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General Physics II Laboratory PHYS 121L

Elements of Physics II Laboratory PHYS 141L

Spring, 2011

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

  To reinforce proper lab procedures.

Textbook and Reference Material

  Lab Handouts provided by your instructor on the internet

  Duplicating Lab Notbook

  Suggested Reference Textbooks

Phys 120:  College Physics, Eigth Edition, by Raymond A. Serway & Chris Vuille, Cengage Learning, Inc, 2009.

Phys 140:  Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Fifth Edition, by Raymond A. Serway & Robert J. Beichner, Saunders College Publishing, 2000.  

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 12 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. One from the first half and one from the second half. You may not write up the same lab as your partner.  Your lab report must be handendin on or before 3/15/2011 and 5/16/2011


Lab reports will not be accepted after 7:50PM on their due day.  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 from your lab notebook.  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 spereate 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 (we do two labs/class period, so you would lose one full letter grade if you miss entire lab and do not make it up).  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).


Lab Notebook (from wikipedia)

A lab notebook is a primary record of research. Researchers use a lab notebook to document their hypotheses, experiments and initial analysis or interpretation of these experiments. The notebook serves as an organizational tool, a memory aid, and can also have a role in protecting any intellectual property that comes from the research.


The guidelines for lab notebooks vary widely between institution and between individual labs, but some guidelines are fairly common. The lab notebook is usually written in as the experiments progress, rather than a later date. Many say that lab notebook should be thought of as a diary of activities that are described in sufficient detail to allow another scientist to follow the same steps.


To ensure that data cannot be easily altered, notebooks with permanently bound pages are often recommended. Researchers are often encouraged to write only with unerasable pen, to sign and date each page, and to have their notebooks inspected periodically by another scientist who can read and understand it. All of these guidelines can be useful in proving exactly when a discovery was made, in the case of a patent dispute.



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

                60% Quizzes

                20% 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. Below is details of each section. A full Rubric will be provided.



Name:_________________                                                    Class:________________
Date:__________________                                                                    Mr. Croom

Lab Name


This is a short paragraph on describing the objectives of the experiment. It  should describe the scenario you are modeling without going into the detail of the procedure. Expcite goals of your inviestigation ane what you expect to learn from the lab should be stated here. 

List of Apparatus:

This section includes a list of all itemes used during this experiment. If this is the first time we have used this apparatus describe what the apparatus is, draw or computer generate and image of the object and explain how it works.


What steps do you take in the lab? This should outline the procedure you take in gathering your data. Do not simply copy the procedure from the lab sheet. Write down the steps you need to take in the order you need to take them to arrive at your results. Make sure to list how you will use the apparatuses listed above. The overall procedure should be complete enough that an arbitrary person could read your procedure and can perform the lasb as you did it.


The theory is the main body of your paper. In this section write in paragraph sentence form the information about your lab. Make sure to include, the definition of major terms, the reasoning and connection to the lab of all major concepts, make sure tell what the theory says should happen in the lab, and make sure to tell the history behind the theory.

This is not the time to try to rewrite the laws of physics. The theory is factual based on the current understanding of the universe. If you have some information that defies current law, explain it in the results section of this paper



Charts, graphs, and tables that include all of your data. If there is more then one table or chart, make sure to label them ("Data Table 5-2" ect.) so that they can be referenced through out your paper. Graphs should be done neatly and should contain a large enough scale to interpret all of the data.




Provide one calculation for each of the different types of calculations you preformed. Make sure to show all steps. An example of this would be:

Total Normal Force
=Total mass of block (kg) * (acceleration due to gravity (m/(s2)) * sin(of the angle (radians))
=0.4136 kg (± error) * 9.80 m/s2 * sin (p/2 (± error) )
= 4.05 N (± propagated error)


Explain where your error came from and if your data is significantly off, greater then 5% error; predict what the acceptable values would be.



In paragraph sentence form explain anything strange about your data, for example, any new laws of physics you may have discovered. Example: If I drop a ball and a feather they both drop at the same rate according to the theory. If your data didn’t show that then did we forget something. If not did we discover a new law of physics?


