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General Physics I Laboratory PHYS 120L

Elements of Physics I Laboratory PHYS 140L

Fall Session, 2008


Procedures and Syllabus


Instructor                                                             Office Hours:

Mr. J. Croom, M.S.                                              Directly before or  after class                                     or by appointment


Course Objectives

  To learn the concepts and principles of Physics

  To strengthen the understanding of these concepts and principles through application to the real world

  To continue to develop mathematical and quantitative skills

Textbook and Reference Material

Knight.  Physics   San Francisco: Addison-Wesley Publishing, 2004.


Knight.  Physics


pp. 26 - 30


pp. 35 – 62, 65 - 69


pp. 122 - 128


pp. 129 - 132


pp. 62 – 64, 114-116, 132-137


pp.  153-162, 239-256, 270-280


pp. 177-190


pp. 369 - 391


pp. 444-450, 495-505, 513-520, 536-539, 579


pp.493-495, 520-526, 530-533


pp. 414-431


pp.611-628, 646-664, 672-674

Course Policies

  Attendance is mandatory.  Lateness is not tolerated.  Quizzes will be given at the beginning of the period.  There are no make-ups for quizzes, and no extra quiz time will be given to students who come late to class. 

  There will be about 10 quizzes during the semester, each quiz will be based on the previous completed experiments.  These quizzes are open notes.  

  Each person is to write up two formal lab during the semester. You may not write up the same lab as your partner.  Your lab report must be handend in on or before 10/6/08 and 11/17/08


Lab reports will not be accepted after 6PM on these dates.  Each person is to collect the experimental data and complete all calculations and associated graphs from each experiment, following the guidelines on the back of this page.  This is considered lab work and is to be neatly done in ink, and turned in no later then one week after the experiment is completed.  Graphs are to be done on a computer graphing program showing results of the appropriate curve fit. If you have completed the formal report for a particular experiment, you do not need to hand in the data on a separate sheet of paper.    


  Attendance for each lab is mandatory.  Your final semester letter grade will be dropped one half letter grade for each lab missed. Make-ups for labs will be allowed at the discretion of the instructor (YOU MUST HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL REASON FOR MISSING LAB), and will be given only with prior arrangements (SPEAK TO ME BEFORE YOU MISS THE LAB).



There will be one formal report, informal lab report on each lab, and about 12 quizzes.

                50% Quizzes

                30% Formal reports

                20% Lab Work and Questions


Final class letter grades will be earned as follows:

95-100                   A                                     75-79                     C+

90-94                     A-                                    70-74                     C

87-89                     B+                                   65-69                     D+

83-86                     B                                     60-64                     D

80-82                     B-                                    59 and below        F             


Lab Report Write-Up

Reports are graded out of 100 possible points.  For reports, you may want to photocopy your blank lab manual, and then neatly transcribe your data and answers to calculations in the space provided in the manual.  Then you may want to cut and paste the questions from the lab manual onto a blank page to give yourself plenty of room to answer questions (I don’t think the manual leaves enough room for the answers to some questions.)





Formal Lab Report


1) Ten Points Neatness and Organization:  Reports are to be neat, done in ink not pencil, preferably  typed, MUST BE STAPLED.

2) Ten Points Title page:  Experiment title, your name, date, and class meeting time.

3) Ten Points Abstract:  one paragraph that briefly outlines experimental goals.  Make sure that your summary describes how these goals were attained through the experiment.

4)  Ten Points List of apparatus

        5)  Ten points for background :

One page introduction to the theories investigated in the experiment.  Cite all references, two references are a minimum.

        6)  Ten Points for Data 

    All data collected in the lab must be presented in the lab report, preferably in the same formated data table as given in the lab manual.  You may want to photocopy the blank data pages before you do the experiment, and then re-write your data neatly into the clean copy for the report or retype tables.

        7)  Ten points each calculation  :

    Must write out fully each question that is asked, followed by your answer to that question (or cut and paste question from photocopy of lab manual).  Must show all work for credit by providing a complete sample for each calculation: start calculation with the formula used, then show equation with numbers in place for the variables, and then show result with units.  (ie.  W = mg = (0.5 kg)(9.8 m/s2) = 4.9 N.)

        8)  Ten points for graphs (only if lab asks for graph(s))  :

    Graph must have title, labeled axes with units, plot of data, and curve fit equation showing correlation coefficient (R2).  Graphs must be done using a computer graphing program, showing best fit equation of the graph.  For example, if you do a “linear” fit, the equation will be that of a line and may look like y=0.235x + 0.003, where slope would be the 0.235 term.  No credit will be given to hand-drawn graphs done on regular lined or plain white paper.

      9)  Ten points each question :

    Only required questions - see table below.  Must write out fully each question that is asked, followed by your answer to that question (or cut and paste question from photocopy of lab manual).  Must show all work for full credit for any calculations as specified above in section (6). 

      10)  Ten points one page summary :

    One page summary of lab: THIS IS NOT a summary of the procedures, but is a summary of the concepts studied in the experiment, how the experiment backed up the theory, and an explanation of any source of error.

        11)  List of References


LAB#    DATES                  EXPERIMENT TITLE                                                                                                                                             

1              8/25                        Kinematics Part I—Walking For Data              

2              9/8                          Kinematics Part II--Falling Objects

3              9/15                        Addition of Vectors;  Equilibrium of a Particle

4              9/22                        Uniformly Accelerated Motion              

5              9/29                        Friction                                          

6              10/6                        Motion in Two Dimensions Projectile Motion                  7           10/20                     Uniform Circular Motion                     

8              10/27                     Energy and the Ballistic Pendulum               

9              11/3                        Collisions in Two Dimensions

10           11/10                     Equilibrium  of a Rigid Body                      

11           11/17                     Simple Harmonic Motion: Spring and Pendulum

12           12/1                        Properties of Fluids/Thermodynamics                                         

          This syllabus may be changed/amended by the instructor