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Lab Sessions

The Department of Physics & Astronomy offers the following freshman level Physics lab courses:

  • PHY 1611 (Algebra-based Physics I Lab)
  • PHY 1631 (Algebra-based Physics II Lab)
  • PHY 1951 (Physics for Scientists and Engineers I Lab)
  • PHY 1971 (Physics for Scientists and Engineers II Lab)

Select the course syllabus on bluebook to view the respective lab schedule and location.

Click here to download Physics Lab Worksheets and Board Notes.

Extra help office hours located in room MS 3.02.18.

REMEMBER: No Food, No Drinks, and No Sandals inside of the lab.


 

Before Lab
  1. Come to the lab session prepared. Print out the lab worksheets for that lab session in advance and read over them before coming to lab.
    At the beginning of the lab session, there will be a 5-minute quiz over the lab to be done that day.
  2. You must bring that session’s worksheets and the required material (listed on the course syllabus) to each lab session.
  3. At beginning of each lab session, the lab report from the previous session is due. Please place it on the instructor’s desk as soon as you arrive in the lab room.
During Lab
  1. Arrive on time (preferably early) to the lab.
  2. First 5 minutes of lab: there will be a quiz about the topic presented.
  3. Next 20 minutes of lab: your instructor will discuss the working principle of the experiment and demonstrate how to perform the measurements.
  4. Work in your assigned lab group - no exceptions.
    Each partner must have his/her own data and submit separate lab reports.
    Save your data to your USB; all data stored on the hard drive will be erased upon logging off. Do not leave your USB behind.
  5. Your lab group must complete the described check out procedure and be signed out by the lab instructor before leaving the lab room.
    If you leave prior to being signed out, points will be deducted from your grade for that session’s lab report.
Lab Report
  1. Answer all assigned questions in the RESULTS AND QUESTIONS section of your lab manual. For the lab report, you will hand in this finished section with all necessary tables, graphs, and calculations.
  2. "Scientific Notation" and appropriate "Significant Figures" must be practiced in all lab reports. In the Tables, every entry must have its unit.
  3. For graphs, you should use a computer with a standard spreadsheet.
    • Each graph-axis must have a label and appropriate units.
    • Represent data points with clearly visible symbols (circles, squares, triangles, etc.).
    • Do not connect data points in zigzag lines. Choose the "scatter" style (with discrete symbols) for your plots.
    • If a certain data point falls far away from the general trend of the graphs, it is likely that there is a problem with the measurement(s) for this point. In a best fit to the data, do NOT include such a point. If you are unsure, ask your instructor.
  4. The lab report is due at the next week's lab session. Normally, your graded quiz and lab report will be given back to you during the next lab meeting one week after you submit this report.
  5. You will lose 5 points if the lab report is not turned in at the beginning of the lab session. Even if it is turned in later that same day, you will still lose those 5 points. You will lose an additional 5 points a day for each day after that, not counting weekends or holidays. After one week, late lab reports will not be accepted and you will receive a zero for that lab report.
  6. Absence from a lab: You are expected to attend all lab sessions at the assigned times. Students missing a lab due to sickness or major emergency must provide the appropriate documents for a written excuse (see Excused Absence Form). If you are participating in a sports event, a similar excuse must be provided
  7. You are excused from one lab experiment.
  8. Students found cheating (copying from other students and/or faking data) will be given a grade of zero for the experiment and will be reported. Please respect the UTSA honor code and the Student Code of Conduct.