Nikola Tesla

Introductory Physics Laboratory Site

Phy 111L, Phy 112L, Phy 161L, Phy 262L, 2011 Spring

Don't Panic.
This is so cool.
Unchain your inner nerd.
In science, we are slaves to the truth---only error can set us free.

The course mottos: very reassuring I think.


  1. Instructor/Supervisor Information
  2. General Information Information
  3. Syllabus Items Phy 111L
  4. Syllabus Items Phy 112L
  5. Syllabus Items Phy 161L
  6. Syllabus Items Phy 262L
  7. University Sites of Relevance Note Drop/Add day is 2011jan27.
  8. University Policy Statements for syllabi. A brief review after Instructor Information should be done.
  9. Electricity Links

  10. Semester I Labs for Phy 111L/Phy161L
      None yet.

  11. Semester II Labs for Phy 112L/Phy262L
    1. Electrostatic Phenomena
    2. Electric Fields and Point Charges
    3. Electric Fields and Potential Mapping
    4. Current Flow in Circuits
    5. Electrical Resistance
    6. About Batteries
    7. Discharging Capacitors
    8. Magnetic Field Mapping
    9. Magnetic Forces on Currents
    10. Electromagnetic Induction and Transformers
    11. Transformers
    12. Basic Geometrical Optics
    13. Lenses and Images

Warning: Syllabus items on this site are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class as well as made on this page.

M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and Moon

  1. Instructor/Supervisor Information
  2. Instructor:
    Dr. David Jeffery, Physical Science Building, Rm 212, Tel: 928-523-9542, Email: David.Jeffery AT (also jeffery AT, jeffery AT, Office hours: as on instructor schedule. (If you need to see the instructor for sure, make an appointment. I'm usually happy to see students at any time that I'm relatively free.)

  3. General Information
    1. Ordering Lab Manuals Order manuals online from Lab Manual Order Form. Lab manuals should be ordered before the first lab session. The lab instructor will distribute the manuals to the people who have made orders. Bring your receipts or email confirmations. If you havn't made an order, you can order the lab manual right then using the lab computer and printer.

    2. Main Syllabi See the lab manuals for Phy 111 Lab, Phy 112 Lab, Phy 161L, Phy 262L for almost all details about labs and the main syllabus items.

    3. Lab Prep Students should prepare for labs by reading the lab manual thoroughly. It's understood that it's hard to understand fully without having seen and played with the equipment. The web sites linked in sections Semester I Labs and Semester II Labs can help with prep.

    4. General Lab Rules:

      1. Treat the equipment with care. Treat it as if it were fragile especially when it actually is fragile. No dropping on the floor to say the least.

      2. Treat electrical equipment, especially live surfaces (i.e., those at significant potential [i.e., voltage]), with caution. In actual fact, the lab equipment is designed to be inherently safe. The potentials are kept low or if high, then the source has a large internal resistance which prevents large current flows. But it's just good practice to be cautious.

      3. A the end of a lab session, return all equipment to its pre-lab state: i.e., return it to where it was and/or turn it off. Leave things neat.

      4. You should discuss your lab question answers with your group, but yoo should never everyjust.
    5. Safety:

      From Wolfson & Pasachoff, p. 687, and relevant to Semester II Labs mainly.

        Current Range        Human Effect
        0.5--2               threshold of sensation
        10--15               involuntary muscle contraction;  can't let
                               go of source
        15--100              severe shock, loss of muscle control, 
                               difficulty breathing
        100--200             fibrillation of the heart, death within minutes
         >200                 cardiac arrest, breathing stops, severe burns
        Tip:  If you are outside and your hair starts standing on end,
               get out of that place.

    6. Grades: There will be grades.

      Aliens and Grades Beware of aliens bearing grades.

  4. Supplementary Syllabus Items Phy 111L

  6. Supplementary Syllabus Items Phy 112L
  7. The basic syllabus is presented in the lab manual.

    Remember that Phy 112L is just a part of Phy 112: it is NOT a stand-alone course. The lab grade IS part of the Phy 112 grade.

    A present there are no additions to the basic syllabus worth mentioning.

  8. Supplementary Syllabus Items Phy 161L

  10. Supplementary Syllabus Items Phy 262L
  11. The basic syllabus is presented in the lab manual.

    Remember that Phy 262L is NOT a part of Phy 262: it IS a stand-alone course.

