The Elementary Physics Laboratory

RICE UNIVERSITY
Fall 2008

Laboratory work is an integral part of all of the entry-level physics courses at Rice. Each course has dedicated laboratory space and a set of exercises chosen to complement the lectures. The schedule closely follows the lecture presentation of similar material.

Each course sequence is described briefly below, along with the student lab manual for a recent offering. Interested instructors are welcome to use the material as they see fit. Microsoft Word versions of all manuals are available on request.

Additional material on graphing, error analysis etc. can be found at a web site jointly maintained by the biology, physics and chemistry laboratory instructors: Lab references.

PHYS 101/102
These are calculus-based courses covering classical mechanics first semester followed by electricity and magnetism second semester. They are intended for students majoring in the physical sciences and engineering. Students who complete the AP Physics C-Mechanics and/or AP Physics C-E&M may receive Rice credit for these courses.

PHYS 101 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Experiment 1 Kinematics in 1D
Experiment 2 Projectile Motion
Experiment 3 Forces
Experiment 4 Uniform Circular Motion
Experiment 5 Energy Conversions
Experiment 6 Collisions in Two Dimensions
Experiment 7 Angular Dynamics
Experiment 8 Simple Harmonic Motion
Sample Lab Report
PHYS 102 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Experiment 1 Electrostatic Phenomena
Experiment 2 Electric Field Mapping
Experiment 3 Resistivity and Circuits
Experiment 4 RC Circuits
Experiment 5 Deflection of Electrons
Experiment 6 Ampere's Law
Experiment 7 Electromagnetic Induction
Experiment 8 The Oscilloscope
Experiment 9 AC Circuits

PHYS 111/112
These are enriched versions of PHYS 101/102, intended for students who are particularly well-prepared and well-motivated. They cover the same material in somewhat greater depth, with a few brief excursions into more advanced topics such as special relativity. Students attempting this course should have a strong background in high school physics and calculus.

PHYS 111 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Graphing and Uncertainty Calculations
Using LoggerPro Software
Expt. 1. Friction
Expt. 2. Falling in Air
Expt. 3. Work-Energy Relations
Expt. 4. Oscillations
Expt. 5. Rolling Motion
Expt. 6. Collisions in Two Dimensions
Expt. 7. The Gyroscope
Sample Lab Report
PHYS 112 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Expt. 1. Electrostatic Phenomena
Expt. 2. Electric Field Mapping
Expt. 3. Deflection of Electrons
Expt. 4. Ampere's Law
Expt. 5. The Oscilloscope
Expt. 6. Electromagnetic Induction
Expt. 7. AC Circuits

PHYS 125/126
These are survey courses primarily intended for students in the biosciences and bioengineering, as well as pre-medical students. They cover mechanics, fluids and waves in the fall, followed by E&M, optics and modern physics in the spring. Calculus is used throughout, so the AP Physics B test does not confer Rice credit for these courses.

PHYS 125 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Expt. 1. Kinematics in 1D
Expt. 2. Projectile Motion
Expt. 3. Forces
Expt. 4. Uniform Circular Motion
Expt. 5. Collisions in Two Dimensions
Expt. 6. Energy Conversions
Expt. 7. Angular Dynamics
Expt. 8. Simple Harmonic Motion
Sample Lab Report
PHYS 126 Laboratory Manual
General Information and Schedule
Expt. 1. Standing Waves
Expt. 2. Diffraction and Interference
Expt. 3. Lenses and Images
Expt. 4. Optical Instruments
Expt. 5. Electrostatic Phenomena
Expt. 6. Electric Field Mapping
Expt. 7. DC Circuits and Instruments
Expt. 8. RC Circuits
Expt. 9. Electromagnetic Induction

Updated June 21, 2009

Comments:dodds@rice.edu