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Unformatted text preview: PHYSICS 120 PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS I THE LABORATORY JOURNAL You do not have to be a historian to see the value of the wellorganized journal. It serves a valuable role, namely to revive the events of the past. So, what constitutes a good journal for scientists? Anyone who conducts research (either experimental or computational) keeps the journal not just to record the data but also to record the progress and importance of the work. Since your journal is expected to be a permanent record of your lab experience, we want you to use ink, not pencil, when writing your journal. (That way, nothing important will ever get accidentally erased.) Regarding content, your journal entries for each experiment should contain at least the following information: 1. 2. 3. the date you performed the experiment and the names of your lab partners objective Why did you conduct the experiment? What were you trying to measure? change in the procedure or points to mention Do not copy the whole procedure from the lab handout however, it is important to note any changes in the procedure or any particular (special) techniques that you needed to employ to carry out the experiment. Keep in your mind that you may have to repeat the experiment again in the near or distant future. data and data analysis Before making any measurements, think through the experiment and make a logical data table. The table should contain not only measurement values but also appropriate title and units. Never erase your original data. If you make a mistake during the measurement, simply cross out (not erase!) the relevant data and enter your new numbers. For each analysis you perform, make comments as to what you are calculating and why you need to do it. If you make a graph, be sure to include a copy in the journal. conclusions and any thoughts about the experiment (e.g., special problems, suggestions for improvement) 4. 5. There are two reasons for you to make a good journal for this class: 1. If you plan on doing scientific work in the future, it's important to master the skill of keeping a good journal. The more you do it, the better you will become. An excellent journal will serve you well when you write lab reports, answer questions from your lab instructor during exit interviews, and take lab quizzes during the semester. 2. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PHYS 120 taught by Professor Decarlo during the Spring '08 term at DePauw.
- Spring '08