Preparation for lab sessions

Grading policies

Making up missed labs

Laboratories will begin on August 25. There are 10 experiments and 2 practical examinations.  Working in groups of two, you will make measurements, tabulate and graph your data, evaluate measurement uncertainties, analyze the results, and answer the questions in the laboratory manual. Each student will prepare a lab report containing this information and will submit this report at the end of each lab session. Your grade will be based on the lab reports, and 2 practical exams.

You need to read and understand the material in the lab manual before class.  If you come unprepared you may not be able to complete the lab in the allotted time.

Your lab report must be completed during the lab period and handed in to the instructor before you leave. The report includes your name, your student number and section number, your lab worksheets, answers to all questions, and other material requested in the lab manual or by your instructor.

The typical components of a lab report are listed in the PHY252 Lab Manual in Appendix C.  Reports are graded by your instructor on a 20 point scale and will be handed back at the beginning of the next lab. Note that labs vary; the balance between data analysis and manual questions will change.  Points on the Lab will be approximately distributed as follows. (One each lab, the exact distribution of points may vary). 


Data collection/ sample calculations
Data analysis/ graphs/ error analysis
Answer to questions
What is most illuminating? How to shorten the lab?
Total per Lab

In your report, explain how you identified and tried to solve problems in the experiments. If your data do not correspond to the anticipated results, you should explain what went wrong. Here, you must be brief, accurate and clear; your grade will depend on that. Copying of text from others is expressly forbidden.  Lab reports that show evidence of plagiarism will be discounted by 50%.

Each practical exam will worth a total of 40 points. Your final grade will be based on the total number of points you earned on the labs and on the practical exam, when compared to the integrated performance of all PHY252 sections .  Note: You should save your graded lab reports and quizzes as backup should you feel that your grade was incorrectly calculated


Attendance in the lab is mandatory and there will be a penalty for arriving late to class. Two points will be removed from the Lab score for every five minutes that a student is tardy in coming to the lab. To account for the difference in clocks, you should try to arrive early to the class.

No labs are dropped in computing the course grade, so you should plan to attend each lab session. If you must miss a session, you should contact your instructor before the session and arrange for an alternate time. It is only possible to make-up a lab during the week it is offered since the equipment is changed weekly.  Please provide suitable documentation for your absence.  If you miss a lab without a valid reason, it will be counted as zero. Alternately, if you miss a lab for an unanticipated reason, such as illness, you must contact your instructor no more than 24 hours after the missed lab.  Arrangements will be made for you to find an open lab slot.  Do not show up at another section without making prior arrangements or you will not be admitted. Your instructor is in charge of all aspects of laboratory policies and should be consulted for most problems.

Students that add the course during the first week after their section meets must contact their instructor immediately and arrange to do the lab during the week of September 1 st.

Your instructor is in charge of your section. If there are issues that your instructor cannot address, you should contact Professor William Lynch. His office is in the Cyclotron (room W106). Please set up an appointment by email:

PHY 252 Syllabus

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