Physics 21: Life Science Physics II Laboratory
Gustavus Adolphus College
Spring Semester 1998

Lab Coordinator: Thomas Huber    Office: Olin 209          phone 7036
Lab Instructor:       A. Jennings Ellis  Office: Nobel 106C    phone 6160

Required Lab Manual: Physics 21 Life Science Physics II Laboratory Manual

Goals and Objectives

Course Policies and Evaluation:

  1. Lab Materials: Each student must purchase a copy of the required laboratory manual, which is produced in punched, loose-leaf format, and is available at the Book Mark. Students should assemble these sheets, along with others to be supplied in class, into a three-ring binder which may easily be brought to lab. No other lab data books are required. Students should also bring some loose-leaf paper and a calculator to each lab period.

  3. Pre-Lab Exercises: Each experiment in the lab manual is accompanied by a Pre-Lab Exercise which must be completed by each student and turned in at the beginning of the lab period. Zero credit will be given for late pre-lab exercises. However, if a pre-lab exercise sheet is not turned in at the beginning of lab, it must still be completed and attached to the end of the lab report, or an additional deduction will be made from the lab report grade. Students are encouraged to keep notes used in completing the exercise for possible use in the lab period.

  5. Lab Reports: The sheets for each experiment also function as the lab report, to be completed by each student in the lab group. In contrast to previous years, in which students maintained two lab notebooks and wrote their reports therein, we will be using the less time-consuming fill-in sheet style. The theory and procedures for each lab are presented in a self-contained set of sheets, with blanks provided for data, analysis, responses to questions, and other report elements. Computer generated or manual graphs will be added by the student and stapled to that experiment's pages to form the complete report. Much of the report can and should be completed before leaving the lab. Reports are due in PH17/19 at the beginning of the class the morning following the lab period. A penalty of 20% per day will be assessed each late lab report.
  6. Each student is responsible for writing his/her own lab report, even though the experiments were performed with a partner or partners. Pre-lab exercises and lab reports which are found to be identical (or nearly identical) in those responses that should be the product of each individual student may be marked down.

  7. Lab Groups: Students will work in groups of 2 or possibly 3. It is essential that all members of the group share in the different aspects of the lab and become completely familiar with operating the equipment and computer, taking the measurements, and analyzing the data.

  9. Preparation for Laboratory: Advance preparation is an absolute requirement for the efficient use of the limited lab time. Students are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the purpose and general procedures of the experiment before coming to lab. The primary purpose of the Pre-Lab Exercise is to encourage and reward (in both grade and ease of carrying out the experiment) preparation for lab. Each student must bring his/her lab manual to lab.

  11. Lab Final: In the last lab period, there will be a final exam. This will test students on their understanding of the essentials of particular labs, their skills in analyzing data and performing error analysis, making measurements with equipment used during the semester, and solving practicum problems.

  13. Attendance: Students must arrange with Jennings Ellis in advance to attend a lab at other than their scheduled time. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the instructor during the first week of the semester regarding any anticipated absences due to field trips, athletic events, musical performances, or other extra-curricular activities. Because of equipment conflicts and other logistical reasons, in general it will NOT be possible to make up a lab outside of a scheduled lab session. Lab equipment is set up Monday evening and dismantled after the last lab on Thursday.

  15. Evaluation: Final course grades will be assigned using the following scale as a guide:
  16.      20%  Pre-Lab Exercises
         65%  Written Lab Reports
         15%  Lab Final Exam
         94-100    A         74-78   C+
         90-94     A-        70-74   C
         86-90     B+        66-70   C-
         82-86     B         62-66   D+
         78-82     B-        58-62   D
                              0-58   F
    Assignment of final letter grades will also take into account the instructor's subjective evaluation of the student's attendance, initiative, class participation, preparation (particularly quantity and quality of homework), and evidence of improvement.
  17. Incompletes: A grade of incomplete will only be given for work not completed due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. (This is the college policy.)

  19. Academic Honesty: In all academic exercises, examinations, papers, and reports, students shall submit their own work. In cases of cheating or plagiarism, the instructor will inform the student and the Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the nature of the offense, the penalty within the course, and the recommendation of the instructor as to whether further disciplinary action by the Dean is warranted. (The full text of the Gustavus Academic Honesty Policy may be found in the Gustavus Adolphus College Academic Catalog).

  21. Office Hours and Tutors: Each faculty member will announce and post a schedule of office hours during the first week of classes. A schedule of department tutors will also be posted on the second floor of Olin Hall.

Lab Schedule
Week Beginning  Title 
February 9 Inverse Square Laws
February 16 Field Mapping
February 23 Digital Multimeters and Ohm's Law
March 2 DC Circuits
March 9 The Oscilloscope
March 16 AC Circuits
March 23 Reflection and Refraction
April 6 Lenses
April 13 Interference and Diffraction
April 20 Optics Practicum
April 27 Modern Physics (to be announced)
May 4 Nuclear Radiation