Physics 231

Fall 2016


The PHYS 231 Laboratory is intended (but not required) to accompany PHYS 201. Experimental exercises will complement the class material.

All of the exercises are described in the pdf files linked below. Additional details of class organization can be found in the general information section.

Apparatus for each week's exercise will be available in HRZ B18, located in the basement. You may obtain the door code from Dr. Dodds in HRZ 215. The building is accessible outside of normal hours with a Rice ID through the north-side door (facing Duncan Hall).

The experimental work is semi self-paced, in that you may work at any time during the lab weeks listed. Each exercise will require 2-4 hours in lab to complete the measurements, plus additional time to prepare a report. You may work with one partner if you wish, but it is not required. In any case, each student is expected to be familiar with all phases of the experiment and to produce an independent report of the results. Reports will be due according to the schedule below.

Note that the amount of equipment is limited, so it will be impossible for all students to undertake an experiment immediately before a deadline.

Week of
Aug. 22 None; First week of classes
Aug. 29 Coupled Oscillations(and electronics as needed)
Sept. 5 Coupled Oscillations, continued; Due Friday
Sept. 12 Standing Waves; Due Friday
Sept. 19 Acoustics of the recorder; Due Friday
Sept. 26 None
Oct. 3 Transmission Lines; Due Friday
Oct. 10 None; Midterm break
Oct. 17 Reflection and Refraction; Due Friday
Oct. 24 Optical Instruments; Due Friday
Oct. 31 None
Nov. 7 Polarization; Due Friday
Nov. 14 Interferometers
Nov. 21 Interferometers, continued; Due Wednesday; Thanksgiving break
Nov. 28 Physical Optics; Due Friday; Last week of classes

Reports are due by 5 PM on the last day of the scheduled experiment period. Early submissions are always welcome, while late work will be penalized at the rate of 5 percentage points per day or fraction late. Reports will not be accepted more than 7 days after the due date or the first day of finals, whichever is earlier.

General Information
Sample lab report
Error Analysis
Using LoggerPro
Circuits, Signals and Instruments
Using an oscilloscope from PHYS 112
Matlab code for coupled oscillator

Additional help on graphing, error analysis etc. can be found at the joint laboratory site, Lab references.

Laboratory Exercises
Coupled Oscillations
Standing Waves
Acoustics of the Recorder
Transmission Lines
Reflection and Refraction
Optical Instruments
Physical Optics

Updated May 31, 2016