Undergraduate Physics Labs

Four lab courses accompany the undergraduate lecture courses offered at the Department of Physics
The usual lab course association is as follows (underline indicates link to the respective syllabus): 
Lab Course PHY 106 PHY 108 PHY 224 PHY 225
Lecture Course

Phy 101

College Physics I

Phy 102

College Physics II

PHY 222

University Physics II

PHY 223

University Physics III





James L. Knight Physics Building, #103
Coral Gables, FL 33124
Ph: (305) 284-7139   Fax: (305) 284-4222
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  • Lab Semesters

    Lab semesters of the four undergraduate lab courses offered at the Department of Physics run for ten weeks. Each lab course covers ten experiments, allowing one experiment per week.

    In the Spring semester the labs begin on the Monday of the third semester week. After five lab weeks, there is a two-week lab recess overlapping its second week with the Spring break through the first half of March.

    In the Fall semester the labs begin on the third week of the semester. When the Labor Day holiday falls on the third week of the semester, the holiday is compensated on the Monday of the previous week. Such occasions are prominently announced. At mid-October there is a one week Fall break and the lab schedule accommodates it. Hurricane emergencies could cause rescheduling corelated with all other courses.

    Summer A and Summer B lab semesters run with three lab class meetings per week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Summer lab semesters usually begin on the first Monday of the respective semester.

  • Lab Arrangement

    The lab class capacity is 18 students. Each lab course has several class sections, their number depending on the course enrollment. Each class section works on identical experimental setups prepared on nine individual benches in the lab-room.
    The class is split in two students per bench. They collaborate when performing the experiment on their bench.
    There is no lab-room assignment to a specific lab course. Some lab-rooms are equipped to facilitate particular experiments. The weekly change of the experimental setups necessitates a scheduled lab-room rotation.

  • Lab Procedures

    Before the first day of lab classes students should get informed in which lab room is their first lab class meeting. After the first week of lab classes students must follow the lab room weekly rotation schedule of their lab course. The schedule is posted on the lab-room doors’ sidelights (all at the 1st floor gallery of Physics Building), at the Department's office lobby (3rd floor of Physics Building) and in the syllabus.
    In the first class session the students will meet their assigned lab instructor. The students will be introduced to the details of the lab-course and the class policies. A printed Syllabus sheet and a free of charge Lab Notebook will be distributed to each student.
    The Syllabus remains in students' possession. The Lab Notebook is turned in to the instructor for grading at completion of the lab-report. It stays with the instructor until the next lab. At the beginning of the next lab, the student will receive his/her Lab Notebook back, with the previous lab-report graded.
    Each experiment has its text available online in the Course Documents of your Blackboard-listed lab course. Before each lab (beginning with experiment #1) a two-problem preparation test must be solved as it accompanies the study for the upcoming experiment. The PRE-LAB TESTS folder on Blackboard contains the pre-lab tests. Each pre-lab test is based entirely on the text of the respective experiment. Each pre-lab test contributes max 1.5 points credit towards the 100 points max final grade, aggregating to 15% of it. The server enforced deadline for submitting of responses is one hour before the lab start.
    The Course Documents contain on top position the LAB ADVISORY text. Students must read it in order to obtain important generic information about the specifics of the lab courses. Instructors may modify in their class policies some of the prescriptions outlined in the Lab Advisory.
    There will be at least four in-lab quizzes during the semester over material of passed labs. The quizzes will count 15% of the final grade. These quizzes substitute for the Final Exam.

  • Lab Attendance

    Labs run in a tight rotation schedule, with very little room for change/adjustment of experimental setups. Consequently, the attendance policy is demanding.
    Showing up on the first two class sessions is of high importance, so much so that missing them leads to automatic drop of the course.
    One missed lab out of ten will automatically decrease your grade by 10% of the maximum score of the lab report portion of the final grade. Two missed labs will result in a failing grade. Legitimate emergency cases should arrange for make up immediately (no reading days for labs). The lab class instructors and the labs office have to be contacted for the arrangement.