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LabReportStyle - Lab reports for 2"d year experimental...

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Unformatted text preview: Lab reports for 2"d year experimental physics. What is expected in a laboratory report for PHYSZ211, 2212, 2213 You may be taking the 3rd year course in experimental physics next year. In that course formal laboratory reports will be required and your mark will be heavily based on them. This 2tld year course will provide some practice toward that. You will be expected to submit something in the form of a lab report rather than the answers to a list of exercises. While these reports have been described as “formal lab reports” perhaps a better description is that your labs should be of that format but abbreviated. The report should include the answers to the exercises in each experiment as well as relevant, data tables, graphs, figures and qualitative comments. Each experiment closes with a “your lab report should include” comment to this effect. To allow the markers to confirm that you did answer all the exercises you should include the exercise numbers where they are addressed in the report. We include below a description of a formal report in hopes that you work toward this format. For this course I would expect at least a few sentences for sections 1 and 2. For section 3, a brief summary of the experimental procedures performed is expected in abdut 1 paragraph. Approximately 90% of the efi‘ort should be dedicated to sections 4 and 5. In this course a bibliography (section 6 below) is not expected (of course you are welcome to include one if outside sources were used). Section 7 could include your actual notes in their rough form (or a photocopy). By preparing the reports as described the marker should'berable-to judge if you understood the experiment, physics, data, analysis, uncertainties and conclusions. Further; you will be able to look back at these and remember what the report is about and review the basics of the physics. 1 . Abstract. State briefly your method and the main results, with comparison to published values. (Typically paragraph, ~10 sentences). Example: The results of a measurement of the gravitational constant using the Cavendish method are presented. Experiments were carried out and data. taken over a period of . . . Results fi‘om the 2 data sets (result 1, result 2) were consistent within uncertainties with a combined result for this fundamental constant, G , of (6.4 a 0.8) x 10‘ll N m2 kg'z. .. The dominant uncertainty came from . .. The measured value is in agreement with the accepted value of (6.67259+/- 0.0000???) x 10'11 N in2 kg'2(provide a reference) which was determined using the technique of.... Note that the quotation of the estimated uncertainty of the experiment and the accepted value are listed in the abstract using the appropriate significant figures. This permits the reader to make a general assessment of your experiments relevance after reading only the abstract. In refereed journals this is like the “Hook” in which you convince the reader that the experiment is reliable and they should read the following article. This briefly describes the technique used so the reader can be reminded of other reports on similar experiments. This is where the reader/marker will get a first impression of your experiment and if it is worth the read. 2. Introduction. A concise review of the physics relevant to this experiment fits well here. Equations are labeled throughout so you can refer to them later. Long derivations should be placed into an appendix with a suitable reference in order to facilitate reading. Figures (even if photocopied from the lab manual) are labeled and referred to in the text. ' 3. Method. This is not a step-by-step set of instructions! You describe how you carried out the experiment. A thorough description of the apparatus used with diagrams (with labels and captions) to which you refer in the text. Describe what you think were important details when carrying out the experiment. Don’t get bogged down in trivia. Remember to refer to your lab note book for specific details. 4. Results (INCLUDING ERROR ANNALYASIS). Experimental data are summarized in tables (with label and caption). If the tables are very long, they can also be placed in an appendix. In this situation you would still provide an exemplary result in the text, say 10 measurements fiom the table, and place the bulk into an appendix. Provide explanations about where your numbers (particularly uncertainties) are coming fi'om. Carry out an error propagation analysis with an explicitly calculated example. (An‘ error analysis includes an examination of the relative contributions of each error toward the final result (including statistical and systematic) so that one can pinpoint the dominant uncertainty. 5. Discussion (Conclusion). Summarize your experiment and compare your results to the accepted value(s). Is the deviation within the estimated error bounds? Provide comments discussing the agreement or disagreement. Answer questions that were asked in the lab manual (if this hasn't been covered before in the report). Conclude with remarks concerning how you think the experiment could be improved if you were to retake the course. 6. References. Bibliography. Compiled using the resources introduced in the Thursday library classes. ~ 7. Appendices. Appendices contain details that would otherwise inhibit reading your report. How much material should be deferred to appendices is a judgment call. Label them properly. ...
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