Department of Physics
|Advanced Physics Laboratory
University of Toronto
Welcome! The goals of the Advanced Physics Laboratory are to give students an opportunity to work on interesting challenging experiments, deepen their understanding of the underlying Physics, and to further develop laboratory, analysis, and communication skills.
You are left much more to your own initiative in carrying out the experiments than in earlier lab courses. At the same time you are given many more resources to work with - both more sophisticated equipment and a much higher staff-to-student ratio to help you. You are strongly encouraged to make good use of staff and demonstrators. As you become more accustomed to the format and structure of the course, we encourage you to use your imagination when solving problems. If you discover some aspect of the experiment which really interests you, or come up with some innovative way of doing the analysis, you may, with guidance from your professor, modify the exercises to suit you. We want you to have fun and we'd like to help you make the most of the opportunities in this course.
The course web-site has the most up to date manuals and information: http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~phy326.
Here are the names and contact information of the people who can help you in the Advanced Lab this semester:
|Name||MP Office||Phone (416-)||Email@physics.utoronto.ca|
|David Bailey (Coordinator) ||919, 251-A||978-4993, 978-8803 ||dbailey|
|Henry van Driel||1104B||978-4200||vandriel|
|Rob Smidrovskis||250, 127||978-0669||smid|
The professors are available to help you, to discuss your experiment, to evaluate your progress and to mark your notebooks. The demonstrators are available to help you in the laboratory only and do not evaluate your experiments. The technical staff is available to help you, maintain the lab equipment and guard the technical manuals and keys to the radioactive sources. Schedules for TAs and profs may be posted in Room 251, which also has a phone to help you contact your Professor or TA if you need help.
Professors will endeavour to respond to email inquiries from students within 2 days. If you do not receive a reply within this period, please resubmit your question(s) and/or phone (leave a message if necessary).
|ASL||DB||KP||Aperiodic structures and localization||1||239|
|C3D||NK||AS||Conductivity in less than three dimensions||2||245|
|COMP||RO||RF||Measurement of the Compton total cross section||2||245|
|ESR||NK||RF||Electron spin resonance||1||226|
|FAR||NK||AS||Faraday Waves and Oscillons (NEW)||1||239|
|FTS||HV||AF||Fourier transform spectroscopy||1||242|
|GE||RO||KP||Gamma ray spectroscopy with a germanium detector||3||245,235A|
|HALL||HV||RF||Semiconductor resistance, band gap, and Hall effect||2||239|
|HENE||HV||AF||The helium-neon laser||2||242|
|HEL||DB||KP||Helicons in metals||1||226|
|HEP||RO||AS||High energy physics||2||243|
|HTC||DB||KP||High temperature superconductors||2||239|
|KNOT||NK||AS||Knots and topological transformations in vibrating chains||2||239|
|LAUE||HV||AS||Laue back reflection of X-Rays||1||226|
|LPP||DB||AF||Linear Pulse Propagation and Dispersion||1||246|
|LTC||DB||KP||Magnetization & transition temperatures of superconductors||1||226|
|MRI||DB||RF||Earth's Field NMR and MRI (under development)||0||239|
|NEEL||HV||KP||Phase change in chromium at the Neel temperature||1||239|
|NMR||DB||RF||Nuclear magnetic resonance||1||239|
|PXR||NK||AS||Powder method of X-ray analysis||1||226|
|OPT||HV||AF||Optical Tweezers (NEW)||1||248|
|RB||HV||AF||Optical pumping of rubidium||1||242|
|RES||DB||KP||Electrical resistivity at low temperatures||1||226|
|UFF||HV||AF||Ultrafast fibre laser||1||246|
The Professor or TA for an experiment may change, locations may change, and experiments may be added or dropped during the year; check the website and whiteboard for the most up-to-date information.
All rooms are on the second floor of the North Wing of McLennan Physical Labs.
