Physics 107 Syllabus

Light, Perception, Photography and Visual Phenomena Laboratory
Fall 2006 - Prof. La Porta

Course description: Light, Perception, Photography and Visual Phenomena Laboratory consists of two hours of laboratory per week. It is a laboratory that accompanies PHYS 106. Laboratory experiments include geometrical optics (lenses, cameras, eyes), optical instruments, photography, perception, color phenomena, and wave propagation. Credit is not applicable towards the minimum requirements of a Physics or Astronomy major.

Pre-requisite: none

Co-requisite: PHYS 106

CORE requirements: Please note that to receive credit for a CORE physical science laboratory course you must be enrolled in both PHYS 106 and PHYS 107.

Instructor: Professor Arthur La Porta is a faculty member in the Department of Physics and in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology. He is available for discussion of scientific and administrative issues pertaining to the class. A specific time will be set aside for office hours starting the second week of classes. Until then, you may e-mail or phone Prof. La Porta to make an appointment to meet with him.
Phone: 301 405 3291
e-mail: alaporta "at"

Teaching Assistant: Sean McWilliams (stmcwill "at"

Academic Integrity: All students will be expected to comply with the University of Maryland's academic integrity policies, including the code of academic integrity and the honor pledge. Failure to comply will result in a failing grade and will be reported to the Honor Council.

Lab Section Procedures Students are expected to arrive at the lab section with answers to the pre-lab questions ready to hand to the instructor. The pre-lab questions are found at the beginning of each experiment in the lab manual. This will be followed by a brief (5 minute) quiz based on the material of the previous lab report. (The pre-lab questions and quiz are omitted in the first experiment.) After the quiz, the instructor may make some general remarks about the experiment, and the students will have the remainder of the lab period to complete the procedures and to answer the questions found in the lab manual. The completed lab report must be turned in at the end of the lab section. Lab reports will not be accepted at a later time.

Lab Write-ups The lab reports are the most important part of the grading of this course. The report must consist of answers to the questions that are found in the lab manual, along with descriptions of the observations that support these answers. Communication is an essential part of science, and your answers must therefore be written out in full sentences and be self-contained. The grader should not have to refer to the lab manual to determine what it is you are trying to answer or explain. Although you will probably be called upon to share a workstation in the lab section and a certain amount of collaboration and discussion is expected, your report should reflect your own personal understanding of your own observations made in lab. Your final report should conclude with a brief summary and final conclusions, as directed in the lab manual. Your final report should be dated and include your name and the name of your lab partner (if any).

Missed Labs If a student is not able to attend a scheduled lab section, he or she should make arrangements in advance to perform the lab in one of the other sections meeting the same week. (It is necessary to obtain permission from the instructor because there are a limited number of positions available in each lab section.) If the lab cannot be made up in the same week, a make-up session will be provided mid-term where any of the first 5 experiments can be performed, and a second make up session will be provided at the end of the term for experiments 6-11.

Grading Pre-lab questions are worth 2 points each week. The quiz is worth 2 points each week. The lab report is worth 10 points each week. Students should expect that each missed report will reduce the final score by one letter grade

Students with disabilities should meet with the Prof. La Porta at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made to accommodate the student's needs.

101: Tuesday 9:00am - 10:50am
201: Tuesday 2:00pm - 3:50pm
501: Wednesday 12:00pm - 1:50pm
601: Thursday 10:00am - 11:50am
701: Thursday 2:00pm - 3:50pm

Aug 30-31: no labs
Sept 5-7: Experiment 1 - Camera Obscura
Sept 12-14 : Experiment 2 - Pinhole Camera
Sept 19-21 : Experiment 3 - Light Reflection
Sept 26-28 : Experiment 4 - Light Refraction
Oct 3-5 : Experiment 5 - Images
Oct 10-12 : Makeup for Experiments 1-5
Oct 17-19 : Experiment 6 - Simple Lenses
Oct 24-26 : Experiment 7 - The Camera and the Eye
Oct 31-Nov 2 : Experiment 8 - Polarized Light and Birefringence
Nov 7-9 : Experiment 9 - Light Interference
Nov 14-16 : Experiment 10 - Light Diffraction
Nov 21-22 : No lab - Thanksgiving break
Nov 28-30 : Experiment 11 - Diffraction Gratings, Holography
Dec 5-7 : Makeup for experiments 6-11
Dec 12 : Last day of classes

In the event of a University Closure the department will do its best to accommodate students by scheduling make-up sessions or revision of the lab schedule.