ISP209L Fall 2002
Mystery of the Physical World Laboratory


Required Course Packs: ISP209L Course Pack (Author: A. Brown et al.)
(available only at the Student Book Store)

Required Tools: Calculator with trigonometric functions, logarithmic functions and scientific notation. You must bring the relevant labs from the coursepack every week. It will not be possible to do the labs without them.

Reading Material: To assist in the preparation for the labs, additional reading material will either be handed out the week before the lab, placed in the BPS Library reserved reading area or distributed by email. Most of the readings will be from Cutnell and Johnson, Physics 3rd Edition, a non-calculus based physics textbook. Material for the quizzes may be taken from this source.

Labs are held in 302 North Kedzie on Monday and begin as indicated on the attached schedule. Working in groups of 2, 3 or 4 you will perform measurements and tabulate the requested data in one or more short experiment modules from the Course Pack. There should be a group(s) of 4 only if all of the other groups in the class have at least 3 people in them. Then each student will independently analyze this data, present the results, and answer the questions.

You must read the lab write ups before lab (see attached schedule). A short quiz will be given in the first 5-10 minutes of lab, typically with an open book part and with a closed book part. A few sample quiz questions are given on the schedule to show their basic level. If you have read and understood the lab, the quiz questions will be trivial (and you will be well on your way to a 4.0; if you have not then you will be well on your way in the other direction).

No one will be allowed to perform the lab without taking the quiz. Students arriving late to lab, at the instructor's discretion, may not be allowed to do the quiz or lab. All material used to determine grades (quiz, data sheets, graphs, questions, etc) will be prepared by each student during the lab period and submitted for grading before leaving the lab. Students must leave the lab promptly at the end of their period. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Student labs will be graded by the instructors. The total number of points for each lab class will be 10.

The quiz will be graded on a scale of 0-3 (30% of the total)
Lab reports will be graded 0-7 (70% of the total)

A perfect score of 7 on the lab reports will be based on the following:

(1) legibility
(2) all experimental numbers correctly entered and the units given if required
(3) all of the data manipulations done properly (additions, averages,etc)
(4) all of the graphs completed properly with axes and points labelled
(5) well thought out answers to each of the questions (this will be given a large weight in the grading)
(6) individual work when required

There will be a final exam in the last week of class. The exam will include quiz questions, questions derived from the lecture material and questions from the labs themselves. The final exam will be 20% of the total grade. The final grades will have a mean of approximately 3.0, graded on a curve, regardless of the percentage totals. Quiz grades will be extremely important in determining the final grades. The labs are fairly straightforward so the average numerical grade (total out of 120 points for the 12 labs and quizzes) will be relatively high. The mean will be set at 3.0, though, so a grade of 3.5 or 4.0 in the course will require a very high point total. If you are uncertain about any of the material presented in a module or the references, consult with me during office hours.

Documented medical excuses for missing one lab will be accepted up to 24 hrs following lab. You can reach me by email or phone. We will want to know your name and section. A makeup session will be arranged during the last week of class.

Last Update: September 10, 2002