First lab period for experiment
If necessary: finish oral exam of previous lab
- In wiki lab notebook: prepare for experiment. Write up a purpose, what underlying physics is used / tested, the measurements you will attempt to take, and the major equipment you will use. You don't have to write everything (or even much at all) from scratch: linking to pre-exsiting material is great (make sure the links won't disappear, though).
- Before starting experiment, preparatory writeup will be approved by Koch.
- You should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish
- Perform experiments
- Take diligent notes of everything! (use ~~~~ to time and date stamp everything)
- Revisions to original plan are fine -- add them as new notes (make sure to add your signature)
- Perform cursory analysis of data to see if you have all you need
- Begin to analyze data carefully (record all your steps and results!)
- Attempt to obtain "final" results (with error bars)!
- Make note of problems and what data needs to be retaken or what further data needs to be obtained.
- Make note of further bonus experiments you think of
Second lab period for experiment
- Repeat experiments as necessary, perform new experiments
- Finish careful data analysis
- Make note of final results, with error bars.
- Summarize experiment
- What physics was tested, and when was this experiment first attempted (links to wikipedia or elsewhere are great)?
- What instrumentation was used?
- What are the final best measurements, with error bars?
- How good are the data? How does it compare to the expected answer?
- What do you know could be improved (with or without money)
- How sure are you of your measurements? (qualitatively and quantitatively)
- What was the biggest challenge?
- What would you recommend for the next student?
- Oral defense of lab notebook and final summary