All work is due by 4 pm on the
unless alternate arrangements have been made in advance with the supervising professor.
|Jan 10 :|| 9:10-10am: First meeting in MP239,|
10:10-noon: Introduction and Data Analysis lecture,
4pm: Experiment Preference Sheets due.
|Jan 13 :|| Begin Experiment 1,|
PHY 327H and 424H students pick up Simulated Data Analysis sheets.
|Jan 20 :||Exp. 1 Progress Check|
|Jan 24 :||PHY 327H and 424H - Simulated Data Analysis assignment due.|
|Feb 1 :||Exp. 1 complete notebook due|
|Feb 10 :||Exp. 2 Progress Check|
|Feb 20-24 :||Reading Week (Lab Closed)|
|Feb 29 :||Exp. 2 complete notebook due|
|Mar 9 :||Exp. 3 Progress Check|
|Mar 19 :||Formal Report draft (2 copies) due|
|Mar 26 :||Exp. 3 complete notebook due|
|Mar 26 :||Formal Report Peer Review comments due|
|Apr 2 :||Formal Report final version due|
|Apr 2-5 :||Oral Exams|
Deadlines are at 4pm on the above days if not specified anywhere. Marks for late experiments will be reduced at the rate of 5% per business day or portion thereof, unless otherwise arranged in advance with your professor. Marks for late Formal Reports will similarly be penalized 10% per day, and and late Simulated Data Analysis assignments 25% per day. Progress checks will not be accepted late for credit, unless otherwise arranged in advance with your professor. All work must be turned in and all experiments marked before your oral exam. There will be a schedule posted a few weeks before so you can sign up for an exam time; you must sign up before the start of the oral exam period.
If you are ill or have a similar valid reason for missing a deadline or needing an extension, please contact the supervising professor or the lab coordinator as soon as possible.
The lecture in data analysis is not mandatory, but is aimed at familiarizing you with data analysis procedures in this course and to prepare you for the Simulated Data Analysis assignment due in two weeks.
The official lab-times for this course are Tuesdays 9:10-12:00 and Fridays 10:10-13:00. During these times your professor or demonstrator is most likely to be available. The lab is open Monday through Friday 9:10-17:00, excluding holidays, and you are welcome to come in at other times if it is more convenient for you. In this case, however, you should inform your professor so that you are not marked as absent for the official lab times.
In order to allow more students to have access to more experiments, we may occasionally allow two students to work in parallel on the same apparatus at alternate times, or allow experienced students to work as a pair on an experiment together to accomplish more.
You have 3 weeks to complete each experiment. We expect you to progress steadily through your experiment during these three weeks. By the end of the first week, you should have familiarized yourself with the background physics and all apparatus, made plenty of notes, plans and sketches in your notebook and attempted some preliminary measurements. By the end of the second week, you should have completed at least one data-taking run and gone through all the analysis steps at least once. By the end of the third week you should have some good data with well-understood uncertainties, and most analysis and conclusions well documented.
You must complete three experiments for this course. Each student must also complete one Formal Report, one short peer review of the other student's Formal Report draft, and pass the Oral Exam. If you are enrolled in PHY424H or PHY327H, you must also turn in a Simulated Data Analysis assignment at the beginning of the course.
The marking scheme is as follows:
|PHY 327/424||PHY 426/427/428/429|
|Experiment marks||60 %||60 %|
|Simulated Data Analysis Project||4 %|
|Formal Report and Peer Review||18 %||20 %|
|Oral exam||18 %||20 %|
Each experiment must be completed and your notebook submitted to the professor responsible before work begins on the next experiment. The mark for each experiment consists of a Progress Check Mark (5%), and an Experiment Performance Mark (95%) based on the work in the laboratory, the notebook contents and the interview with a supervising professor. Late submission of your notebook will be penalized 5% per business day or portion thereof, unless otherwise arranged in advance with your professor.
