to your TA and/or Prof Dawber , and it will be discussed to find the proper solution.

Data analysis

In addition to the material covered in your first tutorial class you should review these notes on data analysis that contain important information on this topic.

Lab Write Up Guidelines

Please follow these specified guidelines. It is a good practice to separate and label each section and to keep the subject mater of each section distinct to streamline writing and prevent redundancy.The entire report, including equations and tables should be typed and plots should be done digitally. If you will have trouble with this please contact your TA ASAP.

If what you write is not clear and we do not understand what you are saying, we can not give you credit. Please proof read your work before you submit it. Additionally, less is more. Writing long, dragged out reports with superfluous information and repetition will not get your more points and will more likely a negative effect on your grade. Be as concise as possible while ensuring you write the necessary information.

An outline for a model lab report is as follows:

A. Introduction and Theory (20 points): In this section you must have statements concerning the overall purpose of the lab (measuring the physical law/concept we are looking to confirm). You must also explain briefly the theory behind this physical concept in words and introduce the relevant equations that define the physical system under study (derivations are not necessary). Historical background is not required. It should be obvious to an external reader we are investigating some physics that has something measurable or observable of interest and that reader should have a basic understanding (an introduction) of what physics they will see in the upcoming sections. They should not know what results you found in the experiment after this section.

B. Procedure (10 points): Describe how the physics law you will be testing is measured. Be sure to comprehensively describe all elements of the experiment so that it can be repeated exactly by a qualified reader. Write this section such that a competent scientist can reproduce your experiment. This means too much detail is a bad thing in this section (i.e brand names and model types of equipment, obvious bits of information like “I will turn on the battery by pressing the on button”). You should make note of important equations for the lab, explain, in detail, the physics in your own words and, using the lab manual, explain the procedure and equipment you will use to test/verify this law.

C. Results and Analysis (50 points): This is highly important; note that this section is worth more than the other sections for a reason. Here you should report your finalized results, which in most cases is results tables and graphs.

Some general rules for reporting your results:

  1. Present the results of your experiment, showing the data important enough to quantify your result.
  2. If a data table is more than half the page then consider only presenting a representative portion of it in the report, say for a single sample out of a multi-sample experiment (anything more than 10 data points in too much). Another good way to reduce the size of tables in this situation is to process the data (use the equations to get results) and plot them. Again, this depends on the nature of the experiment. However, you should make sure it is clear what equations you use to get processed data, for example a trigonometric relation to turn measured distances into a measured angle.
  3. Please make sure that the relevant data is presented in tabular form. Label each column and do not forget to mention the units. Lack of units will be deducted. Additionally, it is extremely important that your results are rounded correctly. Incorrect rounding will also result in a deduction.

The bulk of your report will be analysis. You not only need to analyze your results but also you will need to tie your results to the concept you set out to measure (what you spoke about in the intro). It is unnecessary to display the mathematical computation of error, but you should use this section to consider what your result (and error) means physically and how it compares to what you expect from theory (and the official results) from reputable (cited) sources. Below are important characteristics of a high quality analysis section.

  1. Present your final results with their proper error and discuss their quality in terms of accuracy and precision (A result may be very precise, but far off the mark from where it should be, or it may be right on the mark, but very imprecise. Understanding the quality of your result is the most important part of performing an experiment along with being able to accurately relate that result back to the physics you set out to study).
  2. Comparison of the expected results with the experimental results.
  3. Discuss the possible sources of error that contributed to your uncertainties and explanation of discrepancies if applicable.
  4. Discuss possible approaches to reduce uncertainties or performing the experiment differently that could give a more precise or more accurate result for future attempts.
  5. Comment on the significance of your results and why such measurements may be valuable outside of the context of our lab.

D. Conclusion (20 points): This is where you summarize your results. You should restate the purpose of the experiment (the physics concept you wanted to measure), restate your final result or results with the uncertainty and comment again if your result compares to the expected result and reiterate the point that this result infers/confirms some physical law. A good rule of thumb is a reader should be able to summarize your report by reading this section (what you wanted to measure by doing this experiment, what you found as a result in your experiment and if what you measured agrees with what you expected to measure).

teaching.htm.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/21 13:48 by mdawber