Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology

Semester: Fall 2023                   Course: PHYS 201L - General Physics I Laboratory - Sims 205  

001: W 2-4:50, 002: W 5-7:50, 003: R 2-4:50, 004: M 2-4:50, 005: T 2-4:50.
Credit hours: 
0                        Co-requisite: PHYS 201                  Lab Schedule        

Professor: Dr. Ponn Maheswaranathan (Mahes), Sims 213-B.  
Office Hours: T,R 11-12:30 In-person (Sims 213B) and BB virtual  WebLink   T,R 3-4:30 PM or by appointment.            Cell: 803-504-9399

Textbook: College Physics, by OpenStax, Free Online Textbook,

Paper copy of the data sheet per group with all the names of the participants is due at the conclusion of the laboratory period. Individual lab report (created by inserting data tables, graphs, and conclusion (written individually) in the electronic copy of the lab handout) is due through the PHYS 201L BB page, before the beginning of the next lab period.


Guidelines for the in person laboratory: 

1.   You must read the lab-handout and the relevant materials from the textbook before the lab period and be prepared for the laboratory.

2.   You need to be socially responsible in the lab.

3.   The laboratory equipment will be placed in the lab-tables or in a cart, leave them as you found them when you leave.

4.   You need to handle the equipment carefully, giving special attention when warranted.

General Education Requirements: Listed below are the fundamental student learning objectives (1 and 2,3,4,6) for natural science courses as well as examples of how they will be fulfilled in PHYS 201 and PHYS 201L. Upon completing this course, students will be 

1. Conversant with the following classical physics concepts: mechanics (eg., kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, work, energy, power, rotational motion), fluids (eg., Archimedes’ principle, Pascal’s principle, and Bernoulli’s principle), wave motion, and sound. This competency will be assessed using homework, tests and final exam. 

2. Able to apply the scientific methodologies of inquiry. (e.g., In the co-requisite laboratory, PHYS201L, students will use scientific methods of inquiry to design and perform experiments and investigations). The students’ ability to fulfill this requirement is assessed using their lab reports. 

3. Able to discuss the strengths and limitations of science. (e.g., In the co-requisite laboratory, PHYS201L, students will use experimental error & accuracy during experimental design and data collection & analysis). The students’ ability to fulfill this requirement is assessed using their lab reports. 

4. Able to demonstrate an understanding of the history of scientific discovery. (e.g., topics and devices are introduced with historical perspectives. They will see how the scientific advances made in a laboratory transform into useful technological devices: development of the transistor from vacuum tube to silicon chip). This competency will be assessed using tests and 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., In the co-requisite laboratory, PHYS201L, students will write well-reasoned conclusions based on data and analysis of their experiments and investigations). The students’ ability to fulfill this requirement is assessed using their lab reports. 

Writing Component: The General Education Writing Component will be incorporated into this course by requiring the following writing assignment of at least 10 pages: In the co-requisite laboratory, PHYS201L, students will perform 12 labs and write lab reports. In these lab reports, they will write conclusions, for at least 10 labs, for a total of at least 10 pages of writing. The students’ ability to fulfill this requirement is assessed using their lab reports. 25% of the course grade for PHYS 201 comes from PHYS 201L. 

 Writing Center Resource: The Writing Center (Bancroft 242) provides a space where every Winthrop writer can find an interested, responsive reader. You are invited to utilize the Writing Center at a variety of stages in your writing processes: understanding assignment directions; brainstorming ideas; creating outlines; checking to see that your project specifically meets the directions specified by your instructor; exploring practical routes for revision and development; and adhering to format and style guides (e.g. APA, CBE, Chicago, and MLA). Our tutors can help you become conscious of, and proactive about, particular patterns that emerge in your written work and discuss strategies and resources you can use as you write, revise, and edit your own work. The center can also help with group work if the entire group is present. Additionally, the Writing Center website maintains a library of handouts and writing advice. To access these resources, learn more about the Writing Center tutors, and for detailed instructions on how to prepare for a tutorial, see our website: Visit to register for an account and schedule a face-to-face or online appointment. You can also call 803-323-2138 or walk in to Bancroft 242 to see if a tutor is available.

 Statement concerning course management: Any student enrolled in courses at Winthrop regardless of modality (traditional in-person, online, hybrid, telepathy, ...) is entitled access to all campus resources. These resources include, but are not limited to, admissions counseling, recreational facilities, and health, library, and academic services. Questions regarding access to these resources should be directed to the assigned academic advisor.

COVID-19 Statement: Although COVID-19 has reached an endemic phase it is still important to remain vigilant as we face a recent rise in positive cases. As socially responsible members of this community, everyone is expected to engage in daily health self-monitoring, to stay home (residence hall or off-campus housing) from on-campus class, work, or activities if they begin experiencing any COVID-related symptoms. When experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, students are expected to contact Health Services by completing the QI form in the Patient Portal and respond to the nurse who will contact them with instructions. COVID positive residential students are required to follow their QI plan for 5 days of isolation off campus so be prepared with a back-up plan as well. By acknowledgement, you agree to Winthrop’s expectations of you regarding health monitoring and reporting. 

COVID-Related Absence: Health Services will communicate with the student on what steps to take next, and if need be, the Dean of Students Office will receive absence verification for required isolation and quarantine. Students who verify their absences through the Dean of Students Office often minimize any academic impact caused by missed class time. Students retain a responsibility to communicate with instructors regarding missed work, and complete assignments in a timely manner as they are able. Regular communication with faculty is expected so that student progress in the course is not negatively impacted. Health Services will only provide dates of absence, not medical information. In person classes generally will not have a remote option; students should not expect to have remote access to the class lecture or discussion, even in the case of absence.  



Attendance policy: Winthrop’s student class attendance policy, which stipulates that “attendance” is measured by course activity participation in online and/or in-person learning modalities, will be followed. Not completing the assignments on or before due dates is considered as absence from the course.  


Please Do Course Evaluations for PHYS 201L

Course Codes:   
001, W 2PM: 10044
002, W 5PM: 10427
003, R  2PM: 10455 

004,M  2PM: 11757

005, T 2PM:  11959


Include W with your CWID.


Upon completion of the survey, using the above link you will be provided with a screen acknowledging completion of the survey. 
Please take a screen-shot of this screen, and upload it in PHYS 201 BB page.
If you come across any problems, clear the cookies from your browser and try.


How to prepare the lab report and write your own conclusion?

* During the lab, as a group, you can use the electronic copy of the lab write-up to fill in the data and insert your excel data tables and graphs, as you make them in the laboratory. You can use this copy for your lab report, but needs to write your own-individual conclusion as the last piece of the lab report.     
Conclusion is the most important part of your lab report, distinguishing you among your lab partners. It is a summary and reflection of the lab, written after completing the data collection and analysis. The conclusion is the part of the lab which is most important to check for student comprehension of the topic. Even though you do the lab and collect data as a group, you should write your own conclusion. 

* Conclusion should state things that are unique for your investigation which can be accomplished by including values of the experimentally determined physical quantities or novel experimental techniques.  Just remember that you cannot write your conclusion without completing the experiments or investigations. General statements like "I have determined the densities of given solids" and "Human Error" are not acceptable.

* 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, referring to the inserted data tables and graphs when appropriate, and answer the purpose. State things that are unique for your investigation, which can be accomplished by listing important values of the experimentally determined physical quantities or unique experimental techniques. Then you need to discuss about some of the difficulties you had, errors and their possible causes (be specific, stating just "human error" is not acceptable) and suggestions for improvement and reflections. Describe your reasoning using physics terminology and principles.