PHYSICS 405 COURSE DESCRIPTION
FALL 2008
 Lecture Room 3112   Physics, Lab 3210

COURSE WEB SITE:
Go to http://elms.umd.edu   and find the link for Phys 405.

 

INSTRUCTOR:  Prof. Elizabeth Beise

 

 

Office: 2220-C Physics

Office hours by appointment phone or email

 

Phone: 301-405-6109

 

 

Email: beise@umd.edu

 

 

TEACHING ASSISTANT:

 

 

Robert Hellauer


office

Room  3103B


phone

301-405-6189


email

hellauer at umd.edu


lab hours

Tues/Thurs 1-4


 

SCHEDULE:


Instructor and TA lab hours will be announced in class and posted in the lab and on our web site.


The lab is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and on Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  If you arrive before the door is open, ask Tom or Allen to open the lab for you (or if you can find me I can open it).  If you are the last person to leave one of the lab rooms, please close the door.  If you are coming back, have Tom or Allen open the door again when you return.  You must be done for the day at the time the lab closes.  If you are not done taking data at 5:00 PM and you are signed up for the following day, leave a note on your experiment so that a staff member does not disassemble your experiment.


LABORATORY STAFF:

 

 

Allen Monroe

Office: 3311 Physics

 

Phone: x56002

Office Hours: 8AM-3 PM M-F

 

Email: amonroe@physics.umd.edu

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Baldwin

Office: 3202 Physics

 

Phone: x56004

Office Hours: 9:00AM-5:30 PM M-F

 

Email: tbald@physics.umd.edu

 


PREREQUISITE: Physics 375

LECTURES:   Wednesday 12:00-1:00 PM, Lecture Room 3112 Physics

TEXT and MATERIALS:

Physics 405 Laboratory Manual Department of Physics, Fall 2008 edition
THIS WILL BE AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY THROUGH OUR WEB SITE -- THIS VERSION IS NOT AVAILABLE IN PRINT

        AND one of the following:

Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences - Phillip R. Bevington and D. Keith Robinson (McGraw Hill, Inc., 2003, ISBN 0-07-247227-8);

An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurement John R. Taylor (University Science Books, 1997, ISBN 0-935702-75-X).

You will need TWO (2) lab notebooks.  Two are required so that you can work in one notebook while the other is being graded.  Acceptable lab notebooks should be 8.5" x 11", should be bound (with spiral or book binding), and have numbered, quad-ruled pages.  Pages should be permanent, not perforated for tear-out.  If you have many pages left in a lab notebook from another class such as Phys 375, you may use that one.

LECTURES:

For approximately the first half to the semester there will be a 1-hour lecture from 12:00 1:00 PM in Rm. 3112 on Wednesdays. We will cover error analysis, laboratory measurement techniques and any other material germane to the course. You will be responsible for understanding the material presented in lecture and, when appropriate, expected to include some of this material in your notebook reports and in your final formal report. If you miss a lecture you are responsible for finding out from a classmate what was covered.  During the second half of the course, the lecture slot will be used for 12-minute presentations by students. Attendance at talks is mandatory! Without a valid excuse approved by your instructure, you will not pass the course if you do not attend all presentations. You are responsible for knowing the dates of the presentations, which are subject to change!

EXPERIMENTS:

In order to pass the course, 6 units of work must be completed, which will typically consist of 4 to 6 experiments. Failure to complete all 6 units will result in failing the class; completion is defined as performing the lab and turning a lab notebook to be graded.  Each student is required to work on the experiments entirely by her/himself. At the completion of each experiment, you will need to hand in the laboratory notebook for grading. This means that it will be necessary to have at least 2 laboratory notebooks in order to have one available while the other is being graded. Every attempt will be made to grade your experiments promptly so that you will be able to improve your next report before handing it in. The notebook reports are meant to be your notes and documentation of your work in the lab, and are not meant to be a formal write-up. (Please refer to the laboratory manual for more information on the notebooks.)

Your first experiment should be a one-unit experiment. (in order to total six units, you must therefore complete at least one other one-unit experiment).  You may do either zero, one, or two two-unit experiments.  


 SCHEDULING EXPERIMENTS:

There will be an online sign-up sheet that can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection or from the computer in Rm. 3210. The url is http://www.physics.umd.edu/cgi-script/courses/p405.pl You must request time each week to perform your experiments.  Time slots are available in -day periods.  In order to save your experimental setup, you must sign up for two consecutive periods.  Also, please dismantle your setup when you have completed your data taking and remove your data from the local computer's hard drive.

Prior to carrying out an experiment, you are required to complete the preparatory questions at the start of the experiment.  There is a spot on the course website for you to electronically submit the prep questions, or you can hand them in on a piece of paper at the beginning of the class period in which they are due.  You must have the prep questions examined and initialed by either the instructor or the TA before you begin the experiment.

DUE DATES FOR THE NOTEBOOK REPORTS:

Notebook reports are due according to the schedule shown in the syllabus.  There is a 1-point penalty per weekday for late reports!

FORMAL REPORT:

One of the 4 to 6 experiments is to be rewritten as a formal report and is to be turned in by Friday, Dec 12, 2008. Please refer to the laboratory manual and the information here for the format of the formal report.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS:


Each student will be expected to give one 12-minute talk on an experiment of his or her choice -- if you clear it with me first, you may also talk about your research if you've been working with a research group.  The talks will be followed by questions from the instructor, the TA, and the other students.

