Christian Brothers University
Physics 201 Laboratory Departmental Syllabus
Introductory Physics I Lab

Catalog Data Laboratory to accompany PHYS 201.
Corequisite: Physics 201.
One semester; one credit.
Textbooks Lab Manual for Introductory Physics I, written by CBU Physics faculty, published by the department.
Calculator Policy You must bring a calculator to each lab meeting.
Prerequisites You should have fundamental skills in college algebra, trigonometry, functions and problem solving.
Goals 1. To investigate in more detail the topics discussed in lecture by direct, hands-on observation.

2. To test the models developed in Physics 201 in the real-world environment of the laboratory. To see how well the models work and to find their limitations.

3. To increase the qualitative understanding of physical phenomena by directly seeing how physical quantities affect each other, particularly how forces affect motion.

4. To see how the process of measurement affects experimental results through measurement uncertainty.

There is one laboratory meeting scheduled per week. Each meeting is two hours long. Twelve experiments are usually performed over the semester in eleven meetings. Depending on the instructor, students may turn in brief, written lab reports for each experiment or three longer reports for three of the experiments with brief, oral reports for the remaining experiments.
List of Experiments
Final Exam There is no final exam for the laboratory course.
Performance Evaluation Student performance is rated by a final letter grade which is determined by a combination of written and/or oral lab reports.
Resources The course instructor is available outside of the classroom a minimum of 10 hours per week for individual help.
Other students in the laboratory can be resources. Students usually perform experiments in pairs and discussion of results with lab partners and other students is expected. The exchange of ideas and information is encouraged in the lab meetings.
Attendance You must attend the lab meetings and perform all of the required experiments.
Coordinators Dr. Johnny Holmes, Professor of Physics
Br. Kevin Ryan, F.S.C., Assistant Professor of Physics
Dr. John Varriano, Associate Professor of Physics
Computer Usage Computers are used in a variety of ways in the Introductory Physics I laboratory:
  • to measure velocities and transit times of objects and then perform calculations to yield information about the motion of the objects.
  • to calculate the effect of measurement uncertainties on results.
  • to show the motion of a damped pendulum via numerical iteration for comparison to the observed motion of a real pendulum
  • to show the motion of an object as seen by an observer in a rotating frame of reference to help in the understanding of centripetal and "centrifugal" force

The use of word processing and graphing software is strongly encouraged in the written lab reports.
Estimated ABET Category Content This course is not for engineering majors. They should enroll in Physics 150 Laboratory.

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