St. Lawrence University homepage SLU Physics homepage

Physics Dept. Site Map
PHYSICS 221 LAB SYLLABUS
Daniel Koon

SOME USEFUL REFERENCE STUFF: Greek alphabet, metric prefixes, conversion factors

Book: D. C. Baird, Experimentation: An Introduction to Measurement Theory and Experimental Design. I will assign readings and homework from this book.

Schedule: We will spend two weeks on most of this semester's experiments. When you come to lab on the first day of a particular experiment, you should have with you the notes you have written in your lab notebook on the asigned topic, based on materials you have found in the library, your textbook, other books, or the Internet. You won't be allowed to start the actual laboratory work until you have taken these notes in your lab notebook.

The first week of each 2-week cycle will be devoted to carrying out the experiment, making certain you have collected all the data you need to carry out the analysis. You should run through the necessary calculations before coming to lab the second week. You are then in a position to repeat any measurements necessary, as well as to make corrections in the analysis or to do the necessary error analysis.

Informal Lab Reports: Lab reports are due by noon the Monday after the last lab meeting of each cycle. Late lab reports will not be accepted. Biweekly lab reports should follow the general format used in Physics 151/152. There should be a brief Introduction, including a summary of the results of your library research, sketches and commentary which describe what you did in lab, appropriate data with proper analysis, and finally a Conclusion. The Conclusion needs to describe the following, and should do so in paragraph form [i.e. in full sentences, without tables, and without the numbers], with no more than 2-3 sentences for each part: (1) What you did, (2) What your results were, and (3) What you conclude from these results.
You must keep a lab notebook for every lab, which you will use to record all pertinent observations you make during your lab work. Please leave the first page blank to serve as a Table of Contents for the entire notebook.

Formal Lab Reports: In addition to your biweekly lab reports, you will be required to submit two formal laboratory reports, based on the experiments you perform during the semester. You may choose any of the labs done in the course to write up formally, but the second one of them should be the Microwave project which will be described at the bottom of this page. The first formal report is due Friday, Oct. 22, the second on Friday, Dec 10. I will be happy to read drafts of your reports up to two days before each due date.

Individual Microwave Projects: At the end of the semester you will all work on a set of individual experiments involving microwave optics. You will each be required to present a description of your experiment and results in a public symposium. We will talk about how to present a scientific talk, and practise the talks, before the symposium takes place.

GRADING POLICY: Your final lab average will be calculated from the following:        
Lab notebook 
30%
Two formal reports 
40%
1 Oral presentation
10%
Homework 
20%

TENTATIVE LAB SCHEDULE: 
The week starting... Pre-lab reading Lab activity Major Assignments
8.30 Baird Chapter 2 Measurement, uncertainty  
9.6 Baird Chapter 3. HW Ch. 2: 4,9,12,13,14 Begin: Relativistic time dilation  
9.13 Baird Chapter 3. HW Ch. 3:1*,2*,3,4,5 (*do for both binsize=1,2)    
9.20 Baird Chapter 6. HW Ch. 3: 6,7,8,11,13 Begin: Charge-to-mass ratio of an electron  
9.27 Baird Chapter 6. HW: Calculate m and b for Prob. 6.3,
compare to Excel or Sludge results
   
10.4 Baird Chapter 7: Writing scientific reports 
No new HW
REPORT WRITING WORKSHOP, and begin Photoelectric effect  
10.11 Baird Chapter 4 Continue: Photoelectric effect  
10.18 Baird Chapter 4   REPORT #1 due Friday
10.25 Baird Chapter 4 Begin: Microwave projects (see below).  
11.1 Baird Chapter 5    
11.8   ORAL PRESENTATION WORKSHOP  
11.15   MICROWAVE SYMPOSIUM  
11.29   Begin: Electron diffraction  
12.6     REPORT #2 due Friday

SOME MICROWAVE EXPERIMENT IDEAS:
Measuring wavelength: Index of refraction: Polarization & miscellaneous:
Lloyd's mirror interferometer
Fabry-Perot interferometer
Michelson interferometer
Single-slit diffraction
Double-slit diffraction
Bragg diffraction
Refraction through a prism
'Fiber optics'
Spherical microwave lens



Brewster's Angle
Malus' Law
Beer's Law: Absorption by water




Before WEEK I of the MICROWAVE LAB:
Decide on topic.
Go to text[s], research the optical phenomenon and how it relates to microwaves.
Write a brief description of the theory in your lab notebook.
Write description of measurements that you will make, including how you will determine error in the measurement.
Your instructor must approve all of the above before you proceed to the next step: the actual experiment.
 