Then, in a new paragraph, explain the significance of your data, and what your data is representing. In this paragraph explain, what the data is telling you. Interpret your data! Finally, in a third paragraph ask any questions you might have about the lab you performed.


Remember, if there is something that doesn’t match your theory, that you didn’t explain in the results or analysis and you did not ask about it in the question paragraph, then you can expect to lose points.


Answer any questions that were asked on the lab hand out but were not answered above. The preferred method for you to do this is to answer the questions in one of the sections above, and then parenthetically site is by writing (Q1) or (Q2) directly after the sentence but before the punctuation.


In the conclusion, evaluate your understanding of the lab. Tell the reader what you found interesting. Explain what was new to you and what you took from the lab. Evaluate your pre-lab predictions.


                Cite all references.







1 2/1

Mechanical Waves on a String / Sound Waves


2 2/8

Electric/Magnetic Waves: Measurements Using The Oscilloscope/Signal Generator;


& Supl.

3 2/15

Diffraction and interference of light


& Supl.

4 2/22

Image Formation With Thin Converging lenses

JRK   16-27

5 3/1

Image Formation In The Human Eye


6 3/8

Electrostatic Charge Distribution

JRK   42-55

7 3/15

Field Mapping

JRK   56-77

8 3/29

DC Circuits: Series and Parallel

JRK   56-77

9 4/5

Kirchhoff’s Rules, Wheatstone bridge, Temperature sensor

JRK   78-99

10 4/12

RC Circuit and Rectifiers

C&E 391-401

11 4/19

Magnetic force/current balance

C&E 391-401

12 5/3

Faraday’s and Lenz’s Laws

C&E 423-432

13 5/9

LRC Resonance

JRK 100-112


Last Class


          This syllabus may be changed/amended by the instructor

Grading Rubric Formal Lab Report

Point Value


  earned        value



(pts earned | criterion)




Title Page/Format


Name (1 Pt)


Date (1 Pt)


Teacher Name (1 Pt)


Lab Number + Title (1 Pts)


Correct Format Typed/Font Etc. (3 Pts)





Brief Paragraph Format (1 Pt)


Clearly Stated Objectives (3 Pts)

Measure Resultant, Different Methods Etc





List of all items used (1 Pt)


Word Description Of New Apparatus (2 Pts)

List Of Parts, How They Are Set Up And Manipulated


Pictorial Of  New Apparatus (1 Pt)

Drawn Or Computer Generated View Of Set-Up Materials





Outline of lab bring attention to Any Changes from procedure (4 Pts)





Terms / Laws (5 Pts)


Definitions Of Words Not Often Used Outside The Science Community.(4 Pts)


Based on the Purpose of the Lab, what the theory says should happen in the lab (3 Pts)


Paragraph Form/ Proper Grammar/ Attention Given To Detail/ Complete Study Of Topics (4 Pts)





Title (2 Pts)


Units (2 Pts)


Column/Row Labels (2 Pts)


All data represented in tables (4 Pts)



Data -  Graphs


Proper Number (2 Pt)


Correctly Labeled (1 Pt)


Scaled Appropriately (1 Pt)


Data Extracted From Graph Discussed In Results (3 Pt)





One Of Each Type Of Calculation Shown (6 Pts)


Proper Format Used (4 Pts)



Analysis (Error Analysis)


Statement Of Results (5 Pts)

Percent Errors, A.D., a.d. How Close Results Were.


Discussion Of Error/Sources (2 Pts)


If You Did This Lab Again, What Range Of Data Would You Expect To Collect? What Would You Accept? (3 Pts)





Explain Strange Data (2 Pts)

Is The Error Really Because Of Bad Measurements? Do not restate error analysis.


What Is The Data Showing? (3 Pts)


Connection Results With The Purpose (3 Pts)

Relation Back To Statement – Was This Successful?


Pose a Questions For Future Research and Hypothesis its Answer (2 Pts)





All Questions Asked In Lab Are Answered (5 Pts)





Closing Statement (5 Pts)

Personal Reaction, Pre-Lab Hypothesis Modified, Etc.





Attached (4 Pts)





Attached And Properly Formatted (MLA/APA Style) (2 Pts)


Parenthetical Documentation (MLA/APA Style) (2 Pts)








Early/Late Points:

Students Name:___________________