PHYS S165 - Yale Summer Session

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General Physics Laboratory 165 and 166
Yale Summer Session 2015
Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30-4:30
SPL 42 and 43
Physics 165 and 166 is the two-semester General Physics Laboratory course. The aim of the course
is to teach physical principles and concepts by direct experience. In addition, another important
goal is for students to gain experience measuring and handling numerical data, and to learn how to
communicate the results of those measurements to others.
• Course Instructor: Rona Ramos, SPL 36, (203) 432-3655,
• Physics 165 Teaching Fellow: Dili Wang
• Physics 166 Teaching Fellow: Mehmet Dogan,
• Handouts for the lab experiments will be posted in Resources folder of the Classes*v2 server.
• Quad rule notebook1with perforated pages. Laboratory notes will be handed in with lab reports.
Carbon copies are not necessary, but you may want them for your own records.
• Scientific calculator and writing implements.
Allow at least an hour to prepare for each lab before you come in.
• Read the lab handouts. Look up the concepts you found unfamiliar in a college level physics
textbook or use Wikipedia. Review the references listed in the lab handout.
• Prepare for the quiz. These are short quizzes and can be completed in less than 5 minutes if
you are prepared for class.
Laboratory Work
• Lab sessions are three hours long. Most labs can be completed in less time. Use this extra
time to take good notes and to think things through, explore your own questions and make
sure you understand not only what you are doing, but why you are doing it. This is the best
way to "study" for the practical exam.
• Both partners should actively use the apparatus and computers. If you are unfamiliar with the
computer programs or the apparatus used, you will have a very difficult time in the practical
rgr May 4, 2015 | May 5, 2015
General Physics Laboratory 165 and 166
• Complete your analysis in class before you leave.
• Have your TF check your data and graphs, and then sign your lab notebook before you leave.
• Try to keep your station neat and organized. The most important reason for this is safety,
although there are many other benefits: demonstrating good lab technique, clearly seeing what
you are doing, catching mistakes, allowing your TFs and instructors diagnose problems more
easily, and consideration for those that have to clean up after you.
• Preparedness, active engagement in the experiment and good lab technique will be reflected
in your performance grade.
See the lab notebook and report example in the Resources folder on the Classes*v2 server. Keep
in mind that your lab notebook should be understandable by a person who has not performed the
experiment. Your report and lab notes will be due at the start of the next lab session.
Lab notebook
• Record your name, your partner’s name, your TF and the date.
• Record the apparatus used and/or a drawing if necessary.
• Write a general description of your plan, even if only "We followed the procedure in section
2.1 of the lab handout."
• Record possible sources of error, problems encountered, and decisions made.
• Cross out erroneous data, do not destroy or throw them away. Mistakes happen! Leave them
legible and write a short note about why you discarded them.
• Don’t use scrap paper. That is what your lab notebook is for! Everything goes in your notebook.
• Copy and paste graphs and images into a MS Word file. After you have collected all your
graphs for the session, print them on one or two pages.
• Lab reports are to be written individually.
• Reports are limited to one page. Scientific writing is succinct. A goal of this course is for you
to learn to write precisely, while still making an effective argument. You will have to judge
what things are important and communicate them efficiently. Do not use tiny fonts or narrow
margins in an attempt to fit it all in.
• Insight is an important part of your report. Do you understand what you were doing, or were
you merely doing as instructed? Explain what you learned, not just what you did. Demonstrate
your understanding by offering plausible sources of error based on physical principles (vague
sources like "human error" are not acceptable). Offer possible improvements to your methods
and techniques that would help the problems you encountered. Connect the concepts you
learned in class to everyday experience, other experiments you’ve done in this class or even
other courses.
General Physics Laboratory 165 and 166
• Grading rubric
Can it be followed by someone who has not done the experiment, but has
access to the course materials?
Was the required data taken? Is it presented in an organized and readable
Discussion of results and answers to specific questions posed in the lab
Is the lab report summary cohesive and concise? Were all the important
topics covered and well communicated?
Does the student demonstrate a deeper understanding and synthesis of the
physical concepts by connecting to examples not specifically mentioned
in the handout or by discussing plausible sources of error or experimental
improvements based on sound physical principles.
Lab reports comprise 60% of the total course grade.
• Late Submissions will penalized 15% per day late. Yes, weekends count too. Submit late
work in person to your TF or the instructor.
Quizzes and Exams
• Quizzes will be given at the start of the session. If you are prepared for class and have read
the required material, quizzes will be easy.
• There will be a practical exam on the last day of class (Session A, July 2nd and Session
B, August 6th). The exam will consist of three experiments and/or measurements. General
instructions will be posted on the Classes*v2 website.
Attendance and Make ups
Attendance is mandatory. Due to the rapid pace of the summer courses and laboratory logistics,
it is very difficult to catch up on missed work. Make-ups will be granted under extreme and rare
circumstances and must be rescheduled within 24 hours of the missed experiment. No exceptions
will be made for travel plans that conflict with the course. Reports associated with the make-up
session will be due on the next day of class, or if there is none, within three days. Work to be
completed after the end of the session requires the permission of both the instructor and the Dean
of Yale Summer Sessions.
Course Grades
Lab Reports
Practical Exam