Your mark for an experiment will depend about 3/4 on how well you did your experiment and analysis, and about 1/4 on how well you document and communicate what you did though your notebook and interview. Note that when we are marking, we are interested in whether your experiments were well done. This may include getting correct results, but it may also mean doing the best job possible, even in the absence of any correct results. This course brings you closer to the real world of research, where things don't always go as planned.
A typical Experiment Performance Mark might be based on:
The actual weightings are sensitive to the nature of the experiment and circumstance. For example, if there are problems with the apparatus that are not your fault, less weight (or even zero) would be given to the quality of data and analysis. Conversely, in experiments where good data is easy to get, more weight might be given to the analysis.
Note that if you communicate poorly, you may also lose experiment marks. You can't get good marks for good work that we don't know about or can't understand!
At the beginning of the semester, students in PHY 327/424 will be assigned a set of simulated data to analyze. The data will come with a description of what data acquisition process has been simulated, and a list of properties that we wish you to measure and/or discuss. A short one or two page report on your results of this project will be due to the Course Coordinator. See the lab calendar for the exact deadline.
The Formal Report should be based on one of the first two experiments you complete. The Formal Report should follow the format of articles in journals such as Physical Review. See the course web-site for comprehensive guidelines on how to write a formal report: http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~phy326/formalguidelines.htm
We ask that students submit two paper copies of their first draft for peer review by the deadline specified in the Lab Calendar. You should not put your name on your report, but there should be an identifying number known to the Course Coordinator. The Course Coordinator will circulate one or two copies to other students in the course, chosen randomly.
Each student must read one Formal Report of the other student and make comments about the Report. These comments should be constructive and may be either typed on separate paper or written directly on the pages of the original Report. The comments should total to somewhere between 200 and 500 words (~ a couple of paragraphs). They should be given to the Course Coordinator by the deadline specified in your course Lab Calendar and then they will be forwarded to the authors of the papers. The author will receive the comments about his or her paper in time to be considered in preparing the final version of the Formal Report. The final version of the Formal Report is due by the deadline specified in your course Lab Calendar (4pm in paper copy and 11:59pm in electronic version on turnitin.com. On the same day, the hard copy will be picked up by a Marker for grading. Late submission causes the deduction of 10% of the assigned mark for every business day of the delay.
Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site.
There are many sites and guides to help you use turnitin.com effectively and efficiently; a good place to start is www.teaching.utoronto.ca/teaching/academicintegrity/turnitin.htm. The course coordinator can also help you with the process if you are having technical difficulties.
We strongly encourage all students to submit the final version of the Formal Reports using www.Turnitin.com. An identical paper copy must also be printed and handed in to the coordinator by the due date at 4pm. If you object to the use of turnitin.com for any reason, you may choose to submit only a hard-copy of your report, along with your rough work and drafts. Please speak with the Course Coordinator at least one week before the report deadline if you prefer to submit a hard copy only.
Never use sources without attribution. This includes never copying text or figures from the experiment write-up into your formal report without careful and detailed attribution.
All students will have an oral exam at the end of the course. This exam will last about 25 minutes in front of a panel of three professors and demonstrators. It will test your understanding of the experiments you have performed. You will be questioned only on the experiments on which you have actually worked. Both the experimental work and the underlying physics will be discussed. Note that the panel may not necessarily contain an expert on the experiment you are asked to discuss, so be prepared to explain the basic ideas and goals of each experiment. Bring all your lab notebooks. See the course web site for the guidelines on how to prepare for your oral exam
In attempting to maintain uniformity of standards we have agreed on the following description of equivalence between achievement and experiment grades.
A+ (median mark 95%). Outstanding work with deep insight into the physics and considerable initiative in carrying out the experiment or interpreting the results.
A/A- (median mark 85%). Excellent work with demonstrated insight into the physics and some initiative in carrying out the experiment or interpreting the results.
B (median mark 75%). A normal good job, in which the student obtains reasonable experimental results and understands the basic physics underlying the experiment.
