Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology

Summer A-2014                Course: PHYS 102 (001): Everyday Physics Laboratory
Credit hours:
1                                   Co-requisite: PHYS 101       Lab Schedule
Meeting Days/Time: MTWRF 1-3:50PM, Sims 205.         

Professor: Ponn Maheswaranathan
Office: Sims 213B, Phone: (803) 323- 4940
Office Hours: Before class or after class, or by appointment. 


The Physics of Everyday Phenomena, 8th Edition, Griffith, McGraw Hill publishing.
Lab handouts will be provided. 

Course Description: PHYS 102 is an introductory physics laboratory course primarily intended for non-science majors. PHYS 101, Everyday physics is a co or pre-requisite for this course. PHYS 101-102 can be used to meet the laboratory science requirement for non-science majors. Introductory physics experiments in mechanics, sound, heat, properties of matter, electricity, magnetism, and optics will be performed in the laboratory. In the lab you may work with a lab-partner but need to submit your own report. Final exam will be administered individually. Lab reports are due at the end of the lab period. 

Course Objectives:

University-Level Competency:

The Everyday Physics Laboratory course introduces students to the role of scientific reasoning in desigining and conducting  introductory physics experiments (e.g., measuring the acceleration due to gravity, investigating the energy of a cart as it moves down a track, identifying meatls by measuring their specific heats, and measuring the focal length of a lens). They will apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry during their investigations to predict outcomes and write well-reasoned conclusions. They will also be introduced to the history of scientific discovery and learn that the theories in physics evolve into laws after repeated independent experiments and evaluations. In addition they will see how the scientific advances made in a laboratory transforms into usefull technological devices (e.g., motion sensors are used to detect the presence and speed of a moving object).   

General Education Requirements:
PHYS 102
fulfill one hour of general education requirement for natural sciences. Its co or pre-requisite course PHYS 101 fulfills 3 hours of general education requirement for natural sciences. Listed below are the seven fundamental student learning outcomes for natural science courses as well as examples of how they will be fulfilled in PHYS 102.

Upon completing this course, students will be:
1. C
onversant with the following introductory physics concepts:    mechanics, sound, heat, properties of matter, electricity, magnetism, and optics. This competancy will be assessed using the final exam.   
2. Able to apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry. (e.g., experiments and investigations in the Everyday Physics Laboratory). This competancy will be assessed using the lab reports.   
3. Able to discuss the strengths and limitations of science. (e.g., experimental error and analysis in the Everyday Physics Laboratory). This competancy will be assessed using the lab reports. 
4. Able to demonstrate an understanding of the history of scientific discovery. (e.g., measuring devices are introduced in the laboratory with historical perspectives). This competancy will be assessed using the final exam.   
6. Able to communicate about scientific subjects including (lab courses only) the defense of conclusions based on one's own observations. (e.g., Everyday Physics Laboratory reports) This competancy will be assessed using the lab reports.

Writing Component: The General Education Writing Component will be incorporated into this course by requiring lab reports with conclusions for the experiments performed, at least 20 pages of writing.

Class Attendance: Attendance will be taken each lab. Good attendance & participation efforts are expected.

Student Conduct Code: The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the "Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy" in the online Student Handbook ( 

Students with Disabilities:
Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education. If you have a disability and need classroom accommodations, please contact Gena Smith, Coordinator, Services for Students with Disabilities, at 323-3290, as soon as possible. Once you have your professor notification, please tell me so that I am aware of your accommodations well before the first {test/paper/assignment}.

Syllabus change policy: The instructor will make changes to this syllabus as deemed necessary for the progression of the course.

Grading: Writing components and final are scheduled as follows: 



Laboratory Reports


Final Exam: June 6, 2014




The above total points will be used to assign a letter grade:

93%-100% = A    88%-92% = A-    85%-87% = B+   
80%-84% = B       76%-79% = B-     72%-75% = C+   
66%-71% = C      56%-65% = D        0%-55%  = F

How to write a conclusion?
* Conclusion is the most important part of your report. It is a brief summary-paragraph, about half a page, high-lighting everything. You must write your own conclusion, after completing the data collection and analysis. It must be written as the last piece and attached after data tables and graphs.  
* Conclusion should state things that are unique for your investigation which can be accomplished by including values of the experimentally determined physical quantities.  Just remember that you cannot write your conclusion without completing your experiments or investigations. General statements like "I have determined the densities of given solids" is not acceptable.
* You may start your conclusion by re-stating the purpose with appropriate changes. Then you need to briefly state (don't repeat procedure) how you conducted the experiment and collected the data. Continue this with summarizing your results (include numbers), referring to the data tables and graphs when appropriate, and answer the purpose. Then you may discuss about some of the difficulties you had, errors and their possible causes, and suggestions for improvement. Describe your reasoning using physics terminology and principles. You should explain as completely as possible what goes through your mind that leads you to your conclusion.