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Circuits lab report

  1. Oct 18, 2006 #1
    I've got a lab report to write for a circuits lab dealing with the transient responses of RC, RL, and RCL circuits. I'm fine with the introduction, results and conclusion parts, but I'm not sure what to put for the theory and procedure.

    The problem is, the formulas for the natural, forced, and complete responses of all 3 kinds of circuits are already derived and laid out in the lab manual with most of the derivations shown. The procedure laid out in the manual is also extremely detailed and covers 8 pages and very clearly explains how to build each circuit and where/how to take measurements. Does it make any sense to basically reproduce all of this and reword it? The derivations are the same ones presented in class, they would be virtual copies.

    I've emailed the lab instructor asking for more details as to what she is expecting.

    How do you usually deal with the lab write-ups when so much material is given at the onset? All together, we were given 12 pages of theory and procedure.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hopefully your lab instructor will respond with some guidelines. But in the absence of that, I think I would try to distill the information you are given down to the key points. Like for the theory of an RLC circuit, you would show the diff eqs and talk about how the energy stored is transferred back and forth between the electric field in the capacitor and the magnetic field in the inductor, and how the resistance acts as a damping element to dissipate energy via the voltage across the capacitor.

    I don't know if that helps. Try top hit the high points, and show that you've gained some intuition about what is going on by studying the equations and doing the experiements.
  4. Oct 19, 2006 #3
    Absolutely. At this point in your life, you aren't going to create a new theory for these devices. That's not what they expect when they ask you to write a "Theory" section. They want you to explain the theory, how your results matched the theory, how they differed, did your results match your expectations, etc. Just briefly describe the theory in your own words.
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