C (median mark 65%). An adequate job, with only basic results or analysis and limited understanding.
D (median mark 55%). Marginal performance where the experiment was partially incomplete, excessive assistance was required, or a serious lack of understanding of much of the physics.
You will receive an Experiment Preference, Contact, & Schedule Sheet during the first meeting. Please fill this out and give it to the Course Coordinator by 4pm the same day. Before the next lab period, the first experiment for each student will be posted on the whiteboard in Room 251. The second and third experiments will be chosen for each student some time during the following week. Note that if there are free experiments, you are allowed to switch your choices later in the term with approval of the lab coordinator. Students in PHY424 and PHY327 must do experiments supervised by 3 different professors.
On the first day of a new experiment, you must talk to the supervising Instructor for that experiment. This is to ensure the professor knows you are actually starting the experiment and what your schedule is, and so the professor can pass on any important information. It is not uncommon for the experiment writeup to not be completely up-to-date, so it is important to talk to the professor and TA during the first lab period for an experiment.
Steady work on your experiment is vital to your success in this course. Although the lab is open Monday through Friday 9:10am-5pm, you are generally expected to be in the lab during the official times listed in your timetable. Fewer than 5 official sessions attended will result in a reduced experimental mark. Exceptions to this rule may be granted in advance by the professor supervising the experiment. Indeed, some experiments require larger individual blocks of time to complete, and cannot fit into the 2 three-hour weekly schedule. It is not uncommon for students to have a lecture that conflicts with the lab; please make sure this is indicated on your Contact & Schedule sheet and is brought to the attention of the professor supervising the experiment.
In addition to face-to-face meetings with your professor about twice per week, students must sign-in to the attendance record book. This attendance book is a loose-leaf binder in PM 251 containing personal sheets recording your attendance. You must sign in whenever you use the laboratory so that we may see that you are progressing. If you do not sign in, we will take it as an indication that you have not been working in the lab.
Notices may be posted from time to time in or just outside Room 251 or emailed to your utoronto.ca email. Please read them. You can pick up your lab books in Room 251 in the appropriate mail slot indicating the first letter of your last name. You can contact the professors outside lab hours either by e-mail or phone.
Many experiments have an associated PC set up for a particular lab. For current temporary saving your files, it is possible to use My Documents folder of the computer. To store data safely, use either a USB memory stick or the Blackboard option My Content. Don't rely on the folder My Documents as it can be used by other students and important data can be lost forever. All computers in the laboratory should have Python, MS Office, and MATLAB installed, and some may have DataStudio, Maple or other useful software. Printing in MP251 is free of charge for the materials relevant to the course.
Safety is everyone's responsibility. The staff do their utmost to ensure a safe learning environment, but in the end it is your skin. Students should always consider any potential risks involved in an experiment, e.g. those associated with the use of X-rays, radioactive sources, lasers, ultraviolet light, cryogenic fluids, high voltages, heating elements, heavy equipment, heavy metals, cutting edges, chemicals, particulate dust, intense sound, high pressure gas, or vacuum. Food and drink are not allowed in the laboratory. On the course web site there are links to the Health and Safety web site of the Physics Department, which every student should be familiar with. In particular, there is important information on Emergency Responses, Hazards you may encounter in this course, and Safety Training.
Students must use safety equipment as provided, e.g. safety & laser goggles or glasses, face-shields, gloves, and ear-protectors. If you think you are missing relevant safety equipment, please ask any of the lab staff. Sandals are not safe lab footwear.
Any student wishing to perform an experiment involving the use of an X-ray machine must wear a radiation dosimeter. These may be obtained from Rob Smidrovskis in MP 250. Dosimeters are not to be taken home, but returned to Room 250.
In the lab, you must maintain a bound laboratory notebook where you record all observations and preliminary data calculations are recorded in your own hand-writing. Your lab notebook must be in diary format. We do not permit the recording of data on loose pieces of paper. The keeping of lab records by students in the advanced lab is part of your training. We expect that your notebook will resemble that of a professional scientist or engineer.
