Physics 128 – Senior Lab – Fall 2016

Meeting time: MW and TTh 1-5+ in 3223 Broida

Prof Philip Lubin

Office – 2015 C Broida

Class contact email address –


Dorsett, Alex
Frey, Johnathon
Langman, Eric


Office Hours: TTh in senior lab

Class Gmail account:

Lab managers: Bob Pizzi ( and Zak Espley (

Course structure

Physics 128 is quite different that the classes and labs you have had so far. Much of it is based around becoming familiar with classic modern physics experiments and part of it is learning to do research yourself and with a small group. You will need to study and understand statistical methods of data analysis. You will have to understand the equipment you’re given, figure out what procedures to follow and what data to collect, actually collect data, analyze the data, and present it in a scientific manner. The focus of the class is NOT pencil-and-paper physics. Rather, the focus is:

  1. General lab conduct and skills; how do you walk up to an unknown piece of equipment and make it do something useful? How do you get a table of numbers out of your notebook and into a publishable graph or figure?
  2. Understanding real-world data; what’s the relationship between a “physics number” (an index of refraction, or the speed of light, or the mass of an electron), our error bar on such a number, and the procedure you’re using to measure it? This is sometimes called “statistics”, but actual statistics is only part of the story.
  3. General science-world conduct. You have to work with a partner, follow lab safety practices, keep an honest lab notebook (give carbon to lab TA’s), write concise and sensible reports, and give short slide presentations.
  4. You will be required to additionally do a CAD (computer aided design) and 3D printing project as well as a 3D digital scanning project.
  5. All your lab work must be kept on the lab server. Make a separate sub directory for your name and sub dir under your name for Lab1, Lab2 etc.
  6. Scan your data book and put it there as well. Label it (Jon Doe-Lab1…. .pdf
  7. Highly motivated students can work on independent projects with the permission and coordination of the lab faculty member (Philip Lubin).

The actual collection of experiments  offered can be found here. You will do 4 of these.

 Course intro document:
Senior Lab Intro – 128- 2016


If you end up doing observations using the LCOGT BOS telescope the Stellarium might be useful.

Stellarium – – this is very useful in planning observations.


Events and Links

Physics Department Colloquium: Tuesdays at 4:00 in Broida 1640

Astro Colloquium: Wednesdays at 4:00 in Broida 3302

Astro Lunch Colloquium: Fridays at 12:00 in Broida 3302

LCOGT Colloq usually Thur 4-5 at the LCOGT facility – BUT van to colloq leaves from Physics lot at 3:45 and you must sign up to get room on the van. Van returns you to Broida after talk.

Physics Dept Colloq schedule

Astro web event schedule

LCOGT Colloq Schedule (must sign up for van)

KITP Schedule

LCOGT – Las Cumbres Observatory

Sedgwick LCOGT Observatory

Sedgwick Weather log