Instructor
Prof. F. Elohim Becerra
Email: fbecerra@unm.edu
Office: P&A 19
Phone: 505 277-2673
Teaching Assistant
Randy Lafler
Email: rlafler@unm.edu
Office: P&A ---
The Junior Lab 307L is a laboratory course with experiments in modern physics for advanced undergraduate students. Students will obtain expertise in laboratory equipment, data analysis, error analysis and in writing formal reports in a scientific format. The course consists of one lecture per week and one 3-hour lab session per week. Students will perform experiments for the measurement of fundamental constants and experiments related to Modern Physics. The lectures will be focused on statistical tools and techniques for error analysis and data reduction for interpretation of the experimental results.
Pre-requisites: Calculus, Basic elements of statistics; Computational tools, Basic electronics and optics. (290 required)
Lectures will cover topics related to elements of statistics and error analysis for the proper treatment of the experimental data. See Topics for details.
You must complete 6 experiments from the list below (one every two weeks), plus the oscilloscope experiment (one week), which is mandatory. For the experiments, you will use guides from the Junior Lab manual from Prof. Michael Gold, but some experiments have been updated. The updated guides for the experiments to be followed are:
- Choose 4 experiments from the 7 below:
- Choose 2 experiments from the 3 below:
Each experiment will be scheduled for two weeks. Students need to schedule the experiments in advance to ensure availability. There will be a calendar kept by the instructor and the TA.
Additional resources
Experiments in Modern Physics (Academic Press, 2nd Edition): Adrian C. Melissinos, Jim Napolitano.
Fundamentals of Photonics 2nd Edition: E. A. Saleh, Malvin Carl Teich.
Office hours. You may arrange a meeting with the instructor via email.
TA office hours: You may also arrange a meeting with the TA via email.
Homework: There will be regular assignments related to basic statistics, error analysis, curve fitting and basic programming. The assignments will be given throughout the semester, about one per week, and will be posted in the Tentative Schedule. Assignments are due at the beginning of the class. Homework is individual; you may not copy another student's work.
Lab Notebook: You will keep a lab notebook where you will describe the experimental procedure and perform the data and error analysis. The guidelines are here: Lab notebook Guidelines.
Formal Reports: You will write two formal reports from two experiments that you performed in the laboratory. The guidelines are here: Formal Report Guidelines..
Lab reports should be typed and submitted as a word or PDF document by email with the subject “Lab Report #” followed by
the number of the lab report: 1 or.
The file name should be your last name followed by the name of the experiment.
Lab reports are individual (i.e. each person needs to submit their own).
Draft of Lab report #1 will be reviewed and returned to you to make revisions.
Published physics papers such as in Physical Review Letters, Optics Letters, etc. provide a good guide for writing your lab report.
IMPORTANT: Use your own words. Do not copy from your classmates or any other resource, including lab guides. This is considered Academic Dishonestiy. Instead, read, understand and write with your own words. Scientific papers are the product of your understanding and your own work, and not of other people's work.
Presentation: Each student will give a presentation at the end of the semester about an experiment (12 minutes+ 3 for questions). It should duscuss applications of the subject studied to science and/or technology. Some tips; more tips.
Due Dates
Date | Description |
02/27 (M) Group1 /
02/28 (T) Group2 03/02 (Th) |
Lab notebook with Experiments 1 & 2 Draft of 1st Formal Report (via email 5pm) |
03/20 (M) | 1st Formal Report (via email 5pm) |
04/03 (M) Group1 / 04/04 (T) Group2 | Lab notebook with Experiments 3 & 4 |
05/01 (M) Group1 & 2 05/03 (W) |
Lab notebook with Experiments 5 & 6 2rd Formal Report (via email 5pm) |
Late work policy: Late work within 3 days after the deadline is accepted for 50% of the grade. No grade is given after that.
Tentative list of topics that will be covered. The calendar is in the Tentative Schedule.
Additional resources
Fit straight line with unequal errors
Program examples
Lectures | Date | Subject | Reading | Homework | HW Due | Notes |
01/16 (M) | MLK (no class) | |||||
L1 | 01/23 (M) | Overview; Measurements and Uncertainties | Bevington CH1-2 | HW1 | (M) Jan 30 | |
L2 | 01/30 (M) | Probability distributions | Bevington CH1-2 | HW2 | (M) Feb 06 | |
L3 | 02/06(M) | Propagation of Errors | Bevington CH3 | HW3 | (M) Feb 13 | |
L4 | 02/13 (M) | Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) | Bevington CH4 | |||
L5 | 02/20 (M) | Fit to a straight line with MLE (I) | Bevington CH6 | HW4 | (M) Feb 27 | Equations line fit |
L6 | 02/27(M) | Weighted average. Standard error of the mean. | Melissinos CH10 | HW5 | ||
L7 | 03/6 (M) | MLE error estimation. Example, fit to a straight line | Melissinos CH10 Bevington CH6 | |||
L8 | 03/20 (M) | Fit to nonlinear functions: Linearization | Bevington CH7-8 | |||
L9 | 03/27 (M) | Fit to nonlinear functions | Bevington CH8 & 11 |