Physics Laboratory / PHYS 506
Laboratory: T,Th CW 311
Recitation: M CW 311
No recitation on Monday, Feb. 19. Oral reports will begin on Monday, Feb. 26. A link to the schedule will be available here soon.
Recommended: Experiments in Modern Physics, A.Melissinos, AP, 2002.
This is a very new revision of a very old book, originally written in 1966. Many of the experiments are “classics” for which the physics has not changed over this time, and the older version of the book differs little from the new. The techniques in the older version are totally out of date, however. This text is of use in this course for background reading and to supplement the material provided in the lab. writeups. Two copies of the older version of this book are on reserve in the physics library and one copy is kept in the laboratory.
This laboratory will cover both classic experiments in physics and ones which might be done in research laboratories at KSU and other institutions. During the semester each student, working with one or two laboratory partners, will carry out approximately eight experiments. One purpose of the course is to give students insight into how physicists carry out research-level experiments and familiarity with techniques used both in the past and presently. A second purpose is to help the student develop techniques for organizing and summarizing experimental data and for formulating and writing clear presentations on the purpose and results of experimental work.
Students should purchase a quadrille-ruled laboratory notebook (not a loose-leaf or spiral notebook) in which to record all data . In these data books they will record all laboratory data, with enough English prose that another student could read it (see how to keep a data book). For each experiment done, each student will write a final report as a separate document. This writeup should be submitted electronically to email@example.com in .pdf or .doc format. The writeup should be modeled on a research article as it would be submitted to a research journal in physics. It should include an abstract, an introduction discussing the principle of the experiment (the idea, the concept, not concrete details), an experimental section describing the apparatus (concrete details go here), the data-taking procedure and a summary of the data, usually in tabular form (the original data should be in the data book), a data analysis section including an assessment of experimental error and a conclusion and discussion section in which the results are discussed. Students should feel free to end the discussion section with personal theories, comments, philosophical observations, etc. which pertain to the experiment. This is a good place to be creative. Any questions posed in the experimental description sheets should be answered somewhere in the report, as an appendix if not in the body of the report. The writeup will be due at on the first Friday following the completion of the experiment. Late writeups will not be accepted. A sample writeup (designed to give only an illustration of the possible contents of a report) are given in the samplewriteup. Before turning in your writeup, use the LABORATORY WRITEUP CHECK LIST.
Special note about use of web materials in writeups: You are not allowed to cut-and-paste text at any time in
any form into any report unless it is enclosed by quotation marks and the
reference given. If you wish to cut-and-paste a figure into your report,
you must cite the reference. The appearance, without attribution, in your writeup of any material cut-and-pasted, or even closely
paraphrased, from the web is a violation of the KSU Honor Code. You may use
the web for reference reading, but you must write your report in your own
words. See also samplewriteup.
Special note about use of web materials in writeups:
You are not allowed to cut-and-paste text at any time in any form into any report unless it is enclosed by quotation marks and the reference given. If you wish to cut-and-paste a figure into your report, you must cite the reference. The appearance, without attribution, in your writeup of any material cut-and-pasted, or even closely paraphrased, from the web is a violation of the KSU Honor Code. You may use the web for reference reading, but you must write your report in your own words. See also samplewriteup.
The available experiments listed below. Because there is only one setup for each experiment, you will be sharing equipment. You will make your own schedule in consultation with your instructor. You will be given laboratory descriptions for each laboratory, but do not expect these to be sufficient by themselves. In most cases, you should do outside reading. A particularly useful source is Melissinos. Other references may be suggested in the reports.
For the first few weeks the recitation periods will be used for general lectures on data and error analysis. Thereafter the time will be used for lectures on experiments of common interest and for oral presentations by students on their laboratories. More information on this will be provided later in the course.
Required on the Syllabus:
If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability, which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me and contact the Disabled Students Office (Holton 202), in the first two weeks of the course.
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses
and may be punished by failure on the exam, paper or project; failure in the
course; and/or expulsion from the University.
For more information refer to the “Academic Dishonesty” policy in
K-State Undergraduate Catalog and the Undergraduate Honor System Policy on the
ALL students should do the experiments marked with an “*”.
1. “Classic” Estimated number or weeks
Speed of light 1 (not available to students who have taken Physics 325)
e/m Hoag 1
2. Atomic structure/quantum mechanics/modern physics
Electron Diffraction * 1+