Advanced Physics Laboratory - Physics 391/392

The purpose of the advanced lab sequence is to give physics majors and minors experience in the techniques of experimental physics.  The experiments are much less structured than those performed in the introductory laboratory sequence.  The lab requires one standard experiment (see the list below for some possibilities) and a project length experiment that is determined jointly by the student and the instructor (see the syllabus above for more specifics). The onus is on the student (in collaboration with the instructor) to design a project experiment to realize the objective within the confines of the available equipment and the time duration of the semester.  A particular emphasis is placed on adapting traditional experiments to make use of computer-based data acquisition.  Students are encouraged to use spreadsheets such as Excel for data analysis and presentation.  Many of the projects incorporate aspects of computer modeling, spectral analysis, or other numerical techniques which can be realized in the MATLAB or Mathematica programming environments.  The preparation of final lab reports in HTML format rather than conventional tree-based media is encouraged.

Below is a list of some possible experiments:

  • Determination of Boltzmann‚Äôs constant by measurement of the Johnson Noise in a resistor.
  • Determination of the thermal diffusivity of rubber.
  • Ellipsometry.
  • Determining the acoustic absorptivity of a room be measureing direct and reverberant sound
  • Polarization of light: Optical rotation by sugars.
  • Track spacing of a CD.
  • Gaussian Beam Propagation.
  • Fourier Optics, Optical Image Processing, and Diffractive Optics.
  • Capacitance of liquid mixtures and the Clausius-Mossotti Relation.
  • Experiments in surface electromagnetic modes and guided optical waves.
  • Optical data link experiment.
  • Thin Film experiments using our new thermal evaporator (also NEW as of Spring '99).

AAPT2004 Audio Demos & Slides

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Contact Information

Dr. W. M. Robertson
MTSU Box X-116
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Ph. (615) 898-5837