A LABORATORY MANUAL FOR INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS

by Donald E. Simanek

This laboratory manual, completed in printed form in 1998, was converted from WordPerfect to HTML, in 2004. Only the experiments that have links are completed. Introductory material, appendices, and the first semester experiments are now online. Second semester experiments will soon follow. The plan was to include student instructions and instructor's notes. Send comments to the email address at the bottom of the page. I will also include some links to related material, not necessarily in the form of lab experiments.

Notation: There's some inconsisetncy in equation styles at present, since this was a rush job. Back in 2004 HTML did not support mathematics symbols very well. Some equations are graphics, some are HTML. Some simplifications have been employed, for example: √(2A − x) is the square root of the quantity (2A − x). This is still correct style, but seldom used in textbooks these days. The ideal style for a square root is √2A − x , and one day I'll get around to converting these documents to use that form.

End of line breaks are a headache in HTML. One should always separate quantities and units by a space, as in 4.8 cm. But HTML will do a line break between the 4.8 and the cm unless one uses the non-breaking space entity between them. In many of these documents I used the simpler method of omitting the space. Likewise temperatures should have a space, as in 68 °F. But Celsius does not use the "degree" symbol: 20 C is preferred.

Also, I have not always shown algebraic quantities in italic. Someday I'll fix this. Students using word processors are not constrained by HTML limitations, and should use proper Greek letters for algebraic quantities, proper mathematical symbols and italicized equations. Some older browsers may not recognize some symbols, such as the script lower case "L" () and h/2π = ℏ (h-bar).

CONTENTS

AN INTRODUCTION TO EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS:

EXPERIMENTS:

PRELIMINARY EXPERIMENTS:

STATICS:

MECHANICS:

KINEMATICS:

DYNAMICS:

FLUID MECHANICS:

PROPERTIES OF MATTER:

THERMAL PHYSICS:

SAFETY DOCUMENT:

GASES:

VIBRATIONS AND WAVES:

LIGHT DOCUMENTS:

LIGHT EXPERIMENTS:

FIELDS:

ELECTRICITY DOCUMENTS:

ELECTRICITY EXPERIMENTS:

ELECTRONICS:

  • EL-1 The oscilloscope.
  • EL-2 Rectification.
  • EL-3 Vacuum tube characteristics, diode and triode.
  • EL-4 Vacuum tube characteristics and amplifier.
  • EL-5 Bipolar transistor amplifier.
  • EL-6 FET amplifier.
  • EL-7 Operational amplifier circuits.
  • EL-8 Power supply circuits.
MODERN PHYSICS DOCUMENTS:

  • Radiation safety and procedures.
MODERN PHYSICS:

  • MP-1 Geiger-Muller tube.
  • MP-2 Half life of a radioactive nuclide.
  • MP-3 Absorption of beta particles by aluminum.
  • MP-4 Absorption of gamma rays by lead.
  • MP-5 Specific charge of the electron.
  • MP-6 Chart of the Nuclides
APPENDIX: (See any textbook for similar material.) TABLES: (See any textbook for similar information.)

Cartoon © 2001 by John C. Holden.


For additional experiments, using newer apparatus, see the lab manual of the Physics Department, The City College of The City University of New York.


Please send all comments, criticisms, corrections, and additional ideas to the address shown at the right. When commenting on a specific document, please reference it by experiment number, file name or content.

Return to Donald Simanek's