User:Arianna Pregenzer-Wenzler/Notebook/Junior Lab/Oscilloscope Summary

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Oscilloscope Lab Summary

SJK 12:16, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
12:16, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
This is a really good lab summary. You link to your raw data notes, present the "final results", and discuss them and future work. While your uncertainty was missing for part of the numbers, you do a great job discussing it, and you do have it on the other numbers, so I know you will do this well in the future. Good work!

Brief summary

value for the fall time using AC coupling

  • fall time
  • manual measurment of fall time = 55.20ms
  • I made this measurment of fall time using my cursors to make a careful aproximation of the time ellasped between the peak of my wave and 90% of that peak. Though I was aproximating I did not take this into account during my measurment process so I did not record uncertainty.Note record uncertainty means make multiple measurments and average results, something I learned in class just today.SJK 12:13, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
    12:13, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
    repeated measurements are a great way and a common way of estimating uncertainty, if you can make the repeated measurements independent. We'll learn a lot more about this over the coming weeks. In this particular case, though, you can also put a range on the uncertainty by noting what the step size of the cursor was, which would indicate your maximum precision.
  • I also used the measure button to measure the fall time, and I did notice and record a fluxuation in the osciloscopes measurement.
  • osciloscopes measurement of fall time = 55.91ms, but is fluxuating by about +/-.3

What I learned

  • The biggest lesson I learned in this first lab is that I need to read the lab and relavent material prior to lab, so that I can have an idea of what I'm trying to accomplish and what my questions are. I have very little experience with lab equiptment nor am I comfortable with computers and if I combine my lack of knowledge with no preperation I am dealing with too many unknowns or barely knowns to be able to relax and take in new information. I did manage to get a very basic feel of the osciliscope, but I did not have the time to explore anything beyond the fall time measurment. I did not get a real understanding between the difference in AC and DC coupling. I did ask Dr. Koch about the reasons for using a terminator, and what it did. Dr Koch gave me a detailed explanation, and also brought out a terminator and we took it appart to see what its resistance was and ended up looking up its color code on wikipedia,electronic color code. This was probably what will stand out as my best experience in this first lab; that the goal is to learn and explore and this can be a fluid process, not something that is restricted within defined parameters. (Steve Koch:I agree completely!)

Possible Improvements:

I second who ever made the suggestion to use the first week of lab as an opportunity to get familure with the oscilliscopes, and just do more playing around in general. Also maybe use the first lab to talk about the different labs we can choose between over the course of the semester so we can start thinking about what we might want to try. I know all the information is avaliable on this site, but so quickly our focus narrows down to doing what ever we have to do to survive our classes, that there is minimal motivation to do extra. Therefore, if the class time is already scheduled, use it. Also it might allow us to get to know our classmates (potential lab partners) better, and we could get a feel who, if anyone, we might work well with. To be honest though, the atmosphere of this class is both stimulating and inviting, so while a little tweaking might make it even better, it is the first lab I've taken so far that I looking forward to, not just trying to pass so I meet my requirements. SJK 12:14, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
12:14, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
Great! I've taken your comments to heart, along with some from other students and next year we'll definitely use the whole first lab period.