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Laboratory Assignments

Lab #1: Measurements

We make some basic measurements to see how mass, weight, length and time are related. Read the first chapter in the text.

• You have several objects of various shapes and sizes. Although it may seem obvious from their appearance, determine the materials from which they are made. Do this first with "every day" measuring tools, then again with the more precise tolls made available to you. Compare your measurements. You will have to refer to a table of materials properties to complete this experiment. The "Handbook of Physics and Chemistry" is available in the labs, and there are many references in the library. Your results may not match published values exactly. Explain why this is so.

Lab #2: Vectors and Forces

Look at the page labeled "Vectors" listed in the contents frame. Read this page. There are links to four parts at the bottom of the "Vectors" page. (The first chapter in your text is about vectors).

• Part 1 contains some exercises on working with vectors. Go over all of the material and do the assigned work. Be sure you understand everything presented. You can make up other examples if you need more practice. Do this before you come to lab.
• Part 2 covers the same materials Part 1 does, but uses two mathematical packages (MathCAD and Mathematica) to work the problems. Both of these software packages are on machines in the Physics Department for your use. Student versions of these packages are available at reasonable cost if you want to use them on your own computer. It's a good idea to get familiar with at least one of these packages. Part of our lab time will be spent learning how to use these programs.
• Part 3 is an experiment you can do in the lab session. Read it over before coming to lab.
• Part 4 is a tutorial on the scalar and vector products. We will use these vector operators many times. Be sure you know how to use them as well as you know how to add. A brief experiment is described in this part. You can do it most anywhere, but if you want you can use the physics labs.