Laboratory Information

Electricity and Magnetism Lab will meet weekly (each Wednesday) in SCIC 128, 131, and/or 137 beginning on 06 Sept 2017 from 7:00 - 8:50 PM. 
There will be no labs on the first week of classes. 


The laboratory grade is separate from the course grade. Your lab grade will be based on your completed lab notebook and your lab project.  The lab project will constitute 15% of your grade; of this 15%, 5% will be for your Formal Laboratory Writeup (see below).  For an overview of lab expectations, consult the lab handout given during our first lab meeting (which can be downloaded HERE [in .pdf format] if you've misplaced it).

Laboratory Project:  

The final three weeks of the semester will be devoted to a Lab Project of your own design, based on ideas you glean from articles in the American Journal of Physics (below are some articles that are in the spirit of what to look for). You must submit a formal proposal for your project to me by 5:00 PM on 16 Oct 2017. This proposal must include an abstract, clear goals, an outline of procedure, timetable for all relevant tasks, a detailed parts list, and, if appropriate, division of labor (for group projects). Please note the “clear goals” requirement! Think in terms of making a specific, quantitative measurement that you can compare to a well-thought-out physical model. You may work in pairs, but a clear rationale and division of labor must be outlined in your proposal (in other words, you must justify why the project needs two people!).

Please carefully think through your prospective project and run your ideas past me before this date so that I can help determine whether your proposal is reasonable and do-able, given our resources. The formal time for beginning your Lab Project work will be 13 Nov 2017. The following two weeks lab sessions (23 Nov and 30 Nov) will be devoted to your project. You are free to begin earlier, if you wish. Keep a meticulous record of all your project activities in your lab notebook. A detailed lab report in American Journal of Physics format (see course web page for details) will be due on 04 Dec 2017 along with your complete lab notebook.

Lab Project Proposal Template:

Proposal is due via email by 5:00 pm on 16 Oct 2017 in MS Word format. Use filename where xyz are your initials.

Abstract: Short and concise.
Goals: You MUST have a clear goal as to what exactly you intend to measure and to what theory you are going to compare your result. Make sure your goals are realistic. Make sure you understand the theory behind your project. Make sure that the apparatus, if it involves design and construction, is do-able in the three week time frame.
Outline of procedure: Make sure the requirements for obtaining your measurement(s) are reasonable for the time frame of the project (three weeks).
Timetable for all relevant tasks: When will you carry out each aspect of your project. Build in time for tinkering in case things do not go as originally planned!
Detailed parts list: Include any in-house equipment and any items that must be ordered. Keep in mind that we have a very limited budget. Some items may need to be ordered well in advance of the time for beginning your project. For any items you intend to order, list the source and cost (including postage) for the parts.
Division of labor: (for group projects)
Bibliography: Must include at least one article from The American Journal of Physics; a .pdf of the article must be attached to this proposal.

Guidelines for Formal Laboratory Writeups: Reports should be word-processed, double spaced, in 12-point font, clearly written, and well organized. 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. Diagrams produced with a paint program are preferred (but not required). 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.

For best results, have a classmate proofread/peer-review your report!

Sample Articles: You don't have to necessarily try to exactly reproduce what is in your article(s). You can use the ideas presented in the paper(s) to springboard into your own experimental designs. Keep in mind the kinds of sensors that we have for measuring data. You may be able to find a older article that you can do an updated version of using modern sensors and computer interfaces.

AJP Biot Savart magnetic needle

AJP Electric Guitar pickup

AJP EM Braking Simple Quantitative Model

AJP Faraday's Law - Lentz Law

AJP Faraday's Law Quantitative Exp

AJP Radial Mag Field Homopolar Motor

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