Physics 174 Physics Laboratory
Williams and Losert course web page, fall 2002
Prof. Ellen Williams (sections 0101,
What the course is about:
Office: Room 2332 Physics Building
Phone: 5-6156 Fax: 301-314-9465
Losert (sections 0103, 0104, 0105)
Office: Room 3359 A.V. Williams Building
(Lab: Rm 0101 Energy Research Building ext: 5-6759)
Web Page: http://www.glue.umd.edu/~wlosert/
Physics 174 is an introductory Physics Lab that
meets for two hours each week in Room 3120 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
Texts: "Physics 174 Laboratory Manual," Department
of Physics, University of Maryland, 6th Ed.
Guide to Data Analysis for Physical Science Students" by Louis Lyons.
recommended: "EXCEL 97 at a Glance" by Microsoft.
Lab sections: There are six lab sections:
9 -10:50 AM
3 -4:50 PM
2 -3:50 PM
Arriving late to class: Classes
at Maryland begin right on the hour. It is important that you arrive on
time to Physics 174 so that you can get instructions for the lab and have
time to finish. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you may not be
allowed into the lab and will have to make it up during the Makeup Section
held one Tuesday a month.
Office Hours: You can try stopping by our
offices at any time, but if you can't find us, make an appointment by
phone or e-mail
Lab Makeup Time: If you miss your regular lab section, then
you should make that lab up during the Makeup section on Tuesday.
If you have questions about the lab, the equipment, or the homework, you
can also stop by during this time. If you cannot attend another
section, contact your instructor ASAP and a time for a makeup lab will
be arranged. In general, this should be done the same week as the lab
Teaching Assistant: TBA
Prerequisites: The only prerequisite or co-requisite for
the course is Math 140.
30% Lab Spreadsheets
30% Homework -----> do the homework!!!
20% Test on spreadsheet, errors and measurements
20% Test on the oscilloscope and electrical circuits
Missing one Lab (and not making it up before
the next lab) will cost one letter grade in your final grade. Missing
one homework set will cost one-half of a letter grade in your final grade.
Homework is assigned at the end of each write-up in the
laboratory manual. You will turn your homework in by e-mail (we'll tell
you how to do this) and you can turn it in anytime during the week,
but by no later than 6 PM on the day before your next lab. Graded homework
should be available a week after you turn it in.
No credit will be given for late homework unless you are
seriously ill and provide a written note from your physician.
General Comments on Homework: Finishing all the labs and
homework sets is very important. Missing one homework set will cost
you about one-half of a letter grade in your final grade. Just do it!
Also, if you can't completely finish a homework set, turn in what you
do have. 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 very 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 arrive at
a definite answer. 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. One final thing,
if you get something fundamental wrong on a homework set, you will probably
be assigned extra problems to solve until you master the concept.
||Introduction to Excel
||Measurements, Errors and Uncertainties
||Propagation of Errors
||Straight Line Fits Using Excel
||Using Chi-Squared and Error Propagation
(not in manual)
||EXAM on Errors and Spreadsheets
||Resistors and Multimeters
||Measuring Currents and Voltages
||Introduction to the Digital Oscilloscope
||The Oscilloscope and AC Signals
||Reflection of Pulses
||Review of Circuits
||EXAM on Circuits and Error Analysis