PHYS 1105: Physics Laboratory I

In this five-day lab course, students perform experiments illustrating the principles learned in PHYS 1103.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Apply experimental methodology to investigate physical phenomena.
  • Set up and use laboratory equipment to demonstrate certain aspects of mechanical physics.
  • Apply the theory of physics to experimental situations.
  • Explain differences between observed and expected results in experiments.
  • Investigate motion in straight line .
  • Investigate the conservation of thermal energy and conservation of momentum.
  • Use an oscilloscope to measure the speed of sound.
  • Measure resonance and standing waves in a string.
  • Use vector addition to add forces vectors.
  • Use Hooke’s Law and simple harmonic motion to find the spring constant of a spring.

Course topics

  • Lab 1. Measurement, Error, and Uncertainty
  • Lab 2: Graphs and Pendulums
  • Lab 3: The Lab Report and Air Track
  • Lab 4: Vector Addition of Forces
  • Lab 5. Collisions in Two Dimensions
  • Lab 6: Buoyancy and Specific Gravity
  • Lab 7: Bernoulli's Equation
  • Lab 8: Specific Heat
  • Lab 9: Hooke's Law
  • Lab 10: Standing Waves in a String

Required text and materials

Students will be required to print their own laboratory manual prior to their first day in class. Other supplies will be provided during the lab. For safety reasons, students must wear closed shoes. No open-toed shoes or sandals are permitted in the labs.


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

Students will receive a final mark out of 100. This mark is determined on the basis of lab attendance and on any lab assignments, tests, or final examinations that are assigned. All lab assignments and the final exam, if given, are at the discretion of the lab instructor. For safety orientation reasons, students are required to attend the first lab session. Students cannot miss more than two lab sessions or an incomplete grade will be assigned.

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