ISP209L Spring 2007 – Mystery of the Physical World Laboratory

Lab web site:


            Dr. Emil Bozin, 4250 BPS                                   Office Hour: by appointment, 4250 BPS

            Phone: 355-9200 x 2346                                   Email:



Section 1:  Monday 09:10 AM  - 12:00 PM           Instructors: E. Bozin and P. Juhas

Section 2:  Monday 12:40 PM  - 03:30 PM           Instructors: J. Clifford

Section 3:  Monday 04:10 PM  - 07:00 PM           Instructors: J. Clifford



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 electro-magnetics.  The teaching team consists of a graduate instructor Jacob Clifford, Dr Pavol Juhas and Dr Emil Bozin.  We hope that your experience in the lab is going to be a pleasant one as we work through these experiments together.




· Labs are held in 302 North Kedzie on Monday. Prior to each lab, you are required to take a10 minute quiz. Each lab will begin with the quiz, followed by a short introductory lecture.  

· Working in groups of 2 or 3 you will then perform measurements and tabulate your data in using the appropriate pages from the ISP 2009L Course Pack.  The scheduled labs 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.) You should be part of a different group every week.

· 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 from other students.  However, the work you turn in should be your own.

· All material used to determine grades (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 pre-lab lectures, and questions from the labs themselves.



· Required Course Pack: ISP209L Course Pack. It is prepared by Prof. Stuart Tessmer and is available at the SBS or can be downloaded here. You must bring it for all of the labs as it will not be possible to do the labs without the Course Pack.


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




Quizzes will be conducted prior to each experiment during the first 10 minutes of the lab. The quizzes are closed book and will be based on material related to the lab scheduled for that day.


You are expected to read through the scheduled lab procedures in advance of each class. This is needed for the lab to make sense as you work through the details. The main purpose of the quiz is to give you extra incentive to read about each lab in advance. For further assistance in preparing, additional reading material relevant for many of the labs can be found in Prof. Sherrill's ISP209 Course Pack. The material from Prof. Sherrill’s class is not required.





There will be no opportunities to make up a missed lab under any circumstances. If you have to miss a lab for a legitimate reason, you should inform me by email ( or phone (355-9200x2346) within 48 hrs following the lab. If only one lab is missed, no adjustments will be made 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 legitimate excuses, such as an extended illness, you should inform me within 48 hours of each lab. Documentation, such as a doctor’s note, is required. In these cases, the missing lab score will be replaced at the end of the semester by an average of the other scores. 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. Students who arrive late may not be allowed to do the lab, at the instructor's discretion.







The quizzes count for 3 points. The lab reports will be graded on a 0 to 7 point scale.  The total number of points possible for each lab class will be 10. The highest 11 of 12 quiz+lab scores count, hence 110 points represents the highest quiz + lab score.


Your grade will depend on your Class Percentage with the total quiz+lab score weighted by 0.80 and the final exam weighted by 0.20. To give a formula, let's call QL=(quiz+lab total)/110 and FE=(final exam percentage)/100. Your Class Percentage is then Class Percentage = 100*[QL*0.8 + FE*0.2]. The cutoffs to determine your final grade are given in the following table:

Class Percentage





















Since the labs are fairly straightforward, if you give it an honest effort doing all the quizzes and attending all the labs you will get a strong quiz+lab score. Typically it is also necessary to do well on the final exam to get a 3.5 or a 4.0. The advice to do well on the final is to spend time carefully reading and understanding the basic ideas of each lab in advance. In addition to making the lab run more smoothly, it will be more likely that the key ideas are clear. You will then be better prepared when reviewing the material for the final exam.   









Additional Reading

Jan 8


Introductory lecture, handouts


Jan 15

MLK Holiday



Jan 22


Dice-probability vs average
Human reaction times


Jan 29


Free fall measurement of g
Pendulum measurement of g

Lectures 3 and 4

Sections 3.5 and 3.6 in Textbook

Feb 5


Threshold of hearing


Feb 12


Energy, Cycle power
Electrical equivalent of heat

Lectures 11 and 12

Chapters 6 and 7

Feb 19


Rolling cylinders
Angular momentum, torque

Lecture 4

Feb 26


Simple circuits
Magnetic fields

Lecture 13

Section 8.4

Mar 5

Spring Break



Mar 12


Oscilloscope-wave forms
Magnetic Induction

Lecture 13

Mar 19


Reflection, Refraction
Critical angle


Mar 26


Single slit diffraction
Babinet's principle

Lectures 14 and 15

Sections 8.1 to 8.3

Apr 2


Two slit interference
Diffraction grating

Lectures 14 and 15

Sections 8.1 to 8.3

Apr 9



Lecture 20 Chapter 15

Apr 16


Low temperature physics

semi- and superconductors

Lecture 13

Apr 23

Final Exam