Physics307L:People/Koch/Experiment steps

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First lab period for experiment

If necessary: finish oral exam of previous lab

  1. 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
  2. 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

Home work

  1. 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.
  2. Make note of further bonus experiments you think of

Second lab period for experiment

  1. Repeat experiments as necessary, perform new experiments
  2. Finish careful data analysis
    • Make note of final results, with error bars.
  3. 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?
  4. Oral defense of lab notebook and final summary