Physics 192

Fall Term 1996. In Charge: Prof. M. Abolins

256A PA, 353 - 5180

Teaching Assistants: Prof. A. Brown, Prof. W. Lynch

General Information

The laboratory notebook is available for sale at book stores and it contains all the information pertaining to this course, including course description and syllabus. You are expected to acquire this book prior to your first laboratory session.

Physics 192 consists of a series of experiments in optics and modern physics. The experiments are all described in this laboratory manual and you are expected to read the material and prepare yourself before coming to class as there will not be sufficient time to start from scratch during the three hour laboratory session. In general, the laboratory period will start with a brief quiz to test your preparation. All of the exeriments will be performed in Room 108 of the Physics-Astronomy building.

You will do the experiments in groups of two and you may collaborate with your partner in data analysis but you are expected to write independent reports.

The Experiments

Our list of experiments, given in the table below, covers topics in optics and modern physics. As much as possible they will be self contained with no specific prior knowledge or experience assumed. Note that three experiments (4, 6 and 10) will require two laboratory periods to complete and will be worth 40 points, where all the others are worth 20 points.

List of Experiments






Aug. 26

The eye


Sep. 2

Labor Day


Sep. 9

Optical Micrometer



Sep. 16

Optical Activity



Sep. 23

Diffraction and Interference - I


Sep. 30

Diffraction and Interference- II


Oct. 7

Grating Spectrometer



Oct. 14

The Charge and Mass of the Electron - I


Oct. 21

The Charge and Mass of the Electron - II


Oct. 28

Introduction to Radiation



Nov. 4

The Absoption of Radiation



Nov. 11

Half Life Measurement



Nov. 18

The Compton Effect - I


Nov. 25

The Compton Effect - II

Dec. 2

No Scheduled Lab

Dec. 9

Final Exam




The Laboratory Report

The Notebook

You must purchase a bound notebook with numbered pages and quadrille ruling to facilitate the entry of graphs and plots of data. All data taken during the experiment will be entered into this notebook in ink with no erasures permitted. Should a mistake be made, it must be neatly crossed out with a single line and a corrected entry made nearby. Generally speaking the following information should be recorded:

The write-up

Your write-up should include:

Good English prose should be used throughout and neatness and legibility are essential as sloppy reports will be penalized.

Your write-ups will be due one week after the experiment is finished and will be returned to you graded at the beginning of the following week's class. Any write-ups that are turned in late will be penalized at the rate of 10% per day up to a maximum of 50%. It is strongly suggested that the write-ups be typed or done on a word processor although reports done neatly in ink will be acceptable. In addition to the items mentioned above, the report should have a cover sheet with the title of the experiment and your partner's and lab instructor's names.


Your grade will be based on the results of your experiments, on the quality of your reports and on a practical exam with the weights given in the table.


The suggested reference for this course is ``An Introduction to Error Analysis'' by John R. Taylor, published by University Science Books.

Last Modified: 11:30am EDT, August 14, 1996