Stem Learning Community Physics
The Laboratory

Home || Unit Schedules || The Laboratory || The Quiz Room

 The Physics Classroom || Google Docs || WebAssign


All lab work should be completed in your course notebook and be recorded on the right side of the open notebook. If you come to the end of the page, you must of course turn the page over and continue writing on the back of the page on the right side of the page of the open notebook. Any accompanying sheets must be taped, glued, stapled or somehow attached to the lab notebook; scotch tape is always available in the room.

Scoring Rubrics for each lab are available online. These will also be distributed in class a couple days prior to notebook collection. View:



Lab WM1:  The Wiggles

Question:

What is the mathematical equation that relates the period of vibration of a wiggling object to the mass that is placed in the wiggling object?

Purpose:

To determine the mathematical equation relating the period of vibration to the mass of the object placed within the pan of an inertial balance.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section (with labeled mirror and several labeled laser light paths), a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Conclusion should include a generalized claim expressed in your own words that describes how light reflects off a mirror. The Discussion of Results should describe the evidence that supports the claim and includes several sentences that provide the logical reasoning that logically connects the evidence to the claim. Specific trials or results that justify your conclusion/claim should be identified.




Lab WM2: Vibrating Mass


Question:
How does the position of a vibrating mass fluctuate with time? Does the period of a vibrating mass change over time? Does the amplitude of a vibrating mass change over time? How does increasing mass affect the period of its vibrations?

Purpose:
To analyze the vibration pattern of a mass on a spring in order to ...
  • describe fluctuations in position with respect to time
  • determine if the period of the vibrating mass changes over time
  • determine if the amplitude of the vibrating mass changes over time
  • describe how increasing mass affects the period of the vibrating mass.
A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion/Discussion. The Data section should include three print-outs of the graph of position vs. time for three different masses – 150 g, 200 g, and 250 g. The mass should be placed on each graph. For each graph, measurements of time and number of cycle should be clearly made and used to calculate the period. The work should be clearly shown and labeled on the graph or organized and labeled separately. For at least one of the graphs, measurements of the periods and the amplitudes should be made for several different cycles. Data should be clearly displayed. The Conclusion/Discussion should consist of four claims that address each of the four questions implied in the Purpose of the lab. Evidence that supports each answer should be presented and logical reasoning should be used to tie the evidence to the claims.




Lab WM3: Speed of a Wave Lab

Question:
What types of variables affect the speed of a wave on a string?

Purpose:
To identify the variables which do and do not affect the speed of a wave on a string.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include the provided Data table. The Data table should be completed and work should be shown for the indicated rows.  The conclusion should state the variables which affect and do not affect the speed of a wave on a string. The Discussion of Results should provide a well-written paragraph in which specific trials are referenced in an effort to explain how the evidence logically leads to the conclusion which was drawn.




Lab WM4: Vibrating Spring Lab

Question:
What is the mathematical relationship between the spacing distance between adjacent nodes in a longitudinal standing wave pattern and the frequency of the vibrations which are causing the patterns?

Purpose:
To determine the mathematical relationship between the spacing distance between adjacent nodes in a longitudinal standing wave pattern and the frequency of the vibrations which are causing the patterns.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion, and a Discussion of Results.  The Data should organize the collected data into a table with a row-column format.  Once collected, the Data should be analyzed in an effort to find a mathematical pattern and ultimately an equation relating the two measured quantities. This analysis should be documented in the lab notebook.  Cross-outs, wrong turns, scribble-overs and other signs of investigative efforts should be evident in your lab notebook.  And of course, a data plot and linear or power regression analysis is also permitted.  The Conclusion should include a verbal statement and an equation that seems to fit the data.  The Discussion of Results should explain the significance of the equation; the meaning of nodal spacing distance should be described and related to wavelength of the standing wave pattern.  The equation should be related to other equations learned in the Waves section of the course; the meaning of any constants in the equation should be explained.




Lab WM5: Guitar String Lab

Question:
How does doubling, tripling and quadrupling the length of a guitar string effect the collection of harmonic frequencies at which it naturally vibrates and the speed at which waves travel within it?

