No stupidity -- if you break anything, you replace it.
You must attend the lab section for which you are registered.
Pre-labs are due when you enter the room -- no extensions.
If you do not hand in a prelab, you will not be permitted to perform the
No one is admitted to the lab room 10 minutes after the lab begins.
Each student must have his/her own lab manual and a lab notebook
Lab reports in the notebook are due at the end of the lab period.
Labs must be written in pen, not pencil. Do not erase; put a
single line through unwanted data. Neatness counts.
Labs will be graded on a scale from 0 to 5 as follows:
5 = Complete and excellent work
4 = Satisfactory, but with some minor errors
3 = Significant errors or omissions
2 = Very little correct or useful work
1 = Lab report handed in, but with minimal work
0 = Missed lab
Every lab report must include:
The names of all the people in your lab group
Your lab station number (0-9)
This is a brief summary of the experiment about to be performed. You
should explain what data you will gather, the procedure for gathering
the data, and the reason for gathering the data. You can (and should)
write this ahead of time. The abstract is very specific.
recorded during the lab with units and error estimates, arranged
neatly on the page.
In this section, you will identify the source of the error and
state the effect of the error on the analysis and the conclusion.
Was the error random (statistical) or systematic? Was it caused
by the equipment or by the use of the equipment? Propagate the
errors in your data to any quantities calculated from your data.
This is a brief answer to the following question: "What did I learn
from the experiment, from my data, and from my analysis?"
You will not be required to prove the theory, in fact you
must not even try to prove the theory. If the data that you collected
and the subsequent error analysis do not support the physical theory,
do not force it. The conclusion is very general.
Students will pair-up differently for each experiment.
When writing a lab report, it will be helpful to imagine as your audience
(1) another student with a Physics background who has not taken the lab
but who wants to understand what you have done and (2) yourself ten years
from now -- you should be able to reconstruct the lab from your own report.
Include sufficient detail so that you will know why you did things and
how you did them.
The laboratory manuals are NOT meant to be stand-alone documents;
students are expected to use a text book for supplementary reading.
Often a topic in Physics will be encountered first in the laboratory,
and only later will the theory be explained in the lecture.
When creating a graph by hand use as much of the sheet of paper (graphing
paper on the left pages in the laboratory notebooks) as possible.
NEVER play connect-the-dots with data points; it is never
correct to draw straight lines between gathered data points. It does
make sense to draw a best-fit curve if you know the functional
form for the data. For example, if you expect on theoretical grounds
that the data should lie along a straight line, you can fit the best
possible straight line through your data points.
Axes should be labeled, and the units should be given. For example,
a plot of velocity(m/s) versus time(seconds).