Laboratory Information


General Physics I labs will meet each Tuesday in SCIC 131 beginning on Tuesday, 5 Sept 2017. 
There will be no labs on the first week of classes.  Before each lab, you must complete a brief PreLab Quiz that is available on

Basic lab expectations can be found in the handout given at the beginning of General Physics I, which is also available here.


Individual lab writeups, as recorded in your lab notebook, are graded on a 10-point scale plus an additional point for the PreLab.  The grading rubric, as posted in the lab, can be downloaded here.  The laboratory will make up for 20 % of the course grade. This 20 % will be distributed as follows: 18 % will be for the complete lab notebook at the end of the term and 2 % will be for the formal laboratory writeup (i.e., the formal writeup is 10 % of your lab grade).

Formal Laboratory Writeups: 

Download the rubric that will be used for grading (and critiquing) your lab writeup by clicking here.

As mentioned in the syllabus, you will be required to submit one formal laboratory writeup during the term.  For this paper, I will choose one of the labs that we have done during the term and you will write it up as if you were going to submit it to a scientific journal for publication.  The format expected is that typical of most scientific journals; for a good example, take a look at some articles in the American Journal of Physics in the library.  A draft will be due at the beginning of class (1 PM) on Monday, 27 November 2017 and the final copy at the beginning of class (1 PM) on Monday, 04 December 2017.  You must turn in your draft at with your final copy AND you must email me a copy of the document as a Microsoft Word file.  This lab report will constitute 5% of your lab grade.

Reports should be word-processed, double spaced, in 12-point font, clearly written, and well organized with Microsoft Word.  They should adhere to standard scientific paper format. For examples, see a copy of The American Journal of Physics (we carry this journal in our library). You may also be interested in the Guidelines for Contributors at the American Journal of Physics Web site. In general, the report should consist of an abstract, an introduction, an explanation of the experimental technique, a presentation of the data, analysis of the data, and a discussion of the results. Divide the paper in to sections, as appropriate for your particular experiment. The paper should end with a well-formulated conclusion section. Be sure to write the abstract after you have written the rest of the report! All graphs must be produced with a spreadsheet or similar type software package. A well-formatted table is an excellent way to present raw data from your experiment. All graphics and diagrams should be digitally included in the paper.  An analysis of the uncertainties in your experiment will be expected; report all data with appropriate error bars. Appearance and content are both very important; insure that your report is complete and professional. Please refrain from using any fancy report covers.

Here are some excellent links on scientific writing:

Bates College

University of Arizona

San Diego State University

For best results, have a classmate proofread your report!

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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2017 .