Modern Physics II Laboratory

PHY 3107L-U01, Spring 2008

Instructor: Laird Kramer

W 11:00 am - 1:45 pm, CP 251


CP 211

Office Hours: 1:00 - 3:00 pm, TR

  (305) 348-6073  
  Laird.Kramer at  

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Last Update: Thursday, March 13, 2008 6:48 AM


The same prerequisites as apply to the PHY3107 lecture course apply to this laboratory. Specifically, you must have already taken PHY 3106 and PHY 3106L. You must further be enrolled in the lecture part of the course, PHY3107. You will also need to use your FIU email account.

Course Objectives:
The primary course objective is to motivate the "why" of Modern Physics by observation, discovery, and experimentation. The secondary objective is to provide laboratory skills and experiences.  

Course Format:
This course is primarily laboratory based, however the grading is entirely Web-based. Lab reports are uploaded and graded online. You can check your lab report for grade and comments at any time (and you must to learn what is going well / needs improvement). Lab report templates are provided below.

E-mail will be used throughout the course to facilitate communications between the instructor and students. You FIU email will be added to the class list, other emails can be added (just ask). You must also make sure you are receiving and reading the emails; you are responsible for checking the emails for important updates.

Grades are based on the laboratory write-ups (50%), observed laboratory techniques (35%), and your oral report (15%). The grading scale is:


Minimum Average:




0, <60% complete

An F0 will be assigned to students who both earn a failing grade based on course standards and who fail to complete at least 60% of the course requirements or fail to attend at least 60% of class sessions. An F0 equals zero grade points per credit hour and is a permanent grade.

Individual lab reports are graded using the following scale: 33% for your uncertainty analysis (ie, error analysis), 33% for completing all parts of the laboratory correctly, and 33% for including your data in the report. Lab reports are due midnight of the second Sunday after the lab. You will receive 10% penalty for each day of lateness, but will receive 10 days of lateness that you can use anytime throughout the semester. To help ensure you complete the lab reports in a timely fashion, there will be 3 'super due dates' during the semester: Feb 13, March 12 March 23, and April 21. These are absolute deadlines for each of the 4 sets of lab reports. All labs must be submitted by midnight April 21st, 2008, absolutely no exceptions. This lateness policy will be strictly will be enforced. Missed labs receive zero credit unless arrangements are made to make up the lab. Class lateness will be counted against the lab techniques component.

We will be using to hand in the reports. This allows easier administration and the inclusion of grading comments inside the document. You will need to create an account and add the course 2118870 with password 'modern'. Make-up laboratories will only be arranged when notification is made (via email or phone) prior to the assigned lab. Make-up labs forfeit any lab participation credit, as you burden your lab partners by not supporting them.

A 10-minute oral presentation on one of the experiments is scheduled for the last part of the semester. This is meant to be a summary of all labs, so that we may build some perspective on the semester.

Incomplete grades can be given only for documented reasons beyond the control of the student, and not for failing work or lack of time. For those with a habit of persistent lateness, salvage may be granted. In salvage, students with a lab report average of 85% or better and a participation average of 85% or better, but having major lateness deductions that would drop their grade below a C, receive a maximum grade of a C for the course.

Lab Manual:
Microsoft Word files for the lab manual. You should download and READ the lab description PRIOR to coming to lab. Your lab report only needs to include the essentials (start with MLabtemplate.doc file). You don't need to include the original lab description (I've seen it before).

Students will be split into three groups -- named after unknowns. Through Feb 13, the groups are:

After Feb 20, the groups will be:

Date Higgs
Squarks Gluinos 
Jan 9
He Ne Laser LED ESR
Jan 16 ESR He Ne Laser LED
Jan 23 LED ESR He Ne Laser
Jan 30 Zeeman  Hall Effect Gamma-Ray Spect
Feb 6 Gamma-Ray Spect Zeeman Hall Effect
Feb 13 Hall Effect Gamma-Ray Spect Zeeman
Feb 13 Labs 1-4 Due Labs 1-4 Due Labs 1-4 Due
Feb 20 Beta-Ray Spect Radioactive Decay Superconductors
Feb 27 Superconductors Beta-Ray Spect Radioactive Decayr
Mar 5 Radioactive Decay Superconductors Beta-Ray Spect
Mar 12 Cloud Chamber Transistor Qubits
Mar 12 23 Labs 5-8 Due Labs 5-8 Due Labs 5-8 Due
Mar 19 Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break
Mar 26 Qubits Cloud Chamber Transistor
Apr 2 Transistor Qubits Cloud Chamber
Apr 9 Oral Presentations Oral Presentations Oral Presentations
Apr 16 No Lab No Lab No Lab

Last Updated March 13, 2008 6:48 AM