Fall 2010 - Winter 2011

Instructor: Prof. P. Di Stefano (Stirling 308A; office hours)

TAs: H. Ngo and P. Pasuthip

Also, lectures by Prof. M. Duncan

Much material for this lab and website was kindly provided by previous instructors, Profs. J. Gao and M. Chen.


The 12 weeks of the fall term will include:
  • 2 weeks of basic electronics
  • 8 weeks of main labs
  • 1 week for make up
  • 1 free week, Oct 29th
Last lab of term is Nov 26th; make up is Dec 3rd.  From Oct 22nd to the end of the Fall term, labs will run 10:30-13:30 on Fridays. Winter schedule will be 11:30-14:30 by default. 3 analyses and 1 formal are to be handed in roughly every 4 main labs. The third set of analyses, formals, and lab books, should be delivered between 11:30 and 12:00 in Henry Ngo's office (Stirling 357) on March 18th, or before then in P. Di Stefano's mailbox at the physics main office (Stirling).  Formals are to be prepared outside of class time.

There will be 6 winter labs starting Jan 14th (labs and dates).  Because some students, and an instructor, have a time conflict, we will experiment with allowing the students to start at 10:30 rather than 11:30 if they wish (students can therefore do the lab from 10:30-13:30 or from 11:30-14:30).  This measure will be in effect until further notice.


Labs will be in Stirling 404, except for first two weeks which will be in Stirling 407.


In fall, lab books of group members will be submitted for evaluation on alternating weeks based on first name. See lab schedule (link on left) for full details.

In winter, all lab books will be checked during labs, but will only be handed in for grading on a volunteer basis. However, students are still expected to follow good note-keeping practices and students must have their own copy of the data in their notebooks. Notebooks may be audited (but not directly marked) with formal and analysis work. Also, only 1 formal and 2 analyses will be handed in (topics will be announced after the 6th lab).


Content is covered in PHYSICS 251 lab book, currently in stock at Stores.  General info:
For some labs not in paper version of lab book, see attachments below.

Lab policies

  • No food or drink should be brought into lab.  Student may step out for a few minutes to eat or drink.
  • Lab bench must be kept tidy, and cleaned up at the end of each lab.
  • All manuals must be returned at the end of each lab.


  • Unexpected unavoidable absences (such as illness) should be brought to the attention of the faculty member in charge. Allowances will be made when a formal is assigned or a notebook mark given.
  • Advanced authorization is required in all other cases.
  • When a student is absent without authorization, the partner will join another group doing the same experiment for that day. The student missing the laboratory will not be able to use the partner’s data or analysis. The formal reports are assigned randomly and no account is taken of unauthorized laboratory absences. Hence a student may be assigned a formal which he/she has not done and has no access to analysis. In this case another formal will be assigned but the usual penalties apply for this case, i.e. there is a penalty for the reassigning of another formal of x0.80. In any event, no mark is awarded for analysis in the analysis binder for unauthorized absences.

Working in lab outside of scheduled times

During normal working hours, but outside of scheduled class times, students should contact Randy Myers (Stirling 408) to arrange laboratory access.

Penalties for late analyses and formals

Formals and analyses must be handed in at the start of the Friday lab (Nov 5th for the first set, Dec 10th for second set, March 18th (11:30 to 12:00 noon) for the 3rd).  They can not be handed in separately.  Penalties for unjustified tardiness are:
  • up to the following Monday noon: grade is multiplied by 0.81
  • for each subsequent period up to 24 hours: grade is again multiplied by 0.9


The material on this website is copyrighted and is for the sole use of students registered in PHYS 250. The material on this website may be downloaded for a registered student’s personal use, but shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other than students registered in PHYS 250.

Failure to abide by these conditions is a breach of copyright, and may also constitute a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate’s Academic Integrity Policy Statement.

Philippe Di Stefano,
Sep 23, 2010, 9:59 AM
Philippe Di Stefano,
Sep 24, 2010, 12:09 PM