Physics 261 - General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism (Laboratory)

Spring 2011

Course description: General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism (Laboratory) Lab includes experiments on mechanics, vibrations, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism. PHYS260 and PHYS261 (lab) must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS260 and PHYS261.
Pre-requisite none
Co-requisite: PHYS260
Textbook: PHYS261 lab manual
CORE status This course is designated a CORE Physical Science Lab (PL) Course when taken in conjunction with PHYS260
Instructor Prof. Arthur La Porta
Dept. of Physics
Institute of Physical Science and Technology
1111 IPST (building #085)
(301) 405 3291 (on campus x53291)
alaporta 'at' umd 'dot' edu
Section Information
SectionTeaching AssistantcontactRoomTime
101Solomon Teclemariamluckym15 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219W 5:00pm-7:50pm
102Krunal Shethksheth700 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219M 12:00pm - 2:50pm
103Solomon Teclemariamluckym15 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219M 3:00pm - 5:50pm
104Tigist Shibeshitigistgetaneh 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219Tu 2:00pm - 4:50pm
105Tigist Shibeshitigistgetaneh 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219Tu 9:00am - 11:50am
106Solomon Teclemariamluckym15 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219Tu 5:00pm - 7:50pm
107Tigist Shibeshitigistgetaneh 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219W 11:00am - 1:50pm
108Tigist Shibeshitigistgetaneh 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219W 2:00pm - 4:50pm
110Krunal Shethksheth700 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219Th 3:00pm - 5:50pm
111Solomon Teclemariamluckym15 'at' yahoo 'dot' comPHYS3219Th 6:00pm - 8:50pm

A map of section times and staff for PHYS261 (and PHYS271) is linked here

Faculty Office Hours Monday, 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Tuesday 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Course Outline The class meets once per week, and consists of five experiments which are described in detail in the lab manual. In addition to these five meetings, there is one meeting for a Culminating lab and one meeting for making up missed labs. Prior to the first meeting students should familiarize themselves with Excel by performing Experiment 0, found in the lab manual or linked below.

Each lab session lasts three hours, and will begin with a 10-15 minute discussion of the lab by the TA. The class will be based on the ELMS/Blackboard system. Each week the solutions to a set of pre-lab questions (found in the lab manual) must be uploaded before the lab can be performed. (Your TA may make other detailed arrangements for submission of pre-lab assignments.) The lab report itself consists of an Excel spreadsheet which will contain all data taken, as well as analysis and discussion. In an effort to reduce workload, the report is expected to be a succinct summary of data, analysis and conclusions without redundant or superfluous discussion. The spreadsheet itself must be turned in at the end of the lab session (either uploaded into ELMS or transmitted in another form, to be agreed upon with the TA).

The Culminating Lab is essentially closed book practical exam, in which the students will answer a set of questions, which may require data to be acquired using apparatuses used in the five prior lab sessions.

In order to pass the class all labs and culminating lab must be completed, without exception. Students are permitted to perform labs in make-up sessions only if they have a legitimate reason for failing to attend a lab session. In the event that you miss a lab session, e-mail the instructor, who may be able to make arrangements for you to attend another section during the same week. The lab make-up sessions are reserved for instances when this is not possible.

Preparation The in-class writeup chosen for this lab is meant to revolve the common complaint that writing up lab reports can be extremely time consuming. In this class we require a succinct presentation of data, analysis and interpretation in the form of an Excel file. The labs generally require less than two hours to perform, leaving ample time for analysis and interpretation. However, to perform the experiment in this time frame you will have to be prepared. It is therefore essential that you come to lab having completed the pre-lab questions and having read and understood the instructions.
Grading Policy
four regular labs60%
culminating lab40%

The scoring of each individual lab report will break down as follows

prelab questions20%
postlab questions15%

Lab Schedule

Week Dates Experiment # Experiment Title
1 January 24-27 No meeting Work through Experiment 0 for Excel practice
2 January 31-February 3 Experiment 1 Intro to Data and Error Analysis
3 February 7-10 no meeting -
4 February 14-17 Experiment 2 The Pendulum (procedure revision)
5 February 21-24 no meeting -
6 February 28-March 3 Experiment 3 Forced Harmonic Motion (Additional comments)
7 March 7-10 no meeting -
8 March 14-17 Experiment 5 Position, Velocity and Acceleration
9 March 21-24 No meeting Spring Break
10 March 28-April 1 Experiment 7 Ideal Gas Law and Absolute Zero
11 April 4-7 Experiments 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 Makeup Lab and Discussion
12 April 11-14 Experiments 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 Culminating Lab
13 April 18-21 no meeting -
13 April 25-28 no meeting -
13 May 2-5 no meeting -
13 May 9-12 no meeting -