HOMEWORK:

Several times during the semester a short set of homework problems will be assigned. The purpose of these assignments is to review and strengthen your understanding of the type of error analysis you will be performing in your laboratories, as well as get some experience with common experimental issues. 

GRADING:

Notebooks (20 per unit)

60%

Homework

10%

Formal report

15%

12-minute talk

15%

 

 

TOTAL

100%


VALID EXCUSES:

If you have a valid excuse for missing a due date for a notebook report or a 12 minute talk (e.g., you will be having an operation) see me to make alternate arrangements, beforehand if at all possible. Ex post facto (after the fact) excuses will require validation and may not be acceptable. You must speak to me. Your TA does not have the authority to excuse you from any required class activity.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY (CHEATING):

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that may result in suspension or expulsion from the university. In addition to any other action taken, the normal sanction is a grade of "XF", denoting "failure due to academic dishonesty," and will normally be recorded on the transcript of the offending student. Remember, you are required to perform all experiments, analysis, and write-up by yourself. It is OK to discuss the experiments with other students but you must do the work.

TIPS FOR DOING WELL:

Don't fall behind!  Don't wait until the last day to do an experiment!

Read the lab manual carefully before attempting an experiment.

Answer the preparatory questions in your notebook and have them checked by the professor or TA before you begin the experiment.

Keep a complete log for the experiment including experimental diagrams of measurement configurations actually used to obtain data, results, estimates of various errors and limitations to the measurements, analysis used to obtain final results and a proper estimate of all errors including systematic errors as well as statistical errors.

Show clearly the reasoning that you used to arrive at various conclusions. If your experimental result does not agree with the known or accepted values, your reasoning may be the only clue that the TA or the instructor has as to where you, or the experimental apparatus, went wrong.

Additional information, a list of experiments and more detailed help can be found at the course website.

IMPORTANT DATES:

First Class Lecture

Wednesday, Sept 3

Last Day for Schedule Adjustment

Monday, Sept 15

Last Day to Drop with a "W"

Monday, Nov 10

Final Report Due

Friday, Dec 12 by 5:00 PM

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (subject to change as needed)

Dates

Lecture

relevant reading

Due Dates*

9/3

Introduction, Experiments

Skim the lab manual

 

9/10

Lecture #1
RADIATION SAFETY

Bevington Chpts 1-2
Taylor Chpts 3,4,5,10,11

 Unit #1 Prelab Questions
 

9/17

Lecture #2
random and systematic uncertainties

Bevington 6-8
Taylor 7,8,12

 Homework #1 due

9/24

Lecture #3
Linear Least-squares fitting

Bevington 6-8
Taylor 7,8,12

 Unit #1 Lab Notebooks

 Unit #2 Prelab Questions

10/1

Lecture #4
 Experimental methods, DAQ, vaccum, counting 

Building Scientific Apparatus,
Chpt 3 and Chpt 6

 Homework #2 due

10/8

 Lecture #5
nonlinear fitting

Bevington Chpts 9-10

 Unit #2 Lab Notebooks
 
Homework #3 due

10/15

Tour of campus  reactor

 

 Homework #4 due

10/22

 

 

 Unit #3 Lab Notebooks

10/29


 

 Homework #5 due

11/5

12 Min. Talks

 

 Unit #4 Lab Notebooks

11/12

12 Min. Talks 

 

 

11/19

12 Min. Talks

 

 Unit #5 Lab Notebooks

11/26

NO CLASS

THANKSGIVING

 

 

12/3

12 Min. Talks 

 

 Unit #6 Lab Notebooks

12/10
12 min Talks

 Final Report due Friday

*All subsequent prelab questions must be completed and checked (initialed) by the TA or the instructor before you start your lab. The lab notebook due dates correspond to 1-unit labs. You will have twice as long to complete 2-unit labs. The due dates correspond to 12:00 noon unless otherwise specified.


GRADING OF NOTEBOOKS:


Your lab notebook should give a complete description of how you did your experiment and how you analyzed your data.  Another person should be able to take your notebook and duplicate your experiment.

For the notebook reports you must do the following:

1. Write in a real lab notebook: notebook should be quad ruled, with numbered pages
2. Write in ink. If you make a mistake, draw one line through it - don't erase it, scratch over it, or use white-out.
3. Staple/past/tape all graphs and analysis in notebook. Label axes.  Include any formulas, derivations, etc. needed to understand your graph.
4. Give a brief description of theory behind experiment.
5. Provide the actual circuit diagram you used to do the experiment.
6. Provide a clear description of the procedure used to take data.
7. Provide the units of all numbers.
8. Provide and explain your estimate of the random and systematic errors in all important quantities effecting your final result. Must use proper error analysis techniques.
9. Pay attention to significant figures.
10. Analyze your data. Write down the methods you used.  If you use Mathematica, do not simply paste your Mathematica notebook into your lab notebook - write down in your lab notebook your analysis steps.  Compare statistical error with random error (reduced χ2).  Discuss.
11. Quote your results with final total error (including systematic errors).
12. When appropriate, compare your answer to the expected value and discuss discrepancies.
13. Be sure you have answered all the questions asked for in the lab manual, including discussion questions at end of unit.
14. Be sure you have done all the parts of the experiments that you were asked to do.


General Grading Scheme for lab reports per unit:

Description of procedure (including prep questions) 3 pts
Raw data (including tables, plots, etc.) 5 pts
Analysis (including errors and final results) 8 pts
Everything else on above list 4 pts
Late reports -5 pts /week or 1 point per weekday
No notebook for one lab, F for the course!



Last modified Sept 4, 2008