PHYS 1205: Physics Laboratory II

In this five-day lab course, students perform experiments illustrating the principles learned in PHYS 1203.

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.
  • Set up and analyze simple electric circuits.
  • Determine the decay constant for RC curcuits.
  • Experimentally determine the speed of a beam of electrons in a cathode ray tube.
  • Experimentally determine the focal lengths of concave and convex lenses and mirrors.
  • Use interference patterns to determine the wave lengths of various types of waves.

Course topics

  • Lab 1: Radioactive Decay
  • Lab 2: Radioactive Penetration
  • Lab 3: Electricity (double lab)
  • Lab 4: Capacitors and the RC Circuit
  • Lab 5: Deflection Tube
  • Lab 6: The Refraction and Dispersion of Visible Light by Prisms
  • Lab 7: Thin Lenses and Mirrors
  • Lab 8: Interference Phenomena
  • Lab 9: Hydrogen Spectra

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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