Physics 174 is an introductory physics lab
course that meets for 1 hour and 50 minutes each week in Room 3115 of the
Physics Building. In this course you will be expected to master a few basic
ideas and tools which you will need for later labs, including: understanding
experimental errors, using computer spreadsheets for analyzing, plotting and
fitting data, and working with simple electrical circuits and electrical measuring
equipment. This course is intended for, but not limited to, students who are
majoring in Physics or are considering doing so.
Corequisite: Math 140 (Calculus I). You will have to know how to take derivatives of
functions starting about one month into the course. It will also be helpful to
have taken a high school (or college) physics course.
Books: The required texts are:
Be sure to bring your Lab
Manual with you to every class, including the first class.
This course is intended to give you hands-on
experience with measurement techniques and basic data analysis. You'll spend
time in the lab (room 3115) each week doing an exercise that focuses on a
particular concept, following pretty specific instructions in the Lab Manual.
You'll answer a series of questions as you work through each exercise. Your
professor and TA will be available to help when you need it and to check your
work; you'll have a "checksheet" that we
will initial as we check each task that you've completed. At the end of the lab
period, you will turn in your work, normally in the form of an Excel
spreadsheet that you will submit electronically using ELMS (we'll tell you how
to do that during the first meeting).
Reading
assignments are designed to help
prepare you for the lab exercises, so that you can make the best use of your
time in the lab. An hour and 50 minutes may seem like a lot of time, but it
isn't. Preparing in advance by doing the reading assignment will help you
finish on time.
Homework is assigned at the end of most of the labs.
Depending on how quickly you've completed the in-class exercise, you may have
some time left to do the homework before you leave. You must turn in your
homework (usually using ELMS) by 10:00 pm on the second day after your lab
session. That is, if you have lab on Wednesday, then the homework is due by
10:00 pm Friday; if you have lab on Thursday, the deadline is 10:00 pm
Saturday. We will grade your spreadsheets and homework before your next lab period.
The course includes two in-class practical exams which will involve making measurements
and analyzing the data you collect, much like the regular exercises. (In fact,
the Lab Manual lists them with exercise numbers.) The instructions and
questions for these exams will be handed out at the beginning of the lab period
on the scheduled exam dates.
Course
web site: Course information, the
week-by-week schedule of lab exercises, and other documents are posted in the
ELMS (Blackboard) system. You will use
the course web site to turn in your Excel spreadsheets from the in-class
exercises and homework, and will also be able to use it to view your grade
on each assignment. You should be able to log in at http://elms.umd.edu, and the course should
appear in the "My Courses" panel.
Section |
Day |
Time |
Instructor |
Teaching Assistant |
0103 |
Thursday |
2:00pm-3:50pm |
Prof. Sullivan |
Mark Herrera |
0104 |
Thursday |
9:00am-10:50am |
Prof. Sullivan |
Hien Thi Le Dao |
We will skip Exercise 3 in the lab manual,
but do both exercises 5 and 5* (five-star) .
Note the two exams on Oct 16 and Dec 11!
Thursdays |
Topic |
Sept 4 |
Exercise 1: Introduction to
Excel |
Sept 11 |
Exercise 2: Measurement
Error and Uncertainty |
Sept 18 |
Exercise 4: Straight Line
Fits Using χ^{2} and
Excel |
Sept 25 |
Exercise 5: Propagation of
Errors |
Oct 2 |
Exercise 5*: Using χ^{2} to Test a Theory |
Oct 9 |
Exercise 6: Review of
Spreadsheets and Errors |
Oct 16 |
Exam on Spreadsheets and Errors |
Oct 23 |
Exercise 8: Resistors and Multimeters |
Oct 30 |
Exercise 9: Current and
Voltage |
Nov 6 |
Exercise 10: The Digital
Oscilloscope and the Function Generator |
Nov 13 |
Exercise 11: The
Oscilloscope and AC Signals |
Nov 20 |
Exercise 12: Reflection of
Voltage Pulses |
Nov 27 |
Thanksgiving Break |
Dec 4 |
Exercise 13: Review of
Circuits |
Dec 11 |
Exam on Circuits and Error analysis |
Prof. Gregory Sullivan
Office: Room 4326 Physics
Phone: 301-405-6035
Email: sullivan@icecube.umd.edu
Office hours: Drop in anytime or by appointment
TAs:
Setion 0103
Mark Herrera
Office: 4223 Physics
Email mherrer1@umd.edu
Office hours:
You can also stop by the lab during one of
the other sections if you have questions about the equipment, in-class work, or
homework.
Section
0104
Hien Thi Le Dao
Office: 2117 IPST Building
Email: hiendau@umd.edu
Arriving
late to class:
Classes at Maryland begin right on the hour. It is important that you arrive at
the lab on time so that you can get instructions for the lab work and have time
to finish. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will probably not be
allowed to do the lab at that time and will have to make it up during another
section.
Making
up missed labs:
If you must miss your regular lab section (due to illness, a religious
observance, or some other compelling reason), then you should make that lab up
by going to another section that same week, if possible. Contact your
instructor and the instructor of the other section (if different) to let them
know that you need to do this and to check whether there is space available. If
you cannot attend another section, contact your instructor ASAP and a time for a
make-up lab will be arranged. In general, this should be done during the same
calendar week as the lab is scheduled (so that the equipment for that lab is
still set up), and definitely no later
than the following Tuesday. The homework for the lab will be due by 10:00
pm on the second day after you make up the lab.
Grading:
50% Lab
Spreadsheets
20% Homework
15% Test on spreadsheet, errors and
measurements
15% Test on the oscilloscope and
electrical circuits
General
comments on assignments:
Finishing all the labs and homework
sets is very important. Missing a lab will generally cost you one letter grade
in your final grade, so be sure to come every week. Missing even
one homework set will hurt your grade too, so do the best you can. Do
the homework early, so that you have time to ask
questions if something gives you trouble! Also, if you can't completely finish
a homework set, turn in what you do have before
the deadline. No credit will be given
for late homework unless you have a valid excuse (illness, a religious
observance, or some other compelling reason.) When you are working on the
homework sets, feel free to discuss among yourselves to try to figure out what
is going on. However, do not use these discussions as an excuse to copy someone
else's solution to the homework, or let someone else copy your solution. That
is cheating and is strictly forbidden. It is also self-defeating since another
part of your grade will come from tests. The right way to
discuss the homework is to first work through a problem on your own and try
to arrive at a definite answer, even if you aren't sure it is correct. With
this preparation you can then discuss intelligently with your colleagues and
see if you have missed something essential. Of course, you can always ask one
of your instructors - that's what we get paid for!
Honor
Code:
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of
Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets
standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate
students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for
this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of
cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on
the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html .
Students
with disabilities:
Accommodations will be provided to enable students with disabilities to
participate fully in the course. Please discuss any needs with your instructor
at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Weather
and emergency closures:
If the University is closed due to weather or some emergency situation on a day
when homework is due, then that homework will be due by noon on the next day
when the University is open. If the University is closed on the scheduled date of an exam, then the exam
will be given during your next regularly scheduled class period when the
University is open. If the University is closed on your regular class day in
any other (non-exam) week, including the
"review" exercise week before each exam, then the exam will still
be given according to the original schedule. In these or other exceptional
circumstances, we will attempt to communicate with students by email.