This course is composed of three pieces: an instrumentation piece, a "physics" piece, and a data analysis piece. You will have labs for the first 2 parts and some conventional homework for the third part.
For the instrumentation piece, we will use an electronic lab book. The notebook should contain neatly drawn sketches of the circuits you are building and the answers to questions asked you in the lab manual. They can, and should, contain comments that are primarily for your benefit. When writing in the lab notebook, assume that you are addressing a future physics major and assume that you would also like to be able to understand this lab if you were going to read it 5 years later. It is impossible to be too clear.
No formal lab report is required to be written for the instrumentation portion of the course. Instead, I will periodically collect your notebooks and grade them. Your grade will depend on the quality of what I see in the notebook. Neatness, logical order and conciseness count, in addition to the literal "correctness" of the answers to the lab manual questions. If you cannot describe what you did, you learned nothing. I will also ask you questions about the electronics labs but this is primarily to rectify misconceptions you may have or to clarify concepts.
The physics lab exercises for the remainder of the course require that you keep a bound lab notebook. This notebook can be the same as that used for the analog electronics part. This notebook should contain neatly drawn sketches of apparatus, procedural comments and raw data. Again, you should write notes as if you are addressing a physics major and yourself, 5 years from now. I will periodically collect these notebooks and grade them. The same grading criteria apply as for the analog electronics portion of the course.
Additionally, you are required to submit a written lab report for each physics lab. I will provide details about the report format later. I will also give you a 15 minute oral exam at the end of each of these physics labs. Your score for these physics labs will then be a combination of your notebook score, lab report score and the oral exam score.
I will also assign you some conventional homework problems relating to statistics and data analysis. This homework will be assigned simultaneously with the "physics" labs.
Your final PHYS 4211 course grade will then be a linear combination of your "electronics" score (a 30% weight), "physics" lab scores (a 55% weight), and your "statistics and data analysis score" (a 15% weight).
There is no final examination for PHYS 4211.
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