PHSX 323 -- Intermediate Physics Lab Spring 2015

Instructor: Paul Janzen
Office: CHCB 010
Office hours: TR 10:00 - 11:00, W 1:30 - 3:00, and by appointment
Phone: 243-2374
Text: Building Scientific Apparatus, 4thed. by Moore, Davis, and Coplan (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Lecture: Mondays 3:10-5:00 PM in CHCB 012
Lab: Tues 12:40-4:30 PM or Thurs 12:40-4:30 PM
Prerequisites: PHSX 217N-218N or PHSX 207N-208N
PHSX 311 (Oscillations and Waves)
Credits: 3


This is a laboratory course in the application of analog and digital electronics to experimental physics, with additional emphasis on data analysis techniques.


To introduce a variety of electronic circuits, circuit analysis and design, and measurement techniques.

To advance the ability to perform data analysis, including the propagation of uncertainties.

To begin the transition from pre-prepared laboratory apparatus to experiments that need to be designed, built, and optimized by the student.

Learning Outcomes:


At the end of Monday's lecture, a homework assignment will be given out. It will be due by 12:45 PM on the day of your next lab period. Late assignments (handed in after 12:45 PM), unless approved in advance, will automatically receive a 50% reduction. The homework assignment is designed to give you some practice in the type of calculations you will need to complete the laboratory efficiently.

Lab notebooks will be due by 5 PM Friday. One experiment, later in the course, will require a full formal write-up beyond the lab notebook.

One test will be given during the semester (April 13). In addition, there will be a written comprehensive final exam (May 14, 1:10 PM).

Laboratory Notebook: 		45%

Lab Report: 10%
Homework Assignments: 15%
Test: 10%
Final Exam: 20%

This course can be taken for a traditional letter grade only.


Add/Drop can be performed via override until February 13. Add/Drop can be performed with the instructor's and advisor's signatures until April 6. Students interested in auditing the course must choose so on or before February 13.

All students must practise academic honesty. Academic misconduct is subject to an academic penalty by the course instructor and/or a disciplinary sanction by the University. All students need to be familiar with the Student Conduct Code. The Code is available for review online at

Students with disabilities may request reasonable modifications by contacting me. The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction through collaboration between students with disabilities, instructors, and Disability Services for Students. ``Reasonable'' means the University permits no fundamental alterations of academic standards or retroactive modifications.

Tentative Course Outline

Week Laboratory Topic
1 DC circuits
2 The oscilloscope
3 Capacitors and filters
4 Diodes (and photodiodes)
5 Introduction to transistors
6 Op-amps I
7 Op-amps II
8 Speed of light (error analysis)
9 Lock-in amplifiers (noise)
10 Logic gates
11 Test
12 Computer interfacing I
13 Computer interfacing II
14 Modern physics experiment

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2008 (1.71) and then hand editing. LaTeX2HTML is copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds, and © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Paul Janzen 2015-01-26