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Lab Report Requirements

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When you complete your lab reports, please include the following sections:

I. Goal: A one paragraph description of what you were trying to accomplish in the lab and how you tried to do it.

II. Procedure: A description of the experiment. This should be a summary of what you did during the experiment and why. It should be detailed enough that somebody could read this and re-create the experiment themselves. However, it shouldn’t be step-by-step instructions so you don’t have to list every little thing you did. It should only be two or three paragraphs long.

III. Data: This should include all the data you collected in the lab. Make sure to present the data in clear, readable tables. Include graphs and screenshots where appropriate but make sure they’re clearly labeled and that you explain what your data shows. This will probably be the longest section of your lab report.

IV. Calculations: This is pretty straightforward. Include all calculations you did for the lab, including your standard deviations and percent error, as appropriate. Make sure to round to the appropriate number of significant digits. Also, make sure to include any and all units and to show your work. You will not receive full credit if you don’t include units and don’t show your work.

V. Questions: Some labs may have additional questions to answer. Answer those here.

VI. Conclusions: Summarize the results of your lab. You should write a paragraph or so describing your results and whether or not they met the goals of the experiment. Calculate your percent error as follows:

and include that in your lab report. Discuss any factors that could have caused your results to be inaccurate and, if the percent error is large, explain what went wrong.

The lab should be typed, double-spaced, and in a neat, reasonably-sized font (if you’re not sure, 10 or 12 pt. Times New Roman and Arial are good choices). This also applies to your equations: modern word processors have ways to typeset equations. Make sure your report is formatted neatly and that you include the headers mentioned above – including the Roman numerals – for each section of the lab. If you’re not sure about the formatting or need help setting it up, don’t hesitate to ask.

Lab Report Requirements

When you complete your lab reports, please include the following sections:

I. Goal: A one paragraph description of what you were trying to accomplish in the lab

and how you tried to do it.

II. Procedure: A description of the experiment. This should be a summary of what you

did during the experiment and why. It should be detailed enough that somebody could

read this and re-create the experiment themselves. However, it shouldn’t be step-by-

step instructions so you don’t have to list every little thing you did. It should only be

two or three paragraphs long.

III. Data: This should include all the data you collected in the lab. Make sure to present

the data in clear, readable tables. Include graphs and screenshots where appropriate

but make sure they’re clearly labeled and that you explain what your data shows. This

will probably be the longest section of your lab report.

IV. Calculations: This is pretty straightforward. Include all calculations you did for the

lab, including your standard deviations and percent error, as appropriate. Make sure to

round to the appropriate number of significant digits. Also, make sure to include any

and all units and to show your work. You will not receive full credit if you don’t

include units and don’t show your work.

V. Questions: Some labs may have additional questions to answer. Answer those here.

VI. Conclusions: Summarize the results of your lab. You should write a paragraph or so

describing your results and whether or not they met the goals of the experiment.

Calculate your percent error as follows:

|𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 − 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒|

𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 × 100%

and include that in your lab report. Discuss any factors that could have caused your

results to be inaccurate and, if the percent error is large, explain what went wrong.

The lab should be typed, double-spaced, and in a neat, reasonably-sized font (if you’re not sure,

10 or 12 pt. Times New Roman and Arial are good choices). This also applies to your equations:

modern word processors have ways to typeset equations. Make sure your report is formatted neatly

and that you include the headers mentioned above – including the Roman numerals – for each

section of the lab. If you’re not sure about the formatting or need help setting it up, don’t hesitate

to ask.

PHY 102 Name____________________

Standing Waves on a String 1

LAB: Standing Waves on a String Objective

Students will be able to discuss wave properties using common vocabulary and they will be able to

predict the behavior of waves through varying medium and at reflective endpoints.

Materials

ü Computer with internet access

ü MS Excel or Google Sheets

ü Colored pencils or pens

ü Blank white paper

PART I-Characteristics of Waves

1. Use your own words and describe these wave characteristics rather than copying from a book or website. • Amplitude • Wavelength • Frequency • Period • Tension

2. Go the Colorado “phet” simulation site for “Waves on a String”.

https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/wave-on-a-string/latest/wave-on-a-string_en.html

3. With the O s c i l l a t e button on and with N o E n d checked, investigate waves more carefully using the A m p l i t u d e slider.

