2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: A Course to Prepare Physics Students for the Research Laboratory
Abstract: At NC State more and more undergraduates participate in physics research, even beginning as sophomores. However, the Advanced Laboratory course, which is meant to prepare students for the research laboratory experience, is a senior-level course. Several of our faculty have urged that the students be prepared earlier and become acquainted with laboratory procedures, data acquisition and analysis and other research issues. In response we created and piloted a new sophomore-level course entitled "Instrumentation and Data Analysis for Physicists." The two-credit laboratory course meets in two 2-hour sessions per week. In the class the students work on basic electronic circuits used in the laboratory, and data acquisition using LabVIEW. There are also exercises or projects on laboratory safety, data analysis, finding research literature, reporting research results and preparing machine shop drawings. The topics were selected by surveying the research faculty. There is no text for the course and students are meant to use the web to find data on devices and applications. The students are graded by two exams, including a lab practical, their homework reports and by the quality of their laboratory notebooks. The new laboratory course is now a graduation requirement for physics majors at NC State.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: David G. Haase
Physics Department, North Carolina State University
Box 8202, NCSU
Raleigh, NC 27695-8202
Phone: 919-513-7023
and Co-Presenter(s)
Hans Hallen, and David P. Kendellen