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Physics Laboratory

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Course Descriptions:
         Physics 1020
Physics 1021
Physics 1050
Physics 1051
Physics 2053
Physics 2056
Physics 2400
Physics 2151
Physics 2553
Physics 2820
Physics 3060
Physics 3160
         Physics 3180
Physics 3220
Physics 3820
ES 2150         

1st yr Registration Info

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Grenfell Home


  Physics Laboratory

Physics Laboratories

"The test of all knowledge is experiment..."  - Richard Feynman (Nobel Laureate 1963)

First Year

The 1st year Physics Lab (AS 360) is equipped with 12 computers for student use, a dedicated printer, and 12 Vernier LabPro or LabQuest Mini computer interfaces for data collection with various sensors including motion, force, sound, light, voltage, temperature and radiation.

Physics 1020/1021 - Introductory Physics

Physics as an experimental science is introduced to students who have not previously taken Physics. Experiments reinforce concepts introduced in the lecture. Reports are typically short-answer with minimal error analysis and are completed within the lab period.

Physics 1050/1051 - General Physics

Experimental techniques and basic error analysis for first year Physics majors, Engineering and other students who will continue in the physical or analytical sciences. MS Excel is introduced as an analysis and graphing tool. Reports are completed within the lab period, but usually involve more interpretation of results and error analysis.

Second Year

Students will expand on the basic experimental and analysis techniques learned in Physics 1050/1051, incorporating Mathematica and additional statistical methods. Keeping an experiment notebook will be introduced, as well as formal report writing. Experiments include some of the "classic" experiments in physics.

The Senior Physics Labs (ASE 3034 and 3033) are equipped with 6 laptop computers, 4 Vernier LabQuest interfaces, and the higher data-rate PASCO 850 Universal Interface and sensors.

Required Text

An Introduction to Error Analysis (2nd Edition), John R. Taylor

This text is perhaps the best reference available for undergraduate experimental analysis.  It is recommended for first year Physics majors and is required for 2nd year and above lab courses .

Physics Lab SharePoint Site

All experiment write-ups, information on How to Write a Lab Report, the Lab Notebook, LoggerPro and Excel Tutorials are available to download on the SharePoint site. You must use your Grenfell network ID and password to log in.

Error Analysis by Taylor

Physics 2053 - Fluids and Thermal Physics

Physics 2056 - Modern Physics

Activities will include some of the "classic" experiments that helped develop 20th century physics: measuring the charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, the photoelectric effect, electron diffraction, and several explorations of radioactive phenomena.

Physics 2553 - Introduction to Analog and Digital Electronics

The pre-requisites of Physics 1021 and Math 1000 make this course accessable to many non-physics science students looking for more experience with circuits and use of instrumentation, such as the oscilloscope. Reports are typically fill in the blanks with calculations, short-answers, and graphs and are completed within the lab period. While not required for the degree, this course is an excellent elective for a Physics major or minor.

Senior Labs - 3rd and 4th year

Physics 3060 - Electricity & Magnetism

Physics 4880 - Senior Physics Laboratory

(May be taken in either the 3rd or 4th year of the program.)  Students will work more independently on more advanced, multi-period experiments. Formal reports will be required for several experiments. Depending on equipment available, experiments may be chosen to compliment the student's areas of interest.


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