PHY 1104

CAP 212
Week Activity Assignment
Aug 25 Density 1104 Density / Archimedes Principle
Sep 5 Simple Pendulum 1104 Simple Pendulum
Sep 12 Expansion of Solids 1104 Expansion of Solids
Sep 19 Specific Heat 1104 Specific Heat
Sep 26 Electrostatics 1104 Electrostatics
Oct 3 Electric Fields 1104 Electric Fields
Oct 10 Simple Circuits 1104 Simple Circuits
Oct 24 Ohm's Law 1104 Ohm's Law
Oct 31 Circuit Analysis 1104 Circuit Analysis
Nov 7 Capacitance 1104 RC Circuits
Nov 14 Properties of Magnetic Fields 1104 Properties of Magnetic Fields
Nov 21 Optics 1104 Optics
Dec 1 Half Life MAKEUP LAB - Half Life

Lab Home

The Physics Laboratory generally counts for 15% of your total course grade. The system of grading for the laboratory is as follows:

  • Prelab Quizzes: 10%
  • Laboratory Notebook: 50%
  • Formal Laboratory Reports: 40%


All students are required to be present and engaged in all laboratory activities. You will be assigned a partner, with whom you will conduct all experiments. You and your lab partner will alternate the following roles:

Principal Investigator (PI) – The PI is the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research. In our laboratory, the PI will sit by the computer, and will be in charge of conducting the experiment. The PI must make sure that all activities are performed, and will make sure that all investigators are provided with a copy of any data or graphs. Although the PI will maintain a notebook entry, this entry will not be graded. At the conclusion of the experiment, the PI is responsible for making sure that the apparatus is ready for the next lab to begin.

Co-Investigator (Co-I) The Co-I is a key personnel who has responsibilities similar to that of a PI on research projects.  While the PI has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of a research project, the Co-I is also obligated to ensure the project is conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research. In our laboratory, the Co-I is primarily responsible for record keeping, and will submit their notebook entry for a grade.

If you must miss a lab, you may make it up by sitting in on another lab section. All graded work must be given to your registered instructor. You may do this up to two times in one semester. If you must entirely miss one lab because you cannot sit in on another section, you must inform your lab instructor no later than the day of your absence. You will then be required to attend a makeup lab at the end of the semester (TBA). If you must entirely miss a second lab, you must contact your lab instructor no later than the day of your absence. You will then meet with the Director of Laboratories to determine whether you will be allowed to continue in the course. Failure to make up a lab will result in an automatic 15% reduction in your overall lab grade.

Prelab Quizzes / Lab preparation

In order to complete the experiment in the allotted time it is essential that some preparatory work be done before coming to the laboratory. You will be expected to read the upcoming laboratory assignment. At the beginning of lab each week, a quiz will be given which will test your preparedness. If you are late for lab, you will NOT be allowed to take the quiz.

In addition to reading over the activities and preparing for the quiz, the Co-I should pre-populate their notebook using the following four steps

1. Concepts: What scientific concept(s) is this lab about? Identify the scientific concept(s) (principle, theory, law) of the lab and write what you know about the concept(s) from the lab manual, textbook, class notes, handouts, etc. This should be brief.

2. Objectives: What are the objectives for this lab? Describe the specific actions you are being asked to perform in the lab, such as measure something, analyze something, test something, etc.

3. Hypothesis: What is your hypothesis for the lab experiment? First, identify the variables in the experiment. Then state your hypothesis--the relationship or interaction among the variables, the outcome of the experiment you anticipate. Your hypothesis may be stated in 1-2 sentences or sketched out as a graph. The variables are what you will manipulate (independent variable) and measure (dependent variable) in the lab procedure. The hypothesis is what you anticipate will be the outcome of the procedure, typically the results of the measurements of the dependent variables when the independent variable(s) is manipulated. So the hypothesis is what you expect, based on your understanding of the scientific concept of the lab--what the relationship among the variables will be.

Laboratory Notebook

How to Keep a Laboratory Notebook

The keeping of a lab notebook is an integral part of a professional scientist's work in lab. For the professional scientist, the lab notebook serves as an ongoing journal of ideas, experimental methods, collected data, calculations, suggestions for change and suggestions for further study. When done correctly, the lab notebook documents the professional journey of a scientist, telling the story of the progress, barriers, successes, failures, and solutions over the course of time.

When performing experiments in the laboratory, carefully record and clearly label all data in your lab notebook in pen. Use tables whenever possible to organize your data. Table outlines are given within each experiment. Write down all observations you make in the laboratory in your lab notebook.

Notebooks will be used for all activities, including those that require a full laboratory report. At the end of each lab session (excluding those that require a full laboratory report), the Co-I must leave their notebook with the instructor for grading.

Formal Laboratory Reports

How to Write a Lab Report

Twice during the semester, you and your partner will be required to write a formal laboratory report, following the above guidelines. The report will be split into two parts. The PI will be responsible for the formatting, the title page, the abstract, the introduction, and the methods section. The Co-I will be responsible for the results and discussion sections. For the second lab report, the responsibilities of the partners will be reversed.

If you are in a group of three, your group will be turning in two reports. The two reports will have either a different PI, or a different Co-I. Even though one of the three will appear in both reports, that person will only be graded once. The other two group members should take special care not to plagiarize from each other. If for some reason you do not have a partner, you will only be required to turn in half of a lab report.

Twenty percent will be deducted from late submissions, and reports submitted more than one week late will not be accepted. All grades are final and may not be resubmitted for re-grading.

Intructors and Meeting Times

PHY 1104-101
Monday 4:00 - 5:50 PM
Mr. Frank Luca (

PHY 1104-102
Monday 6:00 - 7:50 PM
Mr. Frank Luca (

PHY 1104-103
Monday 2:00 - 3:50 PM
Mr. Frank Luca (

PHY 1104-104
Friday 3:00 - 4:50 PM
Mr. Frank Luca (

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Mail Address:
Department of Physics and Astronomy
ASU Box 32106
Boone, NC 28608-2106 

Physical Address (also for shipping):
GWH 231
525 Rivers Street
Boone, NC, 28608-2106

Telephone: 828-262-3090
Fax: 828-262-2049

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