Roane State Community College

Division of Mathematics and Sciences

PHYS 2110

Calculus Based Physics I Lab



         Course Type: Face to Face

         Day and Time: Thursday, 2:00-5:00

         Credit Hours: (1 of the 4 credit hours for the Physics I)

         Course Objectives:

         1. To learn and apply the scientific method for experimental evaluation of the physical concepts, theories, and laws of classical mechanics, relativity, waves, sound, and heat.

2. To do experiments using the fundamental definitions and physical laws of classical mechanics, relativity, waves, sound, and heat.

3. To gain experience with experimental techniques used in doing scientific experiments by using them to do classical mechanics, relativity, waves, sound, and heat experiments.

(Click this link for the detailed competencies)

         Learning Outcomes:

1. Conduct and experiment, collect and analyze data, and interpret results in a laboratory setting

2. Analyze, evaluate, and test a scientific hypothesis

3. Use basic scientific language and processes, and be able to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific explanations

4. Identify unifying principles and repeatable patterns in nature, the values of natural diversity, and apply them to problems or issues of a scientific nature

5. Analyze and discuss the impact of scientific discovery on human thought and behavior

         Prerequisites for the course: Math 1910 Calculus I

         Course Topics

o   Measuring Mass, Length, and Time

o   Two Dimensional Motion

o   Laws of Motion

o   Gravitational Force

o   Work and Energy

o   Impusle and Momentum

o   Simple Harmonic Motion

o   Mechanical Waves - Sound

o   Temperature and Heat

         Specific Course Requirements: Attend classes and perform lab experiments. Turn in lab reports..

         Online Help Available: Physics Help and Math Help and Additional Math Help


         Textbook: Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics by Serway and Jewett , 8th ed, Brooks/Cole Publisher, ISBN-13: 9781439048443.

         Supplementary Materials: None


         Name: Bill Murray

         Office: Roane State Oak Ridge, B-133 Cubicle F

         Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-3:25 , 4:30-4:45 and Thursday 11:00-11:30 , 12:30-2:00

click on link at right for detailed OFFICE HOURS

         Phone: 865-481-2000 ext 5235




         Assignments and Evaluations: Each experiment will be done in teams and will take one to two meetings of the class to complete. Each team will turn in a lab report one week after the completion of each experiment. Each lab report will be evaluated based on 70 points for planning and performing the experiment and 30 point for the lab report.

         Grading procedure:

Each team will earn 70 points for planning and performing an experiment unless they do

not turn in the lab report. The lab report will count 30 points or more based on the

completeness and correctness of the report. The report has six parts worth 5 points each. Points will be subtracted from the five points for missing or incorrect information and extra points will be added for information that is better than required in describing and/or explaining the experiment. The combination of the 70 points and the total of the points for the six sections of the report will be the team grade. The grade for each team member will be the team grade adjusted by the net number of points they earned or lost on the sections of the report for which they were responsible.

         Grading scale:

The final lab grade of each student will be the average of the their own grades for the assigned experiments.


         Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, Plagiarism, Cheating, Fabrication and Facilitation. Academic misconduct is prohibited. Upon identification of misconduct, an instructor has the authority to assign an F or a zero for the exercise, the examination, or the entire course. Students guilty of academic misconduct that would typically result in the grade of F for the course will not be permitted to drop the class in which the academic misconduct occurred. The instructor will contact the appropriate Division Dean who will then contact Records and request that an administrative hold be placed on the course in question. The instructor will notify the student of the appropriate due process/appeal procedure. The administrative hold will remain in place until the academic misconduct matter is concluded.


         Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services office staff. Prior to granting disability accommodations in the course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services office staff. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with the disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.



         CTAT/HELP DESK: If you are having using your course web site tools please call CTAT at 865-882-4556, M-F, 9-5 EST. For all other technical problems call Help Desk at: 865-3543000 Ext 4357.


         The Instructor reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus as long as the students are notified.

Laboratory Procedures and Learning Principles:


1. Laboratory courses are taught to students so they can learn to use the scientific method to obtain new information or evaluate the usefulness and validity of previously discovered information.

2. There are four stages in the process of learning to use the scientific method for a person's own purposes.

a.) Observing Demonstrations-Watching experimentation.

b.) Participation-Helping others in their experiments.

c.) Imitation-Doing experiments from others instructions.

d.) Creation-Doing their own experiments.

