PHSX 323 -- Intermediate Physics Lab Autumn 2019

Instructor: Paul Janzen
Office: CHCB 121
Office hours: M 1:00 - 3:00, W 11:00 - 12:00, W 2:00 - 3:00, and by appointment
Phone: 243-2374
Text: Building Scientific Apparatus, 4thed. by Moore, Davis, and Coplan (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Lecture: Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00 - 3:50 PM in CHCB 012
Lab: Tues 12:30-4:20 PM or Thurs 12:30-4:20 PM
Prerequisites: PHSX 217N-218N or PHSX 207N-208N
PHSX 311 (Oscillations and Waves)
Credits: 3


This is a laboratory course in the application of analog and digital electronics to experimental physics, with additional emphasis on data analysis techniques.


To introduce a variety of electronic circuits, circuit analysis and design, and measurement techniques.

To advance the ability to perform data analysis, including the propagation of uncertainties.

To begin the transition from pre-prepared laboratory apparatus to experiments that need to be designed, built, and optimized by the student.

Learning Outcomes:


At the end of Monday's lecture, a homework assignment will be given out. It will be due by the start of your next lab period. Late assignments, unless approved in advance, will automatically receive a 50% reduction. The homework assignment is designed to give you some practice in the type of calculations you will need to complete the laboratory efficiently.

Lab notebooks will be due by 5 PM Friday. One experiment, later in the course, will require a full formal write-up beyond the lab notebook.

One test will be given during the semester (October 21). In addition, there will be a written comprehensive final exam (December 9, 1:10 PM).

Laboratory Notebook: 45%
Lab Report: 10%
Homework Assignments: 15%
Test: 10%
Final Exam: 20%

This course can be taken for a traditional letter grade only.


Add/Drop can be performed online until September 16. Add/Drop can be performed with the instructor's and advisor's signatures until October 28.

All students must practise academic honesty. Academic misconduct is subject to an academic penalty by the course instructor and/or a disciplinary sanction by the University. All students need to be familiar with the Student Conduct Code. The Code is available for review online, though the URL changes frequently.

Students with disabilities may request reasonable modifications by contacting me. The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction for students with disabilities in collaboration with instructors and Disability Services for Students, which is located in Lommasson Center 154. The University does not permit fundamental alterations of academic standards or retroactive modifications.

Tentative Course Outline

Week Laboratory Topic
1 DC circuits
2 Capacitors and AC circuits
3 Filters and diodes
4 Cables and Impedance Matching (Speed of Light)
5 Transistors
6 Op-amps I
7 Op-amps II
8 FETs
9 Review and test of analog electronics
10 Lock-In Amplifier
11 Logic and flip-flops
12 Modern physics experiment
13 Computer interfacing I
14 Computer interfacing II (embedded controllers)

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2008 (1.71) and then hand editing.

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Paul Janzen 2019-08-24