Undergraduate Physics Labs

Spring 2016

Lab Start Dates

PHYS 101: January 28

PHYS 102: January 29

PHYS 150: January 19

PHYS 151: January 22

PHYS 151 Case Study: January 25

PHYS 171: January 26

PHYS 050: January 25

PHYS 051: February 3

PHYS 250: January 26


Check the Lab Schedule for more details.

Lab Procedure

Students will work in small groups of about 3 students and complete an experiment during each lab meeting. There will be 10 labs total. Procedures for each lab can be accessed via your Lab Schedule or in the Experiments section. Please obey the following guidelines for each lab:

  1. Leave the lab exactly how you found it! Other sections use the same rooms and equipment. Be considerate to students and lab staff by taking care of the equipment.
  2. Report all problems/breakages immediately! Don't try to fix something yourself. You may not repair it correctly, which may result in taking data using broken or uncalibrated equipment.
  3. Come to the lab prepared! Read the Lab Procedure ahead of time and complete the pre-lab exercises. Bring a scientific calculator and a notebook to each lab.
  4. A lab writeup for each group is due at the end of the lab session. It should be submitted electronically to your TA.

Grading Policy

Labs are taken pass-fail. Students must complete each lab in order to pass the course. Absence from a lab without permission could lead to an F or incomplete in the course. The following grading scheme will be used for each lab:

Excellent (E), Passing (P), Needs Improvement (NI), Fail (F)

If two NI grades are received, the third NI will turn into F. Successful completion of the lab ALSO includes handing in a pre-lab exercise for EACH lab. The above grades will be based on the following aspects each lab writeup.

  • Presentation (3 points)
    The report should be clear, organized and readable. Consult the Graphing Guide for guidelines on making graphs.
  • Questions (4 points)
    Correct answers to the questions listed in the lab procedure will receive full credit.
  • Results and Conclusions (3 points)
    Must include a summary of the data, graphs (clearly labelled) and conclusions. Should also include a comparison of actual results with expected results and a discussion of sources of error with numerical estimates

Note: Points will NOT be deducted because of "bad data" (i.e. results that deviate from an expected data due to experimental error) as long as you provided a thorough examination of your error in the "Discussion, Sources of Error and Conclusions" section.

9-10 points = Excellent

7-8 points = Passing

6 = Needs Improvement

5 or lower= Failing