PHSX 206N -- College Physics I Laboratory Spring 2016

Instructor: Paul Janzen
Office: CHCB 128
Office hours: M 10:00 - 11:00, TR 10:00 - 12:00, and by appointment
Phone: 243-2374
Text: (none)
Website: Lab materials will be posted on the Moodle site for thiscourse
Lab: Wed 1:10-3:00 PM (section 2) or Wed 3:10-5:00 PM (section 4)
Corequisite: PHSX 205
Credits: 1


The goal of the laboratory is to aid students in both their mastery of quantitative laboratory techniques and their conceptual understanding of physics. The material covered will track with the topics covered in the corequisite lecture course. Quantitative laboratory techniques will include reading an array of measuring instruments, handling the uncertainty (error) that results from the measuring instruments, understanding the distinction between precision and accuracy, and performing proper analysis and plotting of data. It is essential to keep up from the start, as the concepts in this course build on each other.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, the student:

Required Materials

You will need the following materials for the course:


There will be 11 two-hour labs during the semester. Out of the 11 labs, the 10 highest scores will count toward your final grade. You are required to attend the labs, take measurements, and keep a notebook for each lab. There will be no opportunity for make-up labs.

Each week, you should download and print a copy of the current lab, and bring it to your lab session. You are expected to have read the instructions prior to arriving at the lab and to have completed the associated pre-lab quiz on Moodle. Pre-lab quizzes will be taken on Moodle and close at 11 PM on Monday the week of lab. Quizzes are an individual effort. Before performing the next experiment, you will be given an open-notebook quiz on the previous week's lab. Approximately 15 minutes will be allotted for completing lab quizzes.

The experiments are designed to take approximately two hours for measurements and an additional hour or two outside of lab for preparation beforehand and data analysis after. This is consistent with the time expectations for a one-credit course.


Your grade for the course will be determined by a combination of pre- and post-lab quizzes. There will be no make-up labs so attendance is mandatory. Grading will be divided as follows:

Pre-Lab Quizzes: 15%
Post-Lab Quizzes: 85%

This course can be taken only with the traditional grading option. We strive for consistency in grading between the many laboratory sections. As a result, grades with fall within roughly the same distribution for each section: approximately 25% A, 25% B, 25% C, and 25% D and F. All students who complete the first two labs will be counted in this total and thus some of the D and F grades will be associated with students who have withdrawn from the course.

The last day to add or drop the course via Cyberbear is February 12. The last day to drop the course without the Dean's signature is March 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 at

Students with disabilities may request reasonable modifications by contacting me. The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction through collaboration between students with disabilities, instructors, and Disability Services for Students. ``Reasonable'' means the University permits no fundamental alterations of academic standards or retroactive modifications.

Tentative Course Schedule

Week   Laboratory Topic
1 1/25-29 NO LAB
2 2/1-5 Measurement
3 2/8-12 Kinematics
4 2/15-19 NO LAB
5 2/22-26 Forces
6 2/29-3/4 NO LAB
7 3/7-11 Centripetal Force
8 3/14-18 Moment of Inertia
9 3/21-25 Collisions
10 3/28-4/1 Ballistic Pendulum
11 4/4-8 Spring Break
12 4/11-15 Heat and Work
13 4/18-22 Buoyant Force
14 4/25-29 Hooke's Law
15 5/2-6 Standing Waves
16 5/9-13 Finals Week - NO LAB

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2008 (1.71) and then hand editing. LaTeX2HTML is copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds, and © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Paul Janzen 2016-01-26