2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Intermediate and Advanced Labs at Carleton College
Abstract: We will provide an overview of the Carleton College physics department's laboratory curriculum from the sophomore through the senior level.  The three core courses containing experimental components are Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, both at the sophomore level, and an advanced lab course, Contemporary Experimental Physics. The sequence of experiments in each course will be discussed. In the Atomic and Nuclear course, students engage in classic experiments such as the Millikan oil drop experiment, atomic and gamma ray spectroscopy, and various radioactive decay experiments. Electricity and Magnetism labs include quantitative explorations of the relationship between surface charges and electric fields and currents and magnetic fields as well as a variety of activities focused on circuits. The Contemporary Experimental Physics course is taken by upper level students with the goal of introducing students to a variety of methods of experimental physics. Experiments include measurements of the speed of light, the Mossbauer Effect, particle decay and radio astronomy, in addition to a machine shop project.

Communication in both written and oral form is an important aspect of each lab course. We will highlight how oral presentations, written reports, and lab notebook evaluations are integrated into the labs, as well as discussing other writing activities that complement the experimental work.

Additional opportunities for students to obtain experimental experience in elective courses, such as electronics and optics, and the role of special projects with faculty will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Session: Session II - Syllabi Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Melissa Eblen-Zayas
Carleton College
Department of Physics & Astronomy
1 North College St
Northfield, MN 55057
Phone: 507-222-7838
Fax: 507-222-4384
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dwight Luhman
Carleton College