Instructor: Dr. Rhett Allain
Office hours: M,T,W,Th: 8:00 - 9:00, T:
3:00 - 4:00
Office: 115 Pursley Hall
Phone: 549 - 2894
Course page: http://www.phys.selu.edu/rhett/plab194/
There are two main goals of this course. The first is to complement the
general physics lecture course. Concepts discussed in the lecture will
be further investigated in the lab. The second goal of the laboratory
is to gain familiarity with the scientific methods used in modern research.
This second goal includes: experimental design, error analysis, and modeling.
By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following. Use
the concepts developed in the lecture course to explain physical phenomena.
Construct a hypothesis and develop a means to test it. Carry out measurements,
create graphs, interpret graphs, and communicate your findings with a
lab report. You should also be able to effectively function as a member
of a group.
Your grade in this course will be determined from both your lab reports
and two exams. The weighting for these will be lab reports - 70% and exams
- 30%. The two tests will be held in the middle of the semester and at
the end. They will both be comprehensive. Objectives for the tests will
be posted. The following grade distribution will be used to determine
your letter grade. The lab grade includes all assignments on WebAssign.
This includes lab reports, peer ranking exercises and other homework.
80 - 89
70 - 79
You will be responsible for writing a lab report for each lab that you
do. All lab reports will be turned using WebAssign
- an online homework delivery system. More information on WebAssign can
be found on the WebAssign info page. The format and guidelines for these
reports are contained in a separate document that will be handed out.
Scientist usually work in groups, and so shall you in this course. You
will need to work in groups of 3 or 4 in the lab, preferably 3. Although
you are working with others, you are responsible for understanding all
that happens during the lab (don't just sit there and let others do the
lab). You will be individually evaluated by your lab report and by the
two exams. You may consult others in writing your lab report, but DO NOT
simply copy someone else's section (this is very easy to spot). It is
ok to have the same data and even graphs - as these were collected in
the group, but the analysis should be your own.
Another aspect of the lab report
process will be your evaluation of other students' work. An assignment
on WebAssign will be set up so that you will anonymously rank other portions
of other students' labs. You will recieve a score based on how well your
ranking correlates with the instructor's rankings.
Since there are no make-up labs, you should not miss a lab. Any lab that
you miss, you will receive a zero for that lab. At the end of the semester,
I will drop your lowest lab grade. If you miss an exam, make-up tests
will only be given for valid, documented excuses.Note: The last day to
withdraw from this course without a grade is Wednesday, July 10
* Free discussion, inquiry, and expression is encouraged in this class.
Classroom behavior that interferes with either (a) the instructor's ability
to conduct class or (b) the ability of students to benefit from the instruction
is not acceptable. Examples may include routinely entering class late
or departing class early; use of beepers, cellular telephones, or other
electronic devices; arguing in a way that is perceived as "crossing
the civility line." In the event of a situation where a student legitimately
needs to carry a beeper/cellular telephone to class, prior notice and
approval of the instructor is required.
* If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations
under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify
with the Office of Student Life, Room 202, Student Union.