In physics courses, laboratory investigations play an important role in understanding physical phenomena through the “hands-on” application of the concepts covered in class. We do a variety of laboratory experiments during the General Physics I and II (PHY1053, PHY 1054) and General Physics with Calculus I and II (PHY 2048, PHY 2049) course sequences. Although the specific experiments may change slightly from year, some examples of topics investigated in the lab include: kinematics (study of motion); dynamics (study of forces); conservation of energy and momentum; harmonic motion; electric fields; electrical circuits; electrical resistance and capacitance; magnetism; and optics.
Students work in groups (up to 4 members) to set up the necessary equipment, take data both manually or with a computer connected to devices being used, and then analyze the results. A lab report is then submitted by each individual.