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Princeton PHY 312 - Syllabus

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Phys 312 - Experimental Physics Spring 2010 - Princeton University Prof. Michael Romalis [email protected], Office: Jadwin 230, B21, Phone 8-5586 Lectures: Tuesday 12:30-1:20 , Room Jadwin 111 Labs: Afternoons by arrangement with TAs Webpage: TA: Richard Saldanha [email protected], office: 224 or B33C, phone: 8-4330 TA: Andrzej Zuranski [email protected], office: Jadwin 369, phone: 8-4422 Tech. Support: Jim Kukon [email protected], office: Jadwin B16 or 456, phone 8-6790 In this class you will learn a variety of experimental techniques and perform measurements illustrating concepts discussed in advanced physics classes. Each week we will have a lecture discussing general experimental and data analysis techniques, but the main focus will be on lab work, it will give you a taste of experimental physics research. Unlike freshman labs, here your goal is not to simply follow a procedure, but to interact with the apparatus as an experimental physicist. That means you should explore how it behaves under different conditions, realize if something is not working as it should, and adjust your procedure to get the most out of the experiment. It’s a different challenge than say a quantum mechanics class, but still quite a challenge. A large part of learning will take place in the labs in interactions with your instructors. You should not be shy in seeking their help. You will need to complete 5 labs working in groups of 2 or 3, each lab taking approximately two weeks. A sign-up board will be available near room Jadwin 475 to schedule your labs. You can choose any combination of labs, except that everyone has to complete the electronics lab. The departmental machine shop class can be taken as one of the labs, if you have not taken it already. If you are taking half-and-half molecular biology/physics lab, you will need to complete 2 labs (1 electronics) in the second half of the semester, attend all classes and take the final exam. Lab manuals will be available online. You will get keys for the lab rooms and can work independently, but only after getting initial instructions from the TA responsible for that lab. For labs involving radioactive sources you will need to pass an online radiation safety course and will be issued a radiation-monitoring badge. You should expect to spend about 20-30 hours per lab. A lab report will be due at the end of each two week period. The two week period begins on the date of your initial meeting with the person running the lab. Each student has to submit his or her own report. You can discuss data specifics but analysis and interpretation of data should be done independently. It is important that you share your data (or lack thereof) with the TAs early, so they can identify common mistakes before you spend a lot of time analyzing the data. It is not worth struggling to analyzing poor data if you can retake it to resolve obvious problems. By the end of the first week you should meet the TA and discuss your progress and at the end of the two week period you may want to meet again to discuss any new things you have found, as it isoften easier to show something than to write about it. Lab reports do not need to be very long, 5 to 7 pages, certainly no more than 10. They need to contain a brief summary of the physics and description of the apparatus, data plots, analysis, and a quantitative discussion of uncertainties and limitations of the experimental apparatus. To get a perfect score you need to show that you explored the experiment and optimized your data taking and analysis. This is not a writing class, you should spend more time in the lab than writing. Writing concise and informative technical reports is a challenge in itself and is not the main focus of this class. Therefore, the grade for each lab will be based 75% on the written lab report and 25% on your interaction with the TA. In addition to lab reports we will have an oral exam around midterms and a written exam during the exam week. On the oral exam you will be asked questions about the labs you have performed. The written exam at the end of the term will cover the material in the lectures and the electronics lab. The grade will be determined by lab reports 65%, oral midterm 10% and written final 25%. All 5 reports are required to pass the class. Substantially late reports will be downgraded. Approximate Lecture Schedule Date Lecture Date Lecture February 2 Introduction and electronic circuits March 23Vacuum and cryogenics February 9 Electronic circuits continued March 30 Lasers and Optics February 16 Data analysis techniques April 6 Medical physics February 23 Noise April 13 Medical physics cont. March 2 Radioactivity Aril 20 Nanofabrication March 9 High energy particle detection April 27 Particle acceleration Labs Experiment TA Description Electronics Lab (required) Mike Building a lock-in amplifier Muon Decay Andrzej Measurement of the lifetime of cosmic muons stopped in a liquid scintillator Mössbauer Richard Demonstration of the Mössbauer effect : recoilless emission and absorption of gamma rays Holography Richard Recording of photographic laser holograms β spectrum Richard Measurement of the