ISP 209L ~ Spring 2005
Mystery of the Physical World Laboratory

Prof. Stuart Tessmer
4237 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Office Hour: By appointment
Phone: 355-9200 x2210

Click on the date to view the introductory material for that week.
Material adapted from Professor J. Huston.

Date Lab# Module Topic Additional Reading
Jan 10 ~ Pick up handouts Introductory lecture ~
Jan 17 M. L. King Day ~ ~ ~
Jan 24 1 General Physics-1
General Physics-2
Dice-probability vs average
Human reaction times
See handout
Jan 31 2 Mechanics-1
Free fall measurement of g
Pendulum measurement of g
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 1
Feb 7 3 General Physics-4 Threshold of hearing ~
Feb 14 4 Energy-1
Cycle power
Electrical equivalent of heat
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 4 & 6
Feb 21 5 Mechanics-3
Rolling cylinders
Angular momentum, torque
Feb 28 6 Electromagnetics-1
Simple circuits
Magnetic fields
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 7
Mar 7 Spring Break ~ ~ ~
Mar 14 7 General Physics-6
Oscilloscope-wave forms
Magnetic Induction
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 9
Mar 21 8 Optics-1
Reflectionv Refraction
Critical angle
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 11
Mar 28 9 Quantum-1
Single slit diffraction
Babinet's principle-wire size
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 11
Apr 4 10 Optics-4
Two slit interference
Diffraction grating
ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 11
Apr 11 11 Radioactivity-1 Background and sources ISP 209 Course Pack: Week 14
Apr 18 12 General Physics-5
Quantum Physics-2
Quantum Physics-3
Low temperature
Light emitting diode
Apr 25 Final Exam ~ ~ ~


This two-credit laboratory provides hands-on experience to discover and reinforce basic physical phenomena. The heart of the course consists of a series of experiments in the areas of optics, mechanical systems, and electromagnetics. The teaching team consists of two graduate instructors and me (Prof. Tessmer). I am looking forward to a fun semester as we work through these experiments together.



• Labs are held in 302 North Kedzie on Monday. Each lab will begin with a brief closed-book quiz, followed by a short introductory lecture.

• Working in groups of 2 or 3 you will then perform measurements and tabulate the your data in one or more short experiment modules from the Course Pack. The scheduled lab modules are listed on the reverse side. (Note: groups of 4 will only be permitted if all of the other groups in the class have at least 3 people in them.)

• After conducting the experiment and tabulating the data, each student will independently analyze and present the results, and answer the questions. You are encouraged to seek help from the instructor and/or from other students. However, the work you turn in should be your own.

• 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. Because the lab must be immediately reset for the following section, students must turn in their work promptly at the end of their period. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

• 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.


• Required Course Pack: ISP209L Course Pack, Author: A. Brown et al. (available only at the SBS). You must bring the relevant lab modules from the course pack every week, as indicated on the reverse side. It will not be possible to do the labs without them.

• Required Tools: Calculator with trigonometric functions, logarithmic functions and scientific notation.


I expect you to read through the scheduled lab modules in advance of each class. This is needed for the lab to make sense as you work through the details. If you have read and understood the key ideas, you will likely find the quiz to be easy. A few sample quiz questions are given below to show their basic level. For further assistance in preparing, additional reading material relevant for many of the labs can be found in Prof. Stump's ISP209 Course Pack (the lecture course). The sections are listed in the table above under Additional Reading. For the first lab, a handout will be distributed during the introductory lecture.


There will be no opportunities to make up a missed lab. If only one lab is missed, there is no need to provide an excuse, as only the highest 11 of 12 quiz+lab scores count toward the final grade (see below). If more than one lab is missed with a legitimate excuse such as an extended illness, you should inform me by email ( or phone (355-9200x2210) within 48 hrs following the lab. In most cases I will ask for some documentation, such as a doctor’s note. In these cases, the missing quiz+lab score will be replaced at the end of the semester by an average of the other scores. As you would expect, unexcused absences will be a zero in the gradebook. The same applies to cases in which a student misses a lab because he/she forgot to bring the relevant pages from the course pack. Lastly, no make-up quizzes are given. So, students arriving a few minutes late to the lab will miss their chance to take the quiz. Students who arrive late may also not be allowed to do the lab, at the instructor's discretion.


The quizes will be graded on a scale of 0-3 pnts. The lab reports will be graded 0-7 pnts. Hence the total number of points possible for each lab class will be 10. There are 12 such labs (see schedule above); the highest 11 will count. Hence 110 points represents the highest quiz + lab score.

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 labeled.

(5) Complete answers to each of the questions (this will be given a large weight in the grading).

(6) Individual work when require.

The final exam will be 20% of the total grade. The final grades will have an average of approximately 3.0, graded on a curve, regardless of the percentage totals.


Because the labs are fairly straightforward, if you attend all the labs and if you give it an honest effort you will get a very high lab score. As this is true for everyone, to get a 3.5 or a 4.0 you also will need relatively high scores for the quizzes and final exam. Hence it is important to read and understand the basic ideas of the labs in advance. This will lead to solid quiz scores and will make the entire course run more smoothly – and you will be well on your way to earning an “A”.


Section 1: Monday 9:10 AM-12:00 PM
Section 2: Monday 12:40-3:30 PM
Section 3: Monday 4:10-7:00 PM

Nano Probe Microscopy Group

Stuart Tessmer, last modified 1-4-2005.