The course during this Summer Session commences on Tuesday, June 1 and
concludes on Friday, July 2. There are no Monday sessions and each section
will have an additional eight days on which it does not formally meet.
Five of these days are reserved for "make-up and final interviews" as
described below. A schedule of experiments and meeting dates is distributed
with this Syllabus. Laboratory Sessions are scheduled on Tuesday - Friday
from 10:40 AM until 12:40 PM. IMPORTANT NOTE: NO FOOD OR DRINK IS ALLOWED
IN THE PHYSICS LAB ROOMS.
Help-Study sessions are for the students' benefit in gaining assistance with
the conceptual and procedural basis of an experiment. The Help-Study Hall
(PSH-563) will be staffed by the Instructor and Teaching Assistants from
1:00 until 3:00 PM each day except on PHY-121 examination days (June 8, 16,
24, and July 2). Teaching Assistants will not otherwise keep office hours
except by appointment, but will alert their respective sections to the hours
which they will be present in the Help-Study hall. However, assistance may
be solicited from any member of the course staff on duty.
B. Laboratory and Grading Policy
There are five experiments scheduled for the term. In order to obtain a
passing grade (D or better), a student must have completed four of these.
AN "A" GRADE REQUIRES COMPLETION OF ALL FIVE.
The laboratory format is based on cooperative learning. Students will work
together in teams of three or four. Teams will be organized by the section TA
before the first two experiments, and reorganized before the final group of
three experiments; thus, during the term each student will have two sets of
Each team will be given a team grade based upon an interview
conducted by the TA and/or the lab instructor. Thus, in general, all
members of each team will receive the same grade for each lab.
However, the section TA has the option of lowering the grade for an
individual team member based upon appropriate reasons including, but not
limited to, absence or failure to participate fully with one's team.
Likewise, the TA may recommend a higher grade under suitable circumstances.
During the interview, each team member will be asked one or two questions.
Questions are asked to the individual team member, not to the team as a whole,
and those individuals must answer alone without prompting from other members
of the team. So, no matter how you decide to divide up the tasks of the lab
among your team members, it its the responsibility of the TEAM
to make sure that every team member knows all the relevant points of the
lab before the interview begins. Also reviewed during the team interview
will be the data, the analysis, and the conclusions, which must be
prepared beforehand in an acceptable format (see below under
PRESENTATION OF RESULTS). The interview questions and this team
write-up will carry approximately equal weights in determining the team
The team grades will be letter grades carrying the following values:
A 4.00 B+ 3.33 C+ 2.33
A- 3.67 B 3.00 C 2.00
B- 2.67 etc.
Any team receiving a grade of less than B- in the initial
interview will be asked to repeat the interview and/or redo their team
write-up. The highest possible grade in a repeat interview is an A-.
Roughly, in the interview and on the team write-up, major issues or
questions are worth 2/3 of a point and secondary or smaller
issues are worth 1/3 of a point. For example, though it is
not the purpose of the lab, in the course of the first lab everyone
should learn to use a vernier caliper. Failure of a team member to
demonstrate this skill properly during the interview would cost the team
about 1/3 of a point. Another question that might be asked for
the first lab is, given a data set, find the standard deviation and the
absolute error or uncertainty in the mean value. Learning this skill is
a primary goal of the first lab and failure to demonstrate this skill in
the interview would cost the team about 2/3 of a point. Similarly,
in the team write-up for the first lab you are required to propagate errors
in measurements of length into errors in volume. Failure to do clear and
correct error propagation would cost the team about 2/3 of a point.
On the other hand, smaller mistakes, like failing to properly label
axes on graphs or giving a final answer with relative error
instead of absolute error, might cost only 1/3 of a point
Your final lab grade will be the average of your five lab grades
A >= 3.5
F < 0.5
Recall that completion of less than four labs is an automatic F.
C. Data Recording
Data are to be recorded in ink on 8 1/2 X 11 quadrille
sheets 5 X 5). Team members should share the cost of a pad of
quadrille paper. These are to be no erasures or "white-outs". Errors
are to be lined out. At the end of each laboratory period or the
conclusion of the experiment, each data sheet is to be dated and initialed
by all team members and section TA. Data should be recorded in tabular
form with well-labeled columns, or otherwise distinctly entered onto the
data sheet. The data may be transferred to computer spread-sheets, etc.,
for analysis if the team so desires. Each team member should obtain
photocopies of all signed data and analysis sheets. (This is for your
D. Presentation of Results
Under the interview structure and in light of the summer's compact
schedule, no individual formal written experimental reports are
required. However, the data are to be analyzed, with full attention
to experimental and statistical uncertainties and the
results are to be presented in tabular and/or graphical format as
appropriate. There should also be a clearly written description of
the analysis process complete with pertinent equations. Be sure to
state your conclusions prominently and clearly. All these
documents, initialed and dated, as well as the original raw data
sheets, are to be presented at the interview, with a photocopy of
the entire packet made available to the interviewer.
E. Scheduling of Interviews
Most interviews will occur during the last hour or so of the second day
on which the particular experiment is scheduled ('FIRST INTERVIEW' on
the calendar schedule sheet) on a first-come first-served basis. Teams
that need to revisit the experiment and/or repeat their interview can
do so in the 'MAKE-UP AND FINAL INTERVIEW' period during the third day
of the experiment cycle. Interviews normally will last no more than
ten or fifteen minutes.
F. Relation to Lecture
The Department of Physics and Astronomy cannot afford to stock sufficient
equipment to allow all students to conduct the same experiment at one time.
Therefore, it is impossible to coordinate closely the laboratory work
with material covered in the PHY-121 lecture. Consequently, some students
may encounter a concept or physical principle in the lab before learning
about it in lecture. This is not necessarily a bad ordering of the learning
process; many prefer it. On the other hand, some students may wait for a
week or more after learning the physics theory before doing the relevant
experiments. In either case, it is expected that material encountered
in each course will eventually be reinforced by material from the
other course in such a way as to enhance understanding.