Advanced Physics Laboratory




(updated 25 Aug.1999)


The Advanced Physics Lab provides you with an opportunity to develop your technical and manual skills and to explore new physical phenomena. You are expected to use both your hands and your head. The lab is intended to bridge the gap between the conventional undergraduate lab and a research lab. Thus you will find the experiments considerably more complex and much more comprehensive. In addition, the phenomena being studied are largely quantum phenomena. You are left much more to your own initiative in carrying out the lab than in first or second year. At the same time you are given many more resources to work with - both in the availability of much more sophisticated equipment and in staff to help you. (There is double the staff to student ratio in the Advanced Lab compared to the Second Year Lab, and half of that staff is professors.). You are strongly encouraged to make good use of the staff and demonstrators.


The people responsible for the running of this laboratory are:


William Trischuk (coordinator)814 978-8095
Steve Morris 090978-6810


Wayne Tokaruk096978-0137


Tak Sato 250 978-0669

In general, all lab staff is present in the lab for most of the official lab hours, 9am to noon Tuesday mornings, and 10am to 1pm Friday mornings. Students are encouraged to attend labs during these times. The lab is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, to allow students to spend additional time in the lab. For help at these other times, you will probably have to look for the profs or demonstrators in their offices. The academic staff members are available to help you, and to discuss your experiment and to evaluate your progress. The demonstrators provide help and do not evaluate you. Tak Sato maintains the lab equipment and is the guardian of the technical manuals.


Sept. 10Lab starts (engineering)
Sept. 14Lab starts (arts & science)
Oct. 1Expt. deadline (1st F/Y)
Oct 22Expt. deadline (2nd F/Y, 1st H)
Nov 12Expt. deadline (3rd F/Y)
Nov. 23Last Date to start expt (F)
Nov. 26Formal report deadline (F,Y)
Dec. 3Experiment deadline
Dec. 9Oral exams start (F, Y)
Jan. 4Lab starts (engineering)
Jan. 4Lab starts (arts & science)
Jan 21Expt. deadline (1st S/Y)
Feb. 11Expt. deadline (2nd S/Y, 3rd H)
Mar. 10Expt. deadline (3rd S/Y)
Mar. 21Last date to start expt (S, H, Y)
Mar. 24Formal report deadline (S, H, Y)
Mar. 31Experiment deadline
Apr. 5Oral exams start (S, H, Y)

       In order to accommodate an increased number of students in the lab this year we will be asking you to signup for experiments for a whole term in advance. This must be done by the end of the second week of term ( September 24 in the Fall and January 15 in the spring). To sign up for an experiment you must contact the prof. responsible for the experiment and check on its availability as well as its suitability in light of other experiments you may have already done and/or be planning to do. Once you have signed up for an experiment your name will be added to the sign-up page and you will have priority to use that apparatus during the three-week period you have committed to doing the experiment. If you are unable to finish the experiment in the allotted time you can discuss continuing beyond that period with the prof. responsible (subject to the usual lateness penalties) provided that no other student is starting in the following period. Every effort will be made to negotiate treaties among students when unforeseeable delays arise. The current sign-up table can be found here The dates at the top of this table are the starting dates of the three week period for which you have been signed up.


(with initials of prof and demonstrator responsible)

Marking scheme

The number of experiments required for this course is: 8 for a full course (Y ) and 4 for a half course (F/S/H). If you find an experiment which particularly interests you, and you wish to investigate it in extra detail, consult the staff member responsible, who may agree to your experiment counting as more than one experiment. This must be pre-arranged with the prof as opposed to post-arranged. The marking scheme for all the courses has three components and is:

Experiment mark 60%
Formal report(s)20%
Oral exam(s)20%

(For H, F, S labs) The experiment mark is the average of the experiment grades for the best four experiments completed. One formal report and one oral exam are required. (For Y labs) The experiment mark is the average of the experiment grades for the best eight experiments completed. Two formal reports and two oral exams are required.

Deadlines and important dates

The deadlines for various numbers of experiments to be completed and marked are:

F course 1 experiment byFriday October 1
2 experiments byFriday October 22
3 experiments byFriday November 12
4 experiments byFriday December 3
H course1 experiment byFriday October 22
2 experiments byFriday December 3
3 experiments byFriday February 11
4 experiments by Friday March 31
Y course2 experiments byFriday October 22
4 experiments byFriday December 3
6 experiments byFriday February 11
8 experiments byFriday March 31
S course 1 experiments byFriday January 21
2 experiments by Friday February 11
3 experiments byFriday March 10
4 experiments byFriday March 31

Deadlines will be adhered to and marks will be deducted for late experiments at the rate of 10 percent per week. As a reminder, deadline dates will be posted. The oral examination periods are:

Thursday December 9 to Friday December 10
Wednesday April 5 to Friday April 7

There will be a schedule for the oral exams posted the week before so you can sign up.