Physics 307L (Junior Lab) Homepage

Instructor: Dr. Michael P. Hasselbeck  
Office: Physics & Astronomy Rm. 157   Phone: 277-0590  Email: mph--at--unm.edu
To see me in my office, please make an appointment (call or email preferred).

Lecture: Mondays 1300 -- 1350;   P&A 184
Session 1: Mondays 1400 -- 1650
Session 2: Tuesdays 0800 -- 1050

Textbook: None.
Laboratory Composition Book: Available at UNM Bookstore, local retailers, or online. Each student must have a notebook.

Labs: Students work in teams of no more than 2. 10 experiments are available and 6 must be completed during the semester. Each experiment is allocated 2 weeks (two 3-hour sessions), after which lab partners change. If an experiment is completed in less time, there is no obligation to remain in the lab or even attend the next session if all work gets done in one week. If the experiment cannot be completed in 2 weeks, there is an extra session (Week 13) at the end of the semester. If a lab partner is not available, students work individually. The first week experiment is a review of the oscilloscope.

The following experiments are available. The last three experiments are particularly challenging and should not be attempted until later in the semester:

Speed of Light  Instructions

Balmer Series  Instructions

Poisson Statistics  Instructions

Planck's Constant  Instructions

Compton Scattering  Instructions;  Reference paper by Mudhole and Umakantha (1977).

Electron Diffraction  Instructions

Ratio of e/m  Instructions

Franck-Hertz Experiment  Instructions

Electron Spin Resonance  Instructions

Charge of the Electron  Instructions

Supplemental Material:  UCS 30 Manual

Absence: Students unable to attend a lab session will have the opportunity to makeup missed work at the end of the semester (Week 13). Many weeks may pass between the missed lab and makeup session, so it is critical that excellent notes be kept. UNM policy does not allow student access to the teaching labs outside of the scheduled times, so this will be the only opportunity to makeup missed sessions. If a lab partner is not available, students work individually.

Lab Notebooks: Thorough and detailed documentation of experiments in a neat, organized notebook is critical. Writing in the notebook is an ongoing process during any research project, even entirely theoretical work. This documentation should not all happen at the end of the session. A competent scientist must get into the habit of methodically taking notes as work progresses, even if it slows down the flow. It is too easy to skip this and forget to enter some key details. These details may be needed during the writeup or when trying to reproduce the work in the future. The lab notebooks will be individually graded, which represents 25% of the final grade.

Lab Reports: Excellent technical writing is an important and often overlooked skill that is needed by any professional scientist or engineer. Lab reports are a key component of this course and count for 25% of the final grade. All 6 labs require that a report be written using the formal techniques of scientific writing (Abstract, Introduction, etc). Each student must produce an original report that will be critically reviewed and graded on a scale of 10. Grading will become more rigorous as the semester progresses. There is no minimum page requirement. A compact, efficient presentation is encouraged. Reports are due no later than 1 week after the completion of an experiment. Each day beyond the deadline results in a 2 point deduction. There will be no credit given for reports submitted 5 or more days late. Weekends and official UNM holidays are not counted. An experiment completed on Monday requires a report no later than the following Monday to avoid penalty. If it is submitted on the subsequent Friday, the maximum it can score is 2. An experiment completed on Tuesday requires a report the following Tuesday. If it is submitted on the subsequent Monday, the maximum it can score is 2.

Final Quiz: 25% of the final grade is determined by a test at the end of the semester. It will likely consist of multiple choice questions that cover concepts from the lectures and issues related to specific experiments. Not everyone will have done the same experiments, so students can select appropriate questions from a pool. If you understand the experiments you have performed, the final quiz will pose little difficulty.

Grading: The final grade will be a combination of performance during the lab sessions (25%), quality of lab notebook (25%), formal lab reports (25%), and final exam (25%). There will be no student oral presentations.

Lecture Slides: (.pdf files)

Lecture 1.