PHYS 331: Optics Laboratory, Autumn 2017
Lab Manager: David Pengra (email@example.com)
Office: PAB B256
Sebastian Alvis (firstname.lastname@example.org): Grades Concave Diffraction Grating and Reflection from a Dielectric Surface
Paul Nguyen (email@example.com): Grades Speed-of-Light and pre-lecture questions
Francis Walsh (firstname.lastname@example.org): Grades Holography and Homework
Wenjin Zhao (email@example.com): Grades Fresnel and Fraunhofer Diffraction and Faraday Rotation
Liudmila Zhukas (firstname.lastname@example.org): Grades Michelson Interferometer and Fabry-Perot Interferometer
Lecture Time: Mondays 11:30-12:20 pm, PAA A110.
The first day of lecture is October 2. November 21 is reserved for make-up lecture. There will be an in-class exam on the last lecture period on December 5.
Labs: Room PAB B260
- Section AD (Walsh / Nguyen): Mondays 1:30-4:20 (sign-ups)
- Section AA (Zhukas / Alvis): Tuesdays 1:30-4:20 (sign-ups)
- Section AB (Zhao / Walsh): Wednesdays 1:30-4:20 (sign-ups)
- Section AE (Alvis / Zhukas): Thursdays 1:30-4:20 (sign-ups)
- Section AC (Nguyen / Zhao): Fridays 1:30-4:20 (sign-ups)
No labs will be held on September 27-29. Section AC will have no lab on Friday, November 10 (Veterans Day). No labs are scheduled for November 20-22 or December 4-7 (section AC will have lab on December 8).
The text book for this course is Optics, 5th ed., by Eugene Hecht (Pearson, 2016).
You will also need some form of notebook for taking notes during your experiments.
- Overview of Experiments
- Lab Practices and Safety
- Lab Report Grading Standards
- Pre-Lab Assignment Example
- Statistics Summary: A quick list of the most common formulas used in error calucations.
- Notes on Data Analysis and Experimental Uncertainty: An elementary treatment with many useful hints, by David Pengra and L. T. Dillman (Ohio Wesleyan University).
- Examples of Error Propagation: From the University of Chicago
- Notes on making a least-squares fit to a line in Microsoft Excel: Covers the use of the LINEST function, which will give fit coefficients and their uncertainties based upon the scatter of the data about the fit line.
- LSQFit.xls: An Excel spreadsheet that will calculate a fit line using full weighting of uncertainties. Also calculates the reduced χ2 and fit parameter correlations. From the Methods of Experimental Physics course at the University of Minnesota (written by Kurt Wick).
Experiments: There are 8 experiments and you will perform a new lab each week. You will be graded only on your best 6 labs, so you can stop after you complete 6 if you like. The first is required to be the Speed of Light experiment.
- Experiments Overview
- Speed of Light
- Concave Diffraction Grating
- Fabry-Perot Interferometer
- Michelson Interferometer
- Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction
- Reflection from an Air-Dielectric Interface
- Faraday Rotation
Pre-Lab Assignments: Except for the Speed of Light experiment, you must submit pre-lab assigments (according to the format specified in lecture) due at 1:30 pm on the day you perform your experiments. The pre-lab assignment is a one page write up, including your understanding of the purpose of the experiment, the outline of experimental procedures, the physical quantities you are going to measure directly, and the physical quantities you will derive from the measurements. Late submissions will be awarded no credit.
Lab Reports: Lab groups will submit a joint lab report that they prepare together. You must submit lab reports according to the format specified in the Lab Report Grading Standards handout for all performed experiments. Submissions will be made online using canvas. Examples of good lab reports from previous years can be downloaded here and here (links coming soon).
Lab reports are due by 1:30 PM one week after you complete each experiment. Late submissions will be penalized at 5% per late day, including weekends and holidays. The last day for lab report submission is Friday December 15 at 5pm.
Exam: There will be one in-class (final) exam to be given on December 4 on material covered in lectures. You may prepare one 8.5"x11" page of notes (front and back). Bring a pocket calculator. Write solutions on the exam paper.
Grading: Each lab report, graded out of 50 points, is worth 12.5% of the total grade. The final exam is worth 10% of your grade. Pre-lab reports, graded out of 10 points, are worth 5% of your total grade. Pre-lecture and in-lecture questions account for 3% and 2% of your grade, respectively. Lecture homework accounts for the last 5% of your grade. Adjustments will be made for any differences in average scores on a given experiment or exam.
Students who submit all eight reports may receive writing credit (W) for the course.
Important: To be eligible for getting a final grade for Physics 331, you must submit the speed of light report by Monday Oct. 23, and at least two additional full reports by the start of your lab section on the week of Nov. 13th.
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
To add some comments, click the "Edit" link at the top.