WEEK II:
Continue experiment and analysis.
 
WEEK III:
Oral presentation workshop. We will discuss issues related to presenting scientific results orally, as well as practising presentation skills and reviewing data and analysis of individual microwave projects. A one-paragraph Abstract of your talk and a "storyboard" is due at the end of today's lab.

WEEK IV:
MICROWAVE SYMPOSIUM. This will be a presentation, attended by students, faculty, [guests?], arranged for you to present your results as a talk of ten minutes or less.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: SELECTIONS FROM THE SLU STUDENT HANDBOOK

All students at St. Lawrence University are bound by honor to maintain the highest level of academic integrity. By virtue of membership in the St. Lawrence community, every student accepts the responsibility to know the rules of academic honesty, to abide by them at all times, and to encourage all others to do the same.

Responsibility for avoiding behavior or situations from which academic dishonesty may be inferred rests entirely with the students. Claims of ignorance, unintentional error, and academic or personal pressure are not excuses for academic dishonesty. Students should be sure to learn from faculty what is expected as their own work and how the work of other people should be acknowledged. Instructors are expected to maintain conditions which promote academic honesty.

Instructors have the duty to investigate any instance involving possible academic dishonesty and must present evidence of academic dishonesty to the Academic Honor Council rather than make private arrangements with the student involved. Violations of the St. Lawrence University Code of Academic Honor are administered under the constitution of the Academic Honor Council [See Student Handbook for the Constitution].

The primary objective of the University is the promotion of knowledge. This objective can be furthered only if there is strict adherence to scrupulous standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the University community have a responsibility to see that standards of honesty and integrity are maintained.

Students who respect academic honesty and who are orderly and meticulous in their treatment of both their own work and the work of others should anticipate no difficulty with cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty. Borrowing ideas or language from others is acceptable scholarly practice and in many instances actively to be encouraged.

Academic dishonesty generally arises from one of two sources: either a student has knowingly cheated or plagiarized or he/she has been careless or slipshod in discriminating between his/her own work and that of others or in acknowledging sources accurately. These latter difficulties are easily circumvented. Any standard handbook on English usage or term paper writing manual will furnish a methodology as well as appropriate internal reference, endnote, or bibliographical forms (cf., for example, the Harbrace Handbook, A Guide to MLA Documentation, or Writers Inc.).

A major objective of the University is the pursuit of knowledge which can be achieved only by strict adherence to standards of honesty. At St. Lawrence, all members of the community have a responsibility to see that these standards are maintained.

Academic Dishonesty
  1. It is assumed that all work submitted for credit is done by the student unless the instructor gives specific permission for collaboration.
  2. Cheating on examinations and tests consists of knowingly giving or using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance during examinations or tests.
  3. Dishonesty in work outside of examinations and tests consists of handing in for credit as original work that which is not original, where originality is required.
The following constitute examples of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own work the work of another person - words, ideas, data, evidence, thoughts, information, organizing principles, or style of presentation-without proper attribution. Plagiarism includes paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgment by quotation marks, footnotes, endnotes, or other indices of reference (cf. Joseph F. Trimmer,
  2. Handing in false reports on any experiment.
  3. Handing in a book report on a book one has not read.
  4. Falsification of attendance records of a laboratory or other class meeting.
  5. Supplying information to another student knowing that such information will be used in a dishonest way.
  6. Submission of work (papers, journal abstracts, etc.) which has received credit in a previous course to satisfy the requirement(s) of a second course without the knowledge and permission of the instructor of the second course.
Claims of ignorance and academic or personal pressure are unacceptable as excuses for academic dishonesty. Students must learn what constitutes one's own work and how the work of others must be acknowledged.

St. Lawrence students are required to sign the following statement prior to registration for classes: I hereby acknowledge that I have read the above document and I understand my responsibility in maintaining the standards of academic honesty at St. Lawrence University.
Return to Koon's homepage