4. Make observations on how the wave behaves as the Amplitude changes using the characteristics you described in Step 1.

5. Repeat Steps 3-4 for F r e q u e n c y , T e n s i o n & D a m p i n g .

PART II-Snapshot Graphs

Y o u w i l l n e e d c o l o r e d p e n c i l s a n d a f u l l s i z e s h e e t o f b l a n k w h i t e p a p e r f o r t h i s p a r t . Y o u w i l l b e t r a c i n g a s e r i e s o f s n a p s h o t g r a p h s o n t h e c o m p u t e r .

6. Set Amplitude, Frequency and Tension on high, Damping on low. Also, have on Oscillate Timer and

Standing Waves on a String 2

No End. Use the Pause button to freeze the wave. 7. Place a blank piece of white paper on your monitor and trace the wave and the wave generator

using a chosen color from your colored pencils. Mark the green dots. This is a “S n a p s h o t G r a p h ” similar to Giancoli Figures 11-22 through 11-24; label each axis clearly!!!

8. With the simulation Paused, press the Step button (see pic below). Use the SAME piece of paper and trace the new wave including the green dots using a different color for the wave.

9. You will continue making snapshot graphs using the same piece of paper, and continue tracing the wave and the green dots until the wave generator is back in the same spot (approximately 16 “steps”). Please use colored pencils or pens to trace the waves so that each wave is a different color. You may use green for the green dots.

PART III-History Graph

Set Amplitude, Frequency and Tension on high, Damping on low. Also have on Oscillate, Timer, Rulers and No End. Use the Pause button to freeze the wave.

10. In the data table below, record the vertical position of the green ball versus time. Measure

Wave Generator Step Button

Standing Waves on a String 3

the vertical location of a green ball using the Rulers tool and the Timer to record the time. 11. With the simulation paused, press the STEP button and record the new position and time.

Continue this process until you have 25 data points. 12. Open Microsoft Excel (or another Spreadsheet program) and enter your data from the table.

Create a History graph (vertical position vs. time, similar to Giancoli Figures 11-8 and 11-9). Be sure to label your axes.

# Vertical Position of

Green Ball (cm) Time (s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

PART IV-Standing Waves

13. Investigate how waves behave when the string end is Fixed and Loose with Manual Settings. Test your ideas and write a summary on your findings. (i.e. how do waves behave differently with an open end, fixed end or loose end? Be specific).

14. Google the term standing wave. Investigate how to produce one with the simulation. Write

Standing Waves on a String 4

directions on how to use the simulation so that anyone could produce a standing wave on this website.

QUESTIONS:

1) From your simulations in Part I; Describe how the wave behaves as the Amplitude changes in terms of the characteristics used to describe waves.

2) From your simulations in Part I; Describe how the wave behaves as the Frequency changes in terms of the characteristics used to describe waves.

3) From your simulations in Part I; Describe how the wave behaves as the Tension changes in terms of the characteristics used to describe waves.

4) From your simulations in Part I; Describe how the wave behaves as the Damping changes in terms of the characteristics used to describe waves.

5) What kinds of things might affect the Amplitude of a wave? Explain your idea in terms of real life situations (i.e. earthquakes, sound).

6) Summarize the differences and similarities between Snapshot Graphs (first graph you traced) & History Graphs (second graph you made on Excel). Be specific as to what information each graph displays and their differences.

Lab Report Organization

Goal and Procedure: Should be about Standing Waves

Data & Calculations:

• Definitions in your own words of parts of a wave (part I). • Traced graph #1 (“snap shot graphs”) color coded. (part II) • Table filled out with vertical position and time. (Part III) • Graph #2 on Excel or Spreadsheet program. (Part III) • Summary of findings on fixed, vs. loose (Part IV) • Procedure to produce a standing wave with simulation (Part IV)

Questions: As usual, type the answers to the questions

Conclusion: As usual

Lab originally developed by Anita Soracco and modified by Andria Schwortz (Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester, MA).

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