**Syllabus for
PHY251**

**Summer I 2011
**

**LABORATORY
REQUIREMENTS**

__Coursepack__: PHYSICS 251Introductory Physics Laboratory I Summer 2010 can be purchased at the Spartan Bookstore in the International Center.__Calculator__: Trigonometric and logarithmic functions are required. Statistics functions will be very useful, but are not required.__Pens and a Straight-Edge__: Pencils and erasers are not allowed in the teaching labs.__PHY 251 on the Web__: http//www.pa.msu.edu/courses/current/PHY251

**SCHEDULE**

Laboratories will begin on May 16

**PREPARATION FOR THE LAB SESSIONS**

You will find it very helpful to prepare well, *i.e.*
read and study the materials for the laboratories __before__ you come to
class. Being prepared before you come to your lab session will enable you
to finish on time, enjoy the lab more and help you get a higher grade. All the materials to be graded
(your lab report including data sheets, graphs, answers to questions)
must be completed during your lab period and handed in to the instructor __before__
you leave the lab.

The lab report consists of a data sheet in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, formula view of the Excel spreadsheet, graphs with comments and answers to questions. Write your name, your student number, lab partner's name and section number on this data sheet.

During practical labs, no outside notes, calculators or discussions with other students are allowed. After the last session of experiment preceeding the each practical lab has finished, the experiemntal write-up will be available on the course website (i.e. after experiment 6B for practical 1 and experiment 11 for practical 2). During the practical lab, you will be given a copy of the experimental write-up to use. The practical lab will be based on one or more of the experiments that you have already completed. It could consist of measuring and analyzing data, analyzing a prepared set of data and answering questions. The time limit on the practical lab will be 45 minutes.

**GRADES**

All labs, including practical labs will be graded by your instructor on a
20 point scale and will be handed back at the beginning of the next lab.

Your grade will be based on the total number of points during the semester.
Since the instructors for the various sections do not necessarily grade identically,
the scores for a given instructor's sections will be considered as a group
for grading purposes. Each of the groups will receive approximately
the same average grade in the course, so that there is no advantage to having
one instructor rather than another. Within the group, the grades will
be assigned strictly in order of points achieved. The grade will be
assigned by a curve, not a "straight scale". In the past, the average for the course was
about 2.6. Please obtain from your instructor and save your graded lab reports
and quizzes. You will need *all* of these if, at the end of the semester,
you think your score wasn't correctly calculated.

**MISSING LABS/MAKE-UP LABS**

Make up labs are limited to attending another regularly section on a date in which the experiment is being performed and are only available for students who miss a lab for a legitimate reason. Because personally participating in each laboratory is the essential part
of this course, you must be present for each session. Should you find yourself
in a position where you must miss a session, you must inform your instructor beforehand, and provide an explanatory note with suitable documentation. If there is room in another section, you can make arrangements with your lab instructor to make up the lab by attending a different section. However, many of the sections are full so it may not be possible to find room in another section. In addition, arrangements to attend another section must be made with your lab instructor. If you miss a lab for an unanticipated reason, such as illness, you must notify your instructor no later than 24 hours after the missed lab and provide suitable documentation (i.e. a note from your MD). To ease the burden on students who miss a lab due to a legitimate reason, we will drop the lowest lab score of the semester before computing your grade (a practical lab can be used for this dropped lab).

**TARDINESS POLICY**

Attendance in the lab is mandatory and there will be a penalty for arriving late to class. Two points will be removed from the Lab score for every five minutes that a student is tardy in coming to the lab. In addition, those arriving late to class will not be allowed to benefit from the work of students who arrive on time (i.e. joining a group who started the experiment on time will not be permitted). To account for the difference in clocks, you should try to arrive early to the class.

Your instructor is in charge of all aspects of laboratory procedures. Please confer with your instructor if you have a problem, since he or she can ordinarily solve most problems.

The laboratory coordinator for this course is Richard Hallstein. His office hours are Tuesday 10:30am - 11:30am in room 1253BPS. If you cannot make this office hour and would like to make an appointment send an e-mail to hallstein@pa.msu.edu. Please include a phone number and a copy of your academic schedule so he can get back to you and set up a mutually convenient time.

Communications regarding the day-to-day operations of your section should be directed to your TA NOT the lab coordinator. (ie: a missed lab, attending another section, etc.)

Computers will be used in all the physics undergraduate labs and they are controlled by a central server. It is your responsibility to close all applications and log-out of your computer account when you leave the laboratory.

There are four software tools you will use in the physics labs:

I. __Microsoft Excel__

This is a spreadsheet
program which you use to record/store your data. An empty spreadsheet is
available at the start of each lab. The program allows you to do ALL
calculations on your data. This tool removes all repetitive calculations from
the lab, so you can concentrate on graphing and interpreting your data. However,
the spreadsheet does not do ALL the calculations for you. In order to start the
calculations you must perform at least one of them by hand. After you enter the
correct formula into the spreadsheet for that particular quantity, the program
will do all the other calculations for you.

II. __Kaleidagraph__

This tool is a general
plotting program. It takes its input from columns of data and allows you to
either plot a histogram of the contents of one column and/or graph any column
versus any other column. Although some of these things are possible in Excel,
Kaleidagraph has a very user friendly interface for
adjusting axes/labels/text/bins etc. in any of the graphs. The input for the
graphs is copied/pasted from the Excel spreadsheet.
Once you are satisfied with your graph (binning is correct, labels are clear,
axes are labeled and have units!!), you should save the
graph to your user space on the server or on a floppy disk. It can then be
printed separately or copied/pasted into your final lab report.

III. __Microsoft Word__

Word is used as the standard wordprocessor for the lab.

IV. __Graphing Calculator__

This is a tool
very similar to a graphics calculator, but much more flexible. It allows you to
graph functions in a very convenient way and even print them out.

· Bring a flash memory stick so you can save your files as you work. **There is no space on the computers to save your lab files! **

· **SAVE YOUR DATA OFTEN!!** If something happens to your work during
the lab and it is destroyed, you will have to do the lab again.

· All the necessary computer software and spreadsheets will be on the computer when you start, so you should not have to search for items.

· ** ****No food or drinks of any
kind are allowed in the laboratories....there are NO
exceptions.**

- Whenever your lab report includes a table of data from Excel, write down enough information so the reader knows where the data came from. If some of the columns include the results of a calculation performed within Excel, write down the formula next to the spreadsheet, including the values of any fixed parameters used in the formula. Also include a sample calculation showing what Excel did for
__one__line of the spreadsheet. - Whenever your lab report includes a graph, write down what you learned from the graph, or any conclusions you made from looking at the graph.
- If the results didn't come out as you expected, suggest why not. (Don't just attribute it to "human error"!)