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Physics labs & reports

  1. Apr 14, 2014 #1
    Next semester I have registered for three basic, physic lab courses - mechanics, E&M, and optics. These will be the first labs I have ever done. I have purchased the lab manuals and read through the rules and procedures. I am slightly worried about the reports that I have to write during and after each lab. I was wondering if there would be any books and/or videos I could read/watch to be as ready as possible so that I can ace my labs.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Different schools require different things in the way of lab writeups for their introductory physics courses. Some want formal reports with sections for theory, data, analysis, and conclusions. Some want you to keep notebooks. Some simply provide instructions and data sheets, and a few questions to answer at the end. (At those schools, you learn how to do the whole schmear in intermediate and advanced labs.)

    What do your lab manuals say about the "rules and procedures?"
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  4. Apr 15, 2014 #3
    Is it possible to look at lab reports submitted by previous students? Does the lab book have a sample lab report in it? Have you ever taken a lab class before?

    As someone who teaches/grades a lab section, the only thing that makes students not do well on labs is simply not caring. Physics works (usually!) and so the only thing you will lose points for is not explaining it well.
  5. Apr 15, 2014 #4
    I have never done a lab before and I was unable to acquire examples of reports. I was hoping that maybe a users could share some examples of reports.
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