Experiments

All students will attend several required lab sessions, perform one required experiment on counting
statistics (one week) and do two additional experiments of your choice (3 weeks per experiment) to be completed over the quarter.  A student may work with up to 2 partners, though each student writes their own lab report.  The experiments are listed to the right. It does not matter which experiments you do; you will learn techniques of experimental physics in each of them.  Your lab partner(s) rely on you as part of the team; showing up late for lab will result in a lower letter grade.

Pre-Lab assignments must be handed in at the start of Lab period on the first day of your experiment. Pre-Labs normally take a day or more to prepare and must be successfully completed before you may begin that experiment. Timely submission of your neatly written Pre-Lab report forms an important component of your letter grade in this course. Late Pre-labs receive zero credit. As in all experiments in physics, your team will begin with attempts to understand how components of the experiment work, and with tests and calibration.  Most experiments will not be working as well as they could be.  Your mission is to discover why, to uncover sources of systematic error, and to take data in a way that achieves your needed precision.

See the Reports page for guidance on your lab book, getting started with Python, and how to write the lab reports. Experiment reports are due on dates as shown on the Calendar.  They should be your OWN work and written in the general style of a journal article, with Abstract, Introduction, Theoretical background, Experimental method, Results and Analysis, Discussion, and Conclusion.

A useful table of Fundamental Constants.

The Experimentalists Perspective.