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Auburn University Physics Laboratory Policy

The primary purpose for the lab component of your physics course is to provide you with the opportunity to learn, reinforce, and practice physics in a small class, hands on, user friendly environment. The emphasis in the lab is on physics concepts. Most of the concepts you will work with in lab are concepts which you will also work with in lecture. Your approach to each week’s lab should be as follows:

  • 1.

    Determine which physics concepts are involved.

  • 2.

    Study and/or review these concepts before class.

  • 3.

    Establish how the lab is going to help you become more knowledgeable regarding these concepts.

  • 4.

    Use the lab experience as an opportunity to learn, reinforce, and practice these concepts.

Do not leave the lab until you are comfortable with the concepts involved and you are confident of your ability to demonstrate your knowledge of these concepts

The key to Physics Lab is the concepts --- don’t leave lab without them!!!

  • A.


    • 1.


    • 2.

      Absences: A grade of zero will be assigned for any missed experiment. If a student knows that they will miss a lab in advance, they should

communicate the reason to their lab instructor as soon as possible. If the lab will be missed for a valid university excuse, the student may be allowed to attend another section to makeup the lab by making arrangements with the Lab Manager.

  • 3.

    Tardiness: Tardiness will not be tolerated. Students who are more than 5 minutes late to lab can expect deductions from their grades. A student who is more than 15 minutes late may be requested to work by himself if equipment is available or be denied access to the lab.

  • 4.

    Makeup Labs: After a student misses two labs and has a valid university excuse for both of the labs that were missed, the student will be allowed to makeup one of the labs. If a student misses more than two labs, the student will be allowed to makeup the following number of labs:

(# of Makeup Labs) = (# of Valid Excuses) – 1;

maximum of 3 make-up labs

Only properly documented excused absences will be approved for a makeup.

Once a student has missed their second lab, a makeup request must be made in person to the Lab Manager. All makeup requests should be turned in within 1 week of the second missed lab. Makeup labs will be periodically scheduled for Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings.



1. Labs: Students are required to bring their Textbook, Calculator, and general supplies such as pencils and paper to every lab. Not all of the labs procedures are printed in the lab manuals. In such cases, handouts will be provided. However, most of these handouts will be in the form of a Data Sheet, and the theory/procedures may not be provided. It is expected that the student will use their textbook to determine a procedure. Even if the theory/procedure is provided in the lab manual, students are still required to bring their textbooks to help clarify the theory and to help answer any question that may be asked.

2. Recitations: Students are required to bring their Textbook, Calculator, and general supplies such as pencils and paper to every Recitation. In the event that quizzes are given, students will not be allowed to share Textbooks or Calculators, and the TA will not allow a student to borrow Textbooks or Calculators.

  • C.


    • 1.

      Preparation: Each student is expected to read the entire experiment carefully before coming to the laboratory session. There is a limited

amount of time available to carry out the experiments; therefore this requires that each student be familiar with the theory and laboratory procedure before coming to the laboratory and that each student be able to work efficiently in the laboratory.

2. Laboratory Safety and Policies: Students must observe proper safety precautions in the laboratory. Any student who refuses to follow laboratory safety regulations will be asked to leave.

a) No Smoking: Smoking is not allowed in Parker Hall. Gas lines are on all floors.

05-21-05 Rev 3 C:\Users\Dave Patrick\Documents\Physics Laboratory Policy Rev 3.doc

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