Physics307L F09:People/Mahony/Oscilloscope

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Oscilloscope Lab Summary

SJK 00:18, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
00:18, 15 September 2009 (EDT)
You do hit much or all of what I wanted for the lab summary, so this is pretty good. It seems just a bit terse, though. Maybe what I mean is it'd be a bit tough for a non-informed reader to understand what you're talking about? In the future, maybe break it up into more paragraphs, and make sure that your "result" (best value w/ uncertainty) is clearly visible. Even in this case, you could have said more about the uncertainty by saying what reasonable range you think it could have been in based on your cursor measurements. By next time, you'll know how to report a mean +/- standard error of the mean. OK, I'll put the rest of my comments on your primary notebook page.

In this lab I learned how to use an oscilloscope. I measured various periodic signals, with and without DC offsets. I learned how to use AC coupling, and in the process I measured the fall time of the scope. I used this to calculate an RC constant value of 25.5 ms. We measured this by putting a huge DC offset on a square wave and switching the oscilloscope into AC coupling mode. There was an exponential decay of the voltage that we measured from the peak to a point about 10% of the peak. Since we did this by eyeballing it, there might be a large margin of error. Unfortunately, we could not calculate our error since the measure function was not working for the fall time, so we had nothing to compare our value to. Nevertheless, I learned how AC coupling works, as well as the drawbacks of it. I can't think of ways to improve this lab, as it was more of an intro to using the instruments, and pretty much had all the bases were covered.

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