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Physics 307L, Fall 2010

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Winter Break Lab Fest       

Grading is still tentative! Grading will be clarified during the 3rd week lecture (week after Labor Day week).

Components of overall course grade (tentative!)

Component Percentage of final grade
Final formal report 20% (points deducted for late rough draft)
First wiki assignment 5%
Oscilloscope and Lab 1 0% (practice grading for Labs 2-6)
Labs 2 - 6 (graded on written work and oral defense) 70% (each lab equal portion) (points deducted for lateness)
Attendance, completion of assignments, helpfulness and demeanor in the lab 5%

Formal Report

You will only write up one formal report, but will be graded on both the rough draft and the following revision. Additionally, you will almost surely asked to take further data after your rough draft to present in your final draft (due the Sunday before Finals week). Guidance on formal reports.

Individual Labs

You will receive a grade for each individual lab, a combination of an assessment of your electronic lab notebook, your final electronic summary, and my in-person judgment of your understanding of the equipment and methods. For the oscilloscope lab (Lab 0) and Lab 1, your grade will not count towards your final course grade, but will show you how Labs 2 through 6 will be graded.

Attendence, assignments, helpfulness

Course Goals

  1. Gain experience in writing a research paper
    • Produce a complete report on a lab experiment, written in the style of a research paper.
  2. Demonstrate diligence in keeping an electronic lab notebook
    • Koch or TA able to read notebook on OWW and clearly follow everything that was done.
  3. Gain experience in setting up and debugging experiments
    • Able to fix an apparatus after Koch or TA come over and mess it up
  4. Demonstrate ability to properly use other's work and give credit
    • In formal report: all necessary references included with proper format
    • In wiki lab notebook: record of all important conversations and who did what ("Koch said ..." "Devon showed me ..." "It didn't work until a classmate (___) showed me how to wire up the capacitor in parallel...")
  5. Gain experience in taking high quality data
    • Able to orally defend quality of data and explain possible sources of error.
  6. Gain experience in analyzing and processing data
    • Able to electronically fit a line to data (least squares, maximum likelihood); others important (TBD)
  7. Gain experience in how to report measurements meaningfully
    • All final measurements reported with error bars.
  8. Experience the excitement of measuring fundamental physics quantities
    • Able to explain orally how these measurements were first obtained, and what new information was revealed at the time.
    • Able to explain orally and in writing how the experiment uses fundamental physics to reveal some parameter (such as e/m ratio for an electron). Memorizing formulas not necessary.