1. Lab one, Tuesday 15 September, 2009.

  • Failing to attend labs will negatively affect your course grade and evaluation. Labs are an important (and I hope fun) part of the course. We will learn skills here that you won't get a chance to practice in homework or discuss much in class.
  • The lab participation portion of your evaluation will be based almost exclusively on the degree with which you engage the material and the level of cooperation with your lab partners. I'm not that interested in "right" answers. In fact, my aim will be to sometime give you puzzles that you hopefully won't get right away. You can learn from mistakes. If I give you things you already know how to do, there's not as much of an opportunity to learn.
  • You won't always be following a strict recipe. Instead, you'll be led through some exercises, demonstrate some physical principles for yourself, and be asked to draw conclusions. I think this lab set-up is better than the more standard "cookbook" approach. However, it probably requires more active participation on the part of students.
  • Additionally, labs will give us an opportunity to try out some of the situations discussed in the textbook.
  • After completing the lab, your group should hand in a sheet with your calculations and observations. I will look over the lab "report", assign some sort of a grade (check plus, check, check minus), and hand it back to you.
  • Typical labs will be around two hours, but some may be longer.
  • Lab work will not spawn a significant amount of work beyond the two to three hours we spend together.
  • Sometime around week 7 there may be a "mini project" instead of a lab. This will be a group investigation of one of several energy-related things.