Department of Chemistry, Physics, & Geology

Semester: Fall 2020                   Course: PHYS 201L(003) - General Physics I Laboratory, Hybrid, Sims 205 and 207, R 8-10:50AM.
Credit hours: 
0                        Co-requisite: PHYS 201                         

Professor: Dr. Ponn Maheswaranathan (Mahes), Sims 213-B.
Virtual Office Hours: WebLink T,W,R 10 - 11:30 AM & T,R 8-9 PM, or by appointment.      
E-mail:   Cell: 803-504-9399

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

After the completion of the lab, you need to do a post-lab quiz, in the PHYS 201 BB page. This will carry 10% of the lab score. The lab report (created by inserting data tables, graphs, and conclusion in the electronic copy of the lab handout) is due through the PHYS 201L BB page, will carry 90% of the lab score.

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 wear mask and follow social distancing in the lab.

3.   The laboratory equipment will be placed in the lab-tables, 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 13 labs and write lab reports. In these lab reports, they will write conclusions, a page long for each lab, 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. 

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.

Masking Expectations: Winthrop requires that all students adhere to safety practices that will minimize the transmission of COVID-19 within the campus community. Accordingly, students are expected to engage in social distancing and wear a cloth face mask while on campus. Failure to comply with this requirement in the classroom will result in dismissal from the current class meeting. Repeated violations will be reported to the Dean of Students as a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Students with conditions that prohibit the wearing of a face mask should discuss this with their instructor and/or contact the Office of Accessibility to arrange appropriate accommodations. 

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

Lab Schedule

Lab #

Lab Dates 

Pre-Lab Video





Graphing with Excel, Remote Lab



Density Meas.

Density, Remote Lab



Vector Addition

Vectors, Remote Lab


9/24 or 10/1


Data Collection with a PC , In person for students with last name initial, A-F: 9/24 and G-Z: 10/1


9/24 or 10/1   

Forces & Friction

Friction, Remote Lab



Energy & Accel.

Energy, Remote Lab



Ballistic Pendulum

Ballistic Pendulum, Remote Lab


10/22 or 10/29


Torque, Remote Lab


10/22 or 10/29

Rotational Motion

Rotational Motion, In person for students with last name initial, A-F: 10/22 and G-Z: 10/29



Archimedes' Principle

Archimedes' Principle, Remote Lab



HL and SHM

Hooke's Law and SHM, Remote Lab



Vibrating String

Vibrating String, Remote Lab



Speed of sound in air

Speed of sound in air, Remote Lab

Please Do Course Evaluations for PHYS 201L Course Codes:  
W 2PM: 10554
W 5PM: 11079
R  8AM: 11115
Include W with your CWID. (Survey open from 11/20-12/4)

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


How to write a conclusion?

* Conclusion is the most important part of your lab write-up. It is a summary, about a page or two, depending on the number of data tables and graphs. You must write your own conclusion, after completing the data collection and analysis. The data tables and graphs must be inserted at appropriate places. The conclusion section 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.  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" 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. Then you need to discuss about some of the difficulties you had, errors and their possible causes (be specific, human error is not acceptable) 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.