    There are variations from the basic syllabus in the lab manual. The instructor is always making adjustments.

    There will be short quizzes at the end of most lab sessions time permitting. The quizzes will count for part of the lab grade up to 50 %, but usually less. The weighting of the quizzes varies from lab to lab.

    For ordinary labs, each person hands in their own reports. It's expected that students collaborate on these, but there should be no direct copying. Everyone should understand things for themselves and write out their own answers.

    The groups will produce a single lab report for the extended labs.

    There is a preparation mark. For every lab, except the first one, students will need to read the lab and other material before the lab period. The other material will consist of online notes prepared by the instructor and related articles from Wikipedia or other online sources.

    The lab notes are linked below in Semester II Labs. They are nott yet fully prepared for this semester, but will be week by week. The instructor will also send an email specifying the preparation.

    The preparation is marked by you, the student, affirming in the lab period to the instructor that you have done it BEFORE the lab period. There are NO part marks. You only get a mark for having read all the preparation.

    The rationale for the preparation mark is that students are not likely to do the preparation adequately without it---you know this is true.

    The rationale for the preparation is that the labs need preparation both for the actual manipulations and for understanding what is going on. Students strongly objected to long introductions (30 minutes or so) to the lab in the lab period. With preparation, the introduction can be cut short to 10 minutes or so---and we have more time work with the equipment and see how to do things.

    The grading scheme for the course is below.

        Tentative Grading Scheme
        Ordinary labs       60 %   or more or less  (one drop)
        Extended labs       30 %   or more or less
        preparation         10 %   or more or less  (one drop)
    The lowest ordinary lab mark is dropped, and so people can afford to miss one ordinary lab. There may be a chance for make-ups at the end of the semester, but this depends on all kinds of things---so don't count on it.

    One preparation is considered a drop too.

    There are two sections of Phy 262L. The instructors are coordinating, but they will usually not do things identically: they will not mark identically, they will not weigh graded items identically, and the quizzes will not be the same in general.

  12. Semester I Labs

  14. Semester II Labs
  15. Below are the Phy 112L/Phy 262L labs.

    Phy 112L and Phy 262L have different sets of labs, but there is considerable overlap. Thus a single listing is reasonable.

    The labs here are just listed in a reasonable order.

    Check your lab manual for the lab order for your course. But that order is tentative. The order may change depending on the circumstances of the semester.

    The Phy 112L/Phy 262L labs are good concept labs and good hands-on labs.

    They are not usually designed teach the use of significant figures or error analysis. So in most labs we don't worry about those things. Typically relative uncertainties in quantitative data and calculated results are of order 20 %.

    BUT there are some labs, particularly some of the Phy 262L labs where significant figures or error analysis are used. You'll be told when you need to do those by the instructor.

    With each lab is a set of links that gives links for background information for the Phy 112L/Phy 262L labs.

    There is a link to a list of links of general relevance to electricity, magnetism, or optics. There is also a link to labs notes that are particularly useful for students in preparing for a lab and sometimes a link to extended notes that are mainly for instructor use, but students can study them too.

    There are also a list of links especially relevent to the each particular lab.

    The Phy 262L lab prepartion consists of reading the lab manual and, usually, reading the lab notes and the especially relevant links articles.

    There are quiz answers for some of the Phy 262L labs. These appear only after the quiz is over and when the instructor finishes writing them up.


    This section is still under construction. The information will be updated as the semester proceeds.

    1. Electrostatic Phenomena

    2. Electric Fields and Point Charges

    3. Electric Fields and Potential Mapping

    4. Current Flow in Circuits

    5. Electrical Resistance

    6. About Batteries

    7. Discharging Capacitors

    8. Magnetic Field Mapping

        Magnetism Links
        Lab Notes
        Extended Lab Notes
      1. Phy 262L lab quiz solutions

    9. Magnetic Forces on Currents

    10. Electromagnetic Induction and Transformers

    11. Transformers

    12. Basic Geometrical Optics

        Optics Links
        Lab Notes
        Extended Lab Notes

    13. Lenses and Images

        Optics Links
        Lab Notes
        Extended Lab Notes