Purpose:
To determine how a doubling, tripling and quadrupling of the length of a string effects the collection of harmonic frequencies at which it naturally vibrates and the speed at which waves travel within in it.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include the provided table with all data collected. The Conclusion section should describe the effect of doubling, tripling and quadrupling the length upon the frequency of the waves and upon the speed of the waves.  The Discussion of Results section should provide the logical support for the conclusion statements that are made; specific trials should be referenced as supporting evidence.




Lab WM6: Closed End Air Column

Question:
What is the speed of sound? (closed-end air column)

Purpose:
To determine the speed of sound using a closed-end air column.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include collected data; data should be organized and labeled (a diagram may be more useful than a table). Calculations of speed should be organized, labeled and clearly shown. Fudge factor adjustments for end effect should be made; work should be shown and labeled.  Class data should be included in the Data section. The Conclusion should respond to the question raised in the Purpose section (as always). The Discussion of Results should include an error analysis. The reliability of the results should be evaluated based upon the theoretical value for the speed of sound. A percent error calculation should be performed; labeled work should be shown.




Lab WM7: Open End Air Column

Question:
What is the speed of sound? (open-end air column)

Purpose:
To determine the speed of sound using an open-end air column.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include collected data; data should be organized and labeled (a diagram may be more useful than a table). Calculations of speed should be organized, labeled and clearly shown. Fudge factor adjustments for end effects (both ends) should be made; work should be shown and labeled.  Class data should be included in the Data section. The Conclusion should respond to the question raised in the Purpose section (as always). The Discussion of Results should include an error analysis. The reliability of the results should be evaluated based upon the theoretical value for the speed of sound. A percent error calculation should be performed; work should be shown and labeled.




Lab WM8: Pop Bottle Challenge

Question:
Does a pop bottle more closely resemble a closed-end resonance tube or a Helmholtz resonator?

Purpose:
To determine if a pop bottle most closely resembles a closed-end resonance tube or a Helmholtz resonator.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include collected data that is organized in a table and relevant to the purpose. Units should be included on all measurements. Calculations should be performed or graphs constructed to assist in drawing a conclusion. All work should be clearly labeled. The Conclusion should respond to the question raised in the Purpose section (as always) with a clearly-stated claim. The Discussion of Results should include a presentation of the evidence that supports the Conclusion combined with good logical reasoning that ties the evidence to the claim that is made in the Conclusion.




Lab WM9: Timbre

Question:
How can the frequency spectrum be used to classify an instrument as being a closed-end air column or an open-end air column?

Purpose:
To analyze the frequency spectrum of a variety of instruments in order to distinguish between those that are closed-end air columns and those that are open-end air columns.

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion/Discussion. The Data section should include a table of harmonic frequencies for a couple of classic open-end and closed-end air column instruments. The Conclusion/Discussion should describe how the spectra differ for the two types of air columns and utilize the data to illustrate the differences. Specific references should be made to the FFT spectra.



Lab WM10: Musical Synthesizer

Question:
How can the analysis of a sample of a musical instrument's sound be used to create a synthesized version of the sound?

Purpose:
To sample the sound of a musical instrument. conduct an FFT analysis, and to use Desmos to create a complex wave equation that mimics the instrument's wave form..

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion. The Data section should include a taped-in print out of both the Logger Pro wave form and frequency spectrum for an instrument Measurements of frequency (with units) and relative amplitudes for each of the harmonics of the complex sound should be organized in a data table. Desmos should be used to create a complex sine wave that closely resembles the wave form for that instrument. Several wave expressions of the form Asin(fx) should be added together to create this wave form. Values of A (B, C, D, E, etc.) and f (g, h, i, j, k, etc.) should be reported. The Desmos plot should be printed and included in the report. The Conclusion/Discussion should report the complex wave equation that was created in Desmos; specifics should be included (e.g., the amplitude and frequency values for each harmonic). The connection between the wave equation and the frequency spectrum should be discussed.











Home || Unit Schedules || The Laboratory || The Quiz Room

  The Physics Classroom || Google Docs  || WebAssign