3. In this Physics lab you will be taught to do experiments using the creation method. You will be given a question or questions which you and your team must answer by first designing the experiment needed to obtain the requested results, then performing the experiment, and finally reporting the results of your experiment.

4. All professional researchers must follow one basic rule in order to obtain meaningful results in experimentation. That rule is: USE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES. You will be expected to ask for the help you need as you perform these experiments and your teacher is one of your resources but not the only resource. You will need to learn to identify and use the needed resources correctly.

5. Your grade for each experiment will be based on 100 points. You will receive 70 points for designing and performing the experiment. You will receive the other 30 points for your report of the results of the experiment.

However, if the report is not turned in you will not receive any credit for the experiment. If your results do not agree with your predictions and you correctly explain what caused this to happen you will still receive full credit.

Identify the relationship or results needed.

2. Find out what relationships or results have been found by others in the past.

3. Identify the dependent variables, the independent variables and the parameters which affect the relationships or results.

4. Use a straight line transformation and the historical relationships or results discovered to graph the predicted or expected results.

a. Identify the dependent variable (DV) and the independent variable (IV) to be graphed.
b. Identify the parameters to be held constant.
c. Determine the range of the IV and DV based on the measurement and excitation equipment available.
d. Predict the results for the chosen range and produce the predicted graph.

5. Measure the IV and DV for at least five different values of the IV which cover the entire range and with reasonable intervals between successive values of the IV.

a. Use the graph of the predicted results to determine the best values of the IV to use in the measurements and to estimate the expected values of the DV to look for in your measurements.

6. Plot the measured results on the same graph with the predicted results.

7. Compare the measured results to the predicted results and use the comparison to make specific conclusions.

a. Compare the slope of the measured graph to the slope of the predicted graph and report the slope error (gain error).

b. Compare the intercept of the measured graph to the intercept of the predicted graph and report the intercept error (offset error).

c. Report the errors as percent error based on the predicted values unless the predicted value is zero. If the predicted value is zero, then report the error as the actual difference in measured and predicted values.












I. Title--What did you do?

II. Purpose and Objectives?--Purpose states why and objectives give an outline of how you did the experiment.

III. Conclusions and Recommendations--Conclusions describe what you accomplished by comparing your predicted results with your actual measured results. The stated purpose and objectives must be covered by conclusions. At least one recommendation stating an improvement which could be made to the experiment or other things which could be done with it is required.

IV. Results and Analysis of Errors--Results must be graphs of predicted and measured values which show the relationship between the dependent and independent variables and serve as proof for your conclusions. The predicted and measured results should be plotted on the same axes whenever possible. If the results can not be graphed they should be shown in tables. The Analysis of errors should be a table listing all instruments used and the inherent error associated with each one and a separate list of any errors which are not caused by the instruments.

V. Procedure--The procedure should state specifically how you did the experiment and must include drawings and diagrams to illustrate the apparatus used in the experiment.

VI. Appendices--Tables of all measured data as collected and one sample of each different calculation made to obtain the results is required. References used and acknowledgements for people who helped should also be given.



1 a. What is the relationship between the length of a simple pendulum and its period?

b. What is the relationship between the mass of a simple pendulum and its period ?

2 a. What is the relationship between position and time of flight for a projectile?

b. What is the relationship between position and initial velocity for a projectile?


3 a. What is the relationship between the force which causes the acceleration of an object and the acceleration it causes?

b. What is the relationship between the amount of matter which is accelerated by a force and the size of the resulting acceleration?

4. a. What is the value of the acceleration of gravity at this location, on this date, and at this time?

b. What is the relationship between the weight of an object and its relative location between the earth and the moon?

c. What is the relationship between the mass of an object and its relative location between the earth and the moon?


5 a. What is the relationship between the external work done on an object and its change in kinetic energy?

b. What is the relationship between the external work done on and object and its change in potential energy?

6. a. What is the relationship between the external impulse applied to and object and its change in momentum?

b. What is the relationship between the total momentum of two objects before they collide and the total momentum of two objects after they collide?

7 a. What is the relationship between the displacement of an object attached to a spring and the force causing the displacement?

b. What is the relationship between the amplitude and the period of simple harmonic motion?

c. What is the relationship between the mass and the period of simple harmonic motion?

8 a. What is the relationship between the frequency and the wavelength of a sound wave at this location, at this time, on this day?

b. What is the effect of changing the temperature on the relationship you found in the first experiment?


9. a. What is the relationship between the amount of change in temperature of and object and the specific heat of an object?

b. What is latent heat of fusion of ice?