Advanced Physics Laboratory - Course Homepage

PHY424/426/428/429 (A&S) and PHY327/427/428/429 (EngSci)


The Advanced Physics Lab will be open in the Spring 2021 semester, barring a complete COVID-19 lock-down. Experiments will be done in person in the Advanced Lab rooms, but assessments and interactions with lab staff will be done electronically as much as possible. Enrolment will be limited to ensure sufficient physical distancing in the lab, and the number of students in the lab at any time will be limited. Enrolments in any Advanced Lab Course (i.e. PHY 327/424/426/427/428/429) must be approved by Prof. Bailey.

Because of COVID-19 building restrictions, the lab rooms will only be open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 9:10am-4pm. Contact the technologists or the APL Coordinator if you need to come in on Monday or Wednesday.


Contact Prof. Bailey if you have any questions about the Advanced Physics Lab.


Carefully complete Preference Form available in DOCX or PDF format, and email it to the APL Coordinator at

When filling out the form, clearly indicate your schedule constraints, conflicts, and preferences so we can schedule students at specific times if necessary.

COVID-19 Safety

Students are only allowed to enter McLennan Physics if they have that same day completed and passed a University of Toronto UCheck or Offline Self-Assessment. Appropriate masks must be worn at all times when inside McLennan Physics. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must not be in the labs. Anyone with a fever or cough will be sent home.

All face-to-face contact in the lab will be minimized and physical distancing practiced.

Students will not normally be allowed to use their experiment's apparatus after the last lab period for that experiment, to ensure at least a 3-day sanitary gap between students using that apparatus.


Lab notebooks are a key tool in any research or teaching lab. Students in the Advanced Physics Lab are expected to always concurrently record their work in a bound paper notebook.

Because most help will be done remotely, keeping these notebooks complete and up-to-date will be especially important. If something isn’t working as expected, supervising professors or TAs may ask you to send them a photo of the relevant pages from your notebook to help you solve the problem. If the issue is poorly documented in your notebook, we are less able to help you efficiently.

The goal of the Advanced Physics Laboratory is for students to learn more about how to measure and model physical systems, and how to communicate that knowledge. Students have the opportunity to work on interesting challenging experiments, deepen their understanding of the underlying Physics, and to further develop laboratory, analysis, and communication skills.

Our main office is MP251 in the North Wing of McLennan Physical Labs, phone: 416-978-8803.

The official lab periods are TF9-12, but the laboratories are open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:10am-4 pm since many experiments require set-up and measurements that cannot be accomplished within one 3-hour lab session. When the lab is open, students can work on experiments outside the official lab periods, but must stay in close touch with the professor supervising their experiment. In 2020-21, students will not be allowed to work on their experiment after the due date, to allow a sanitary pause before the next student starts working on the same apparatus.

Safety is very important to everyone involved in the Advanced Physics Labs. Students must be familiar with the safety information in the Course Outline, and the safety information provided for their experiments. Students should also be familiar with the Health and Safety Web Site of the Physics Department. In particular, there is important information on Emergency Responses and Hazards you may encounter in this course. Before starting any experiment, please read the provided handout carefully, discuss any potential safety issues with the supervising professor. You must use any necessary safety equipment.

If you have any questions, or notice any mistakes or out-dated website material, please contact the Lab Coordinator: David Bailey.