Physics307L F07:People/Koch/Balmer

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On the the summary pages for labs, you are expected to write something easy to read by someone who wasn't standing next to you when you took the data. In contrast, your lab notebook will be much less organized (probably), and will also probably contain a lot of irrelevant data that you figured out wasn't good, but which you wouldn't want to delete. On this "summary" page, you should provide links to your lab notebook. For example, "Our raw data is here (link)."

OK, So the big question is, "What exactly does Koch want on these summary pages?" Well, that will vary from lab to lab, and maybe even from person to person. It is difficult to spell out, but I will try to do so elsewhere. Here are some essentials:

  • Most labs ask you to find some value, such as the Rydberg constant for Hydrogen. Obviously you must report your best estimate of this value, along with your estimate of uncertainty!. All physics lab teachers are sticklers about reporting the uncertainty, Koch included. By the end of the semester, I am going to be a stickler about reporting the uncertainty "correctly," but at the beginning of the semester, I am going to be a stickler about reporting uncertainty "as best you can."
  • You need to give a little statement of what you are doing. Imagine that some random physics student happens across the page, how would you quickly explain the purpose of the experiment? (If you wrote up detailed purpose elsewhere on the wiki, it's easy enough to link to...but it's also pretty easy to copy over the code.)
  • You need to discuss how happy you are with your result. Is it likely that your discrepancy from the accepted result is due to random error? Or is it more likely that there is some systematic error?
  • If you were to have more time with the experiment, what would you try next?
  • If there are other questions in the lab manual, provide answers to them.