PHYSICS 2900 : Studies in Experimental Physics

Prerequisites: Physics 2120 and 2130

Instructor: Dr. Albert Cross
Contact: offices E792 (ex. 2188), EP1250 (ex. 3996)

Lectures: MWF,        9:00 - 9:50 a.m.,     Room E791
Lab: Monday           3:00 – 5:50 p.m.,     Room E791

Text: none required
References: Will be on reserve in the Library (see Topics below)


E-mail list:

Wiley Plus:
Registration code provided with text bought at bookstore,
or at

Office hours: Wed. and Fri. 10-12 in E792 and by appointment (send an e-mail)

Marking Scheme:
Quizzes and assignments:                                                         5%
Solutions will be posted on the class website. All Quizzes will be announced
in the previous class. All missed Quizzes will be assigned zero unless a valid
reason is given. All assignments will be due 1 week from the date they are
handed out. Late assignments and Lab reports will be -10% per day. Once
solutions are posted on the website, a mark of zero will be assigned. All
assignments must be handed in.
Laboratory work:                                                                 30%
Labs start the week of January 9.
Midterm (Friday, Feb. 17 ):                                                      15%
No late or early midterms will be given. For those who miss the midterm with
a valid reason, the Final exam will be worth 55%.
No Formula sheet
Major Presentation and Report:                                                   10%
Final exam :                                                                     40%
The Final exam will be cumulative including lab work.
No Formula sheet

Grades: Exact letter grade will depend on your rank within the class and the class
average. The table below is a guide.
A+(90-100%), A(85-89%), A-(80-84%), B+(76-79%), B(71-75%), B-(67-70%), C+(63-
66%), C(58-62%), C-(54-57%), D+(50-53%), D(45-49%), F(0-44%)
Laboratory Schedule (4 groups)

January 9 :     Introduction        Laboratory 1 – Transistor Characteristics
January 16 :     Lab 1-5            Laboratory 2 – Transistor Amplifier
January 23 :     Lab 1-5            Laboratory 3 – OP Amp
January 30:     Lab 1-5             Laboratory 4 – Transmission Line
February 6 :     Lab 1-5            Laboratory 5 – LRC circuit/NMR Probe
February 13 :    Lab 1-5
February 27 :    Lab 6-10           Laboratory 6 – Cavendish Experiment
March 6 :        Lab 6-10           Laboratory 7 – X-ray Diffraction
March 13 :       Lab 6-10           Laboratory 8 – Hall Effect
March 20 :       Lab 6-10           Laboratory 9 – NMR in EP1301, all groups
March 27 :       Lab 6-10           Laboratory 10 – Frank-Hertz or EPR
April 3         Presentations

Lecture Topics                      Main Source

Measurement theory and              Experimentation: An Introduction to Measurement
Error Analysis                      theory and Experimental Design , D.C. Baird

Least Squares and Fitting           Baird

Dimensional Analysis                Baird

Transistors                         Principles of Electronic Instrumentation, A.J.
Op Amps                             Diefenderfer

Resonant (LRC) Circuits             Diefenderfer

Data Acquisition, Signal Processing Experimental Physics, R.A. Dunlap
And Noise                           and Diefenderfer

Vacuum Techniques                   Dunlap

Cryogenics                          Dunlap

Thermometry                         Dunlap

Other useful References:
The Art of Experimental Physics, D.W Preston and E.R. Dietz
Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences, P.R. Bevington
The Art of Electronics, Horowitz and Hill
AIP Style Manual – American Institute of Physics
Introduction to Experimental Physics, C. Cooke
Term project and Presentation

This is meant to be a mock Conference presentation. The topic is an experimental
method, technique or result (summary of a single research article ) of you choice. The
topic must be approved by Dr. Cross and chosen by Feb. 1. You are to present the work
as if you were a researcher in the chosen field or part of the group that did the work.

The written portion of the project is to be a 1 page MAX abstract in the style of a
research submission (see AIP Style Manual). Minimum font 12 point. Minimum margins
and top/bottom 1.9cm or 0.75 in. Due Date: March 24. The abstracts will be posted on
the class web site from March 25-April 3 for other students to view.

All presentations will take place on April 3 during the Lab period (3-5:50 pm) The
presentations will be 10 Min. (strictly timed) with 5 minutes for questions.

Each student is required to ask a minimum of 2 questions during the 3 hr. presentation

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