Physics 332


The course web page,, contains extensive resources for all the required exercises.

Apparatus for all the exercises will be available in Brockman Hall room 120. 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 doors in the breezeway.

The write-ups for all the experiments are available in pdf format at In some cases significant modifications have been made since the previous editions.

Due Dates, Fall 2017
Early submissions are always welcome, while late work will be penalized at the rate of 0.20 grade-point per day late. Reports will not be accepted more than 10 days after the due date or the end of finals, whichever is earlier. All four reports must be completed in order to pass the course.

First Report: 5:00 PM Thursday September 14, 2017
Second Report: 5:00 PM Wednesday October 11, 2017
Third Report: 5:00 PM Monday November 6, 2017
Fourth Report: 5:00 PM Tuesday December 5, 2017
Course Policies
You may work with a 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.

The experimental work is semi-self-paced, but you must read the safety notes below before beginning experimental work. Reviewing the experimental set up with the instructor will save you the time and wasted effort otherwise spent chasing parts or malfunctions. In the event that problems arise in the course of your work, get help from the instructor. You are not expected to solve all possible problems on your own.

The deadlines define a minimum pace for successful completion of the course. Note that the amount of equipment is limited, so it will be impossible for all students to do an experiment immediately before a deadline.

Your grade in this course will be based solely on four formal technical reports, one for each experiment. At the standard rate of 3 hours per week in lab per credit-hour this implies that each project should represent a minimum of 20 hours of productive time spread over about 3 weeks.

Available Experiments
Measurement of the Gravitational Constant
A Study of Diffusion by Light Scattering
Electron Spin Resonance
Diffraction and Fourier Optics
The Franck-Hertz Experiment
Lifetime of the Muon
Rutherford Scattering
Spectroscopy of Hydrogen Isotopes
Measurement of Superconductor Tc

Topical Notes
Safety Notes
Operation of NIM modules
Notes on Fourier Transforms
Preparing Reports
Notes on Writing Technical Reports
A Good Example
A Bad Example
A Journal Article
Auxiliary Materials
CO spectrum 0-1 (Matlab text file)
Mercury vapor pressure (Excel)
Updated July 29, 2017