Undergraduate Physics Labs

Spring 2024

Lab Start Dates

PHYS 0150/0050: January 29th

PHYS 0102: January 29th

PHYS 0151/0051: February 5th

PHYS 0101: February 6th

PHYS 0171: January 31st

PHYS 1250: January 29th

Check the Lab Schedule for more details.

Lab Protocol

Students will work in assigned groups of 3 (or fewer) students and complete an experiment during each lab meeting. There will be 10 labs total. Procedures for each lab can be accessed via the Canvas Home page or your Canvas To Do list. 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.
  4. A lab writeup for each group is due at the end of the lab session. It will be submitted  to Canvas.

Lab Attendance, Absences, and Makeups

Since all 10 labs are required to pass the course, there will be no excused labs. There is one make-up lab at the end of the semester to replace a failed lab.

Excused absences can be made up via asynchronous labs or joining other lab sections, at the Lab Managers discretion. Excused absences include expected absences, such as a religious holiday or a conference, and medical absences. Students are generally allowed two asynchronous labs per semester. Excused absences require a completed Course Action Notice and communication with the Lab Instructor.

In the event of a extended Medical Leave or more than two excused absences, email your Lab Instructor and the Lab Manager to make accommodations.

Since labs are a group activity, promptness is expected. The Lab Instructor is not required to allow late entry to the lab after the first 15 minutes.

Grading Policy

Labs are taken pass-fail. Students must complete all labs in order to pass the course. The following grading scheme will be used for each lab:

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

If two NI are received, the third NI will turn into F. Successful completion of the lab ALSO includes handing in a pre-lab exercise for every lab. Failure to turn in a Pre-Lab will result in an automatic NI.

The above grades will be based on the following aspects each lab writeup.

  • Presentation
    The report should be clear, organized and readable. Consult the lab manual for guidelines on making graphs.
  • Questions
    Correct answers to the questions listed in the lab procedure will receive full credit.
  • Results and Conclusions
    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.

Plagiarism and Generative AI

Coping text from another source, be it Wikipedia, or a report from a different lab section, or generative AI (such as ChatGPT), will be considered an act of plagiarism and are grounds for automatically failing a lab report. Repeated acts may be grounds for an Academic Dishonesty Report with the Center for Community Standards & Accountability.