Syllabus Phys5123: Spring 1999
Methods of Experimental Physics: III
The main component of this final quarter of the sequence Physics 5121, 5122, 5123, will
be the completion of the project which you have already proposed. The instructors will
meet with you during the first few days of the quarter to discuss your needs. Additional
meetings will be arranged as needed.
In order to track your progress, you must complete a non-fictional weekly project report in which you will briefly
indicate the work you have accomplished, along with any other relevant comments. These
reports can be found on the class web page.
Keys will be signed out to students during your first meeting with the instructors,
provided they have returned all keys checked out previously. These keys will give you
access to the main lab (Room 65) and also to the room to which your project has been
Completion of Physics 5122.
The faculty member for this course is:
Walter Weyhmann (Physics 335, 624-3809, email@example.com)
Technical assistance for the laboratory is provided by:
Kurt Wick (Physics 69, 624-2831, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The teaching assistant is:
Peter Eames: (Physics S9, 624-8840,email@example.com)
Please check our WEB page (http://mxp.physics.umn.edu/) and your E-mail on a regular
basis, as it may be used for announcements.
Usually, three lectures are given per week: M, W, F, 12:20 - 13:10, in 133 Physics, but
some weeks may have fewer. The lectures will cover the following topics: light and
particle detectors, signal detection and noise, vacuum techniques and other experimental
In addition to the lectures described above, guest speakers (experts) will occasionally
be invited to describe and discuss techniques and experiments in their research areas.
There will also be tours of research laboratories and facilities. A schedule will be
Two short (15 minutes) oral project presentations will be given by each group. The
first presentation will be given in the second week of the quarter; you will need to
explain briefly the theory and background of your project and what your group expects to
accomplish in the next 8 weeks. The second presentation will be given in the final two
weeks of the quarter; the results from your project will be shown and explained.
Each student is required to give one of these presentations. Students may decide which
partner will do the first presentation and which one the second.
These presentations will be given in Phys 133 during scheduled class hours and may involve
the use of overhead transparencies.
70% of the final grades will be based on a written final report. These reports are due
on the day of the final exam, Wednesday, June 9, by noon. The quality of your oral reports
and weekly reports, together with your class attendance and participation will count for
30% of the grade. Arrangements for I's must be made before the end of classes. I's may be
given only for compelling reasons.
You must enter a lab-by-lab record of your work and data acquired in a bound record
book. Both students in a pair may use the same book so that all records are available to
both. The book must be turned in with the reports at the end of the quarter.
The final written report must be presented as a full scientific paper in the style of
Physical Review Letters (8 - 10 double spaced typewritten pages). Of course you prepare
the experiment and make the measurements together, you may analyze the data together; but
the final report containing description of the physics and of the apparatus, summary of
the data and discussion there of, conclusions and other pertinent information must be
Additional topics covered will be: FM radio, extrinsic noise and interference, lock-in
amplifiers and boxcar integrators, vacuum techniques, transmission lines, detectors, low
temperature techniques, etc.