Physics 271 - General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics (Laboratory)

Spring 2009

Course description: General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics (Laboratory) Lab includes experiments on ac circuits, magnetism, light and modern physics. PHYS270 and PHYS271 (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 PHYS270 and PHYS271.
Pre-requisite none
Co-requisite: PHYS270
Textbook: PHYS271 lab manual
CORE status This course is designated a CORE Physical Science Lab (PL) Course when taken in conjunction with PHYS270
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
102R. Behuninryan_behunin 'at' hotmail 'dot' comPhys 3220M 9:00-11:50
103R. Behuninryan_behunin 'at' hotmail 'dot' comPhys 3220M 12:00-14:50
104N. Colencole1 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220M 15:00-17:50
105N. Colencole1 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220Tu 8:00-10:50
106David Greenspace347@gmail.comPhys 3220M 18:00-20:50
107K. Sinhakanu 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220Tu 11:00-13:50
108K. Wadlowkylewardlow 'at' gmail 'dot' comPhys 3220Tu 16:00-18:50
109K. Sinhakanu 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220W 17:00-19:50
110K. Wadlowkylewardlow 'at' gmail 'dot' comPhys 3220Th 16:00-18:50
112P. Wanipwani 'at' umd 'dot' comPhys 3220W 14:00-16:50
114P. Wanipwani 'at' umd 'dot' comPhys 3220Th 9:00-11:50
116M. Seversonmseverso 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220Th 13:00-15:50
120M. Seversonmseverso 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220Th 19:00-21:50
121M. Seversonmseverso 'at' umd 'dot' eduPhys 3220Tu 19:00-21:50
122P. Wanipwani 'at' umd 'dot' comPhys 3220W 8:00-10:50

A map of section times and staff for PHYS271 (and PHYS261) 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 eight experiments which are described in detail in the lab manual. In addition to these eight meetings, there are two meetings for Culminating labs and two meetings for making up missed labs. The first substantial lab is performed on the second week of classes. In the first week, there is a manditory, introductory lab meeting in which lab procedures will be explained and students can become familiar with Excel and other software to be used on the laboratory computers.

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. 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 Labs are essentially closed book practical exams, in which the students will answer a set of questions, which may require data to be acquired using apparatuses used in the four prior lab sessions.

In order to pass the class all labs and culminating labs 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
eight regular labs60%
two culminating labs40%

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 26-30 Experiment 0 Introduction to the class and Excel training
2 February 2-5 Experiment 1 The Multimeter, Singal Generator and the Oscilloscope
3 February 9-12 Experiment 2 Resistors and Capacitors
4 February 16-19 Experiment 3 Faraday's Law of Induction
5 February 23-26 Experiment 4 Resonance in LRC Circuits
6 March 2-5 Experiments 1-4 Discussion and Make-up
7 March 9-12 Experiments 1-4 Culminating Lab 1
8 March 16-19 - Spring Break
9 March 23-26 Experiment 5 Diffraction
10 March 30-April 2 Experiment 6 Polarized Light
11 April 6-9 Experiment 7 The Hydrogen Spectrum
12 April 13-16 Experiment 8 The Radioactive Half-Life of Indium
13 April 20-23 Experiments 5-8 Make-up and Discussion Week
14 April 27-30 Experiments 5-8 Culminating Lab 2