Physics 131, Fall 2012
Profs. W. Losert & E. F. Redish

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We have developed a set of new laboratory experiments for this course!

Guiding principles

  • Labs will help you develop observational skills and measurement skills, and train you in the use of basic laboratory tools.
  • Labs will focus on laboratory skills that are broadly useful in the physical and life sciences including:
    • Microscopy
    • Quantitative Motion Analysis
    • Use of microfluidic devices

After the first month, the laboratory will focus on motion at the scale of cells and bacteria - which you will observe and measure under a microscope.

  • The laboratories are held in a community lab style that will allow you to work together in groups of 3-4 students on experiments. More information on the community lab style, including information on how the labs will be graded can be found at this LINK. 
  • Laboratories will cover 6 experiments, each lasting two weeks. At the end of each experiment (in other words, every two weeks) you will work in the lab to finish a laboratory report and present your findings (and ideas for followup experiments) to the other laboratory working groups.
  • Experiment 6 will allow you to explore one of the ideas for a followup experiment of your group's own design. You will be able to pursue a hypothesis or an idea you developed during one of the previous labs using the instruments available in this laboratory.

Week Lab Topic Pre-Lab Reading
(due 10pm before lab)
9/4 Introductions to Community Lab Style and Survey


Exp1:  Measurement Skills - Excel  


Exp 1:  Measurement Skills - ImageJ Intro to ImageJ


Exp 2:  Analyzing Directed Motion  
10/2 Exp 2:  Analyzing Directed Motion  
10/09 Exp 3:  Random Motion  
10/16 Exp 3:  Random Motion  
10/23 Exp 4:  Random vs Directed Motion  
10/30 Exp 4:  Random vs Directed Motion  
11/6 Exp 5:  Fluid Dynamics


11/13 Exp 5:  Fluid Dynamics  
11/20 Exp 6: Followup Experiment
12/4 Exp 6: Followup Experiment  

This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
and Wolfgang Losert
Department of Physics
University of Maryland

Last revision 27 August, 2012.