The notebook provides both a structure for recording your experimental work and a record of that work. Thus, records and calculations made during the experiment are systematised by being written in the notebook. In a research or engineering environment, these scientific records are kept for later use.
For example, a typical research scenario is a data-run on a machine on which a group of 5 researchers work round-the-clock for two weeks. During that time, machine and experimental problems arise and are solved (or not solved), experimental details are changed, sometimes according to the original plan, but also to answer new questions posed by the data obtained. At a later time (sometimes years later) the data from this run is combined with data from other runs, final calculations are made, and a paper is submitted for publication. Months later, the paper gets returned by the journal's referee with comments requesting revisions. The original data and calculations are then used as a basis for revisions. The revised paper then gets published. Finally, ten years later, there is a patent dispute based on findings from the experiment. In the court proceedings, the original lab notes are used as evidence.
Your Advanced Lab notebook is unlikely to figure in patent fight, but a good notebook will help you do better experiments, write a better formal report, and do better on your final oral exam.
Whenever you do any work on an experiment, you must be making entries in the notebook. Often recollection of the exact sequence of happenings in the lab is helped by being able to tie the entry to a given day and time. Notebook entries thus start with a brief description of what the experiment is all about. The next entries should be jottings on your preliminary background reading and investigation. The book should then progress through records of your experimental set-up, should include data (which are both numbers and narrative) and calculations, and end in evaluations and conclusions. All these entries must be made simultaneously with the actions they describe. Thus, indications of apparatus idiosyncrasies must be written at the time the idiosyncrasies are observed, not two weeks later.
As a general rule, if your pen or pencil touches paper in the lab, that paper should be a page in your notebook, or a page (e.g. a printed plot) that will be attached to your notebook. Never erase or use whiteout in your notebook; if you make a mistake or enter incorrect data, simply cross it out but leave it legible. All documentation - the notebook, associated plots and computer files - must be kept until after the end of the course and be available to your instructor on request.
Howlong are important experimental information, and they also help you (and your professor) navigate your notebook. Recorded times are sometimes the key to solving problems.
Started experiment. Playing with equipment to see how it works.
NOTE: These preliminary calculations and graphs should always be made while the data is being accumulated. Most experimentalists do a preliminary experiment and analysis to see if it all makes sense and to determine the best way to do the experiment. Then they do what they hope is the real experiment.
For example: This experiment studied the Gretsky-Wu effect (p.34) using a dysprosium defilbulator (p.37). Calibrating the pico-amplifier was very difficult (p.38-47), and several data runs (p. 43, 46, 49) had to be discarded. Data from the successful final data run (p.53) were consistent with Meitner-Laraque theory (p.55-61) , but the Salam-Piltdown constant was measured to be 1.56+/-0.2 (p.61-62), more than 3 standard deviations from the standard literature value of 2.21485(3). The experimental uncertainty was dominated (p.64) by statistical uncertainties due to the short final data run, and the pico-amplifier calibration (p. 46, 63)
Your notebook is your complete record and thus the entry for each experiment must be long enough to allow you to fully reconstruct the experiment from the written record. Note also that organization is essential to work in the lab. It is important for you to learn to plan what you will do and write before you start doing and writing in the lab. It is also important that you organize your work so that a minimum amount of time is spent working on your notebook after you have completed your experimental (and writing) work in the lab. Most of the entries in your lab notebook should be made in the lab. It is very important that you analyze data during the experiment, and not leave it all until the end.
It does little good for you to take great data if the professor marking your notebook can't figure what you have done. The notebook should be sufficiently complete that anyone reading it will know exactly what you did, what happened and what you think it means. Note that long summaries of theory or essays on the physics involved are not expected in your notebook. Clear annotations, e.g. "This is wrong, see correct analysis on page XX", "Rough work", "Copied from Handout", are always helpful.
Last updated on 2 February 2012