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Physics I Laboratory

PHYS-203, 1 cr.

Sections 01 and 32

Dr. Paulo Acioli

Spring 2008

Course Description
PHYS-203, Physics I Laboratory: Laboratory course covering an integrated sequence of laboratories related to, mechanics, waves and thermodynamics. PHYS-203 is meant to be taken concurrently with PHYS-206, or PHYS-201. See also the department course description. The list of specific topics to be studied can be found on the syllabus page. The schedule for Sections 01 and 32 can be found here. 1.0 Credits.
Course Objectives
The experiments in this laboratory course are intended to develop a deeper understanding of physics concepts related to mechanics, waves and thermodynamics. In addition, this laboratory provides a practical foundation for the material covered in PHYS-206, and PHYS-201, as well as encouraging collaborative learning among students. Lab activities encourage students to construct physical models based on observations and experiments.
These experiments are designed to enhance traditional laboratory skills, and to reinforce topics covered in both lectures and readings. To achieve these goals each experiment has been developed using the following design principles which are based on physics education research:
Lab Manuals
Required. Available in the Book Store.
Reference Materials
Sokoloff, David R., Thornton, Ronald K. & Laws, Priscilla W., RealTime Physics, 5th ed. Wiley, 1998.
Laws, Priscilla W., Workshop Physics, 2nd ed. Wiley, 2004.
Location & Times
Sec 01 8:50-10:40T
Sec 32 7:05-8:55T
Regular class attendance is required.
Missed Laboratory Sections
Makeup laboratories will not be given, except under very limited circumstances. Make-ups will only be allowed for circumstances clearly beyond your control. In addition, students are required to provide adequate documentation, and your instructor must be notified in advance. See also the NEIU student conduct code.
The final grade will be based on the following system:
Prelab Assignments 10 %
Homework Assignments40 %
Class Participation 10 %
Exams 40 %

Your final grade will be based on the total points in this system. Any student who achieves a percentile score of above 90%, 80%, 70%, 60% is guaranteed to receive an A, B, C, or D respectively. Your instructor reserves the right to adjust these percentiles downwards based on a class curve and other considerations.

Pre-labs Assignments
You are required to turn in the pre-lab assignment at the start of each lab period. You will receive a failing grade for the lab experiment if you do not have the pre-lab sheet ready to hand in at the start of the lab period.
Each laboratory contains a pre-lab preparation sheet. Many of the questions on the pre-lab sheet will ask you to make predictions about what will happen when you carry out certain measurements or laboratory exercises. You will receive credit for answering these questions if you give answers that show evidence that you have thought about the situation and what you expect to happen, whether you are right or wrong. The purpose of these prelab questions is to get you thinking about the experiment. You will gain a much greater understanding when you do the experiment if you have thought through the pre-lab questions.
Laboratory Based Homework
Each lab contains a homework assignment. These homework assignments should be completed by the following laboratory period. You are expected to turn in your homework assignment at the beginning of the next laboratory period.
The questions in the homework assignments can all be answered based on the things you have observed in the laboratory. If you are prepared for each laboratory and have been careful to accurately describe your observations as you follow the instructions in the hand out, you should be able to answer the homework questions by referring to these handouts. You are encouraged to discuss what you have learned in the laboratory and how it applies to the homework questions with your classmates.
This course has an in-class midterm and a final exam. The questions on these exams will be similar to the questions in the homework assignments.
Regular weekly hours are set up in the library for tutorials. Tutors can be found in the learning center on the fourth floor of the library. Please note, these tutorials are intended for the 100 level general education courses, but tutors may be able to help physics 203 students on a second priority basis. The current schedule for our tutors can be found here.
Academic Integrity
The NEIU policy on academic integrity can be found here.
- PHYS 203 -

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