Physics 102-L03, Introductory Physics II - Lab

Spring 2008

Tu 9:00-12:00

Room 108 SCIC

Dr. Chris Fragile

Office: 127 SCIC

Office hours: M/Tu/Th 3:00-4:30

But come by any time

Phone: 953-3181



[ Schedule ] [ General Info ] [ Class Policies ] [ Goals and Objectives ] [ Grading Scheme ]


We will often adjust what we do for lab from what is written in your manual. Nevertheless, it will help if you read the write up for each week’s lab before you show up. That way, you’ll be up-to-speed on the topics you’ll need to know to accomplish the lab.




8 Jan

No Lab!


15 Jan



22 Jan

Electric Fields


29 Jan

Simple DC Circuits


5 Feb

Kirchoff’s Laws


12 Feb

Magnetism & Electricity


19 Feb

Electric Motor


20 Feb


Last day to Withdraw!

26 Feb



2-8 Mar

Spring Break!


11 Mar

RC Time Constant


18 Mar

Reflection & Refraction


25 Mar

Simple Optical Instruments


1 Apr



8 Apr



15 Apr




Syllabus Fine Print

Required materials:

  • College of Charleston Physics 102 Laboratory Manual
  • Some sort of a laboratory notebook (I will provide this)
  • A scientific calculator capable of computing trigonometric and exponential functions


A lab experience is an integral part of your exploration of the concepts of the physical universe. The laboratory is a hands-on, active environment. Working in teams, you will carry out experiments which will allow you to apply, verify, or discover concepts, principles, and laws. Some investigations will be cook-book in form; i.e., the procedure will be set out step-by -step. In some activities, you will be the scientist; i.e., you will have to design all of the steps for a procedure which will allow you to answer a question. All experiments require observation, measurement, data analysis, drawing conclusions, and presenting your results.

During the first lab period you will be assigned to a group. The group will be changed from time to time during the semester. You should exchange phone numbers and e-mail addresses with your partners. All members are expected to participate in the lab process. Generally lab reports will be a collective effort submitted by an entire group. At any time a student may choose to prepare and turn in an individual lab report independent of their lab partners. Lab reports will be due either at the end of the laboratory period or at the beginning of the next class meeting.

Class Policies:

If there are any students in this class who have documented disabilities and have been approved to receive accommodations through SNAP Services, please stop by my office to discuss this.

Cellular technology: All cellular devices must be turned off during class unless you have a job that requires them to be on for safety (e.g. EMT or firefighter).

Attendance is mandatory. No make-up labs will be offered. Sitting in on another lab section is generally not permissible. This option will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances and requires prior approval of both instructors. Excused absences are at the discretion of the instructor; at a minimum, for an absence to be considered excused, the student must turn in documentation to the Office of the Associate Dean of Students. Be aware that an excused absence means that each completed lab will count a higher percentage of your final grade; an unexcused absence will automatically reduce your final grade by roughly 8%.

Tardiness is rude, especially to your lab partners. It disrupts the flow of the class. Please be polite to your classmates and me by being on time. If tardiness gets to be a problem, I will deduct points from the offender’s grade for that lab.


The Department of Physics & Astronomy has adopted the following goals and objectives for its introductory physics labs:

1.   To strengthen insights into the fundamental concepts of physics through direct investigations

2.   To enhance observational and analytical skills

3.   To develop an appreciation for qualitative and quantitative reasoning

4.   To develop physical curiosity

5.   To develop team skills

After successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Make measurements with common instruments
  2. Make objective observations of physical phenomena
  3. Draw conclusions based on observations and data
  4. Analyze quantitative information using sketches, graphs, tables, and statistics
  5. Conduct quantitative and qualitative discussions of observational errors
  6. Produce an acceptable lab report
  7. Evaluate the observations and reports of others
  8. Design and conduct an experiment in order to investigate a proposition, evaluate a phenomenon, or make a prediction



Grades will generally be based upon weekly group lab reports. Occasionally we will have labs where the groups “shoot” for their grades. We may also include quizzes in lab. Late lab reports will be penalized, usually at a rate of 5% per day that it is late.

The grading scale for the course will be:



A -