Advanced Physics Lab
Last page update 1/12/12
(version 0.9) - check back for changes!
Lab Rooms: Berndt
Hall 620, 670
Class Times: Th 8:00 and TBD
Charles L. Hakes
Office : Berndt 630
Office phone: 247-7242 (However, this is not
the best way to contact me.)
(including office hours).
(This is the best way to contact me)
Web Site: http://faculty.fortlewis.edu/hakes_c
There are several academic purposes to an advanced physics lab:
- Learn to keep a good lab notebook.
- Learn several useful laboratory techniques, and get some practical "hands on" experience with equipment.
- Learn a few interesting "classical" physics experiments.
- Learn to write a useful report, and make aceptable presentations.
Text: An Introduction to Error Analysis
by John R. Taylor. There may be several assignments from this book.
This book is also an excellent reference that will help you with data reduction and error analysis that you
will need to include in your lab reports.
These labs will be done with a single lab partner on your
You can do labs at the regularly scheduled lab time, but that is not required.
I will be available to help you locate equipment, but many of these
experiments will require some "development" of your own experimental equipment
(Which is part of
the reason this is called "advanced" lab.)
There are limited instructions for most of these
When available, I will post links to .pdf versions of the lab write-ups. You can choose any of the labs you
like, but you are not allowed to double dip – you cannot repeat a lab
here that you have done or will do for another class.
I.e. a holography lab would be great, unless you have taken
Optics and have already done (or plan to do!) that lab for that class.
- Instructor TBD (~10%) This may include homework or tests.
- Lab work (~90%) Since
some of these labs require significantly more effort than others,
grading will be done like a diving competition - your grade will be
multiplied by a "degree of difficulty" number for the lab. You
need to perform at an "A" level for a total of 16 of these DoD points
to get an A in the class. (That is about four labs.) Each
lab will have a different presentation format. but you get to decide
which format for each lab. Each lab will be graded according to
the following breakdown:
- Notebooks (~20%) These will be graded individually. A good reference for notebooks can be found here http://web.mit.edu/8.13/www/Notebooks.pdf
I will check your notebooks for any preparatory "pre-lab" activites,
questions, or background research, and after labs are completed for
- Performance (~10%) This is somewhat subjective, but reflects how carefully you are taking measurements.
- Presentation (~70%) There will be at least four different lab
presentation formats required. You need to do at least one of
each. If you do more than four labs, you can chose which format
the fifth lab will be presented in.
- lab report (group)
- oral presentation (group)
- poster presentation (group)
- executive summary(individual).
Academic (dis)honesty: Any
incidents of cheating on quizzes or
exams will result in being reported to the office of academic affairs,
and an F
for the course. (I may soften that penalty only if
it, at my discretion.) I do encourage you to work together to
homework, but your written answer must be in your own words.
Copy! Unacceptable collaboration on a homework
assignment will result
in a score of zero for the entire
assignment. Copying or directly
paraphrasing answers from the textbook on a homework assignment will
result in a
zero for that question. Answer in your own
words in order to
actually learn something!
Accessibility: Students with disabilities
who require reasonable
accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course
requirements must register with Disability Services, 280
247-7459. If you qualify for services, bring your letter of
to me during office hours as soon as possible.
Some of the labs in each semester are required; the rest are
optional. Labs need to be turned in according to this schedule:
- week 4 - need at least 15% done - at least one 3 point lab
- week 7 - need at least 40% done - midterm grades due
- week 10 - need at least 60% done - last week to drop
- week 12 - need at least 80% done - only one lab can be turned in after this
- week 14 - all done! - last week of classes
Here are some choices:
First Semester Labs
Radiation (basic) (Stefan Boltzmann Law); 620; 3; R
gap in a Semiconductor; 620; 3; R
Ratio of the Electron; 670; 4; R
Effect & Measurement of Plank's Constant
Oil Drop; 670; 4;
Measurement of Excitation Energies
Second Semester Labs
Physical Pendulum; 620; 4; R2
Radiation law/Wien's Law
in a Ferromagnetic Crystal; 670; 3;
Series for Hydrogen and Deuterium
and High-Resolution Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Absorption
of Polarized Light from a Dielectric
LED as a Light Emitter and Detector
of Refraction of Air
Laws for Jupiter's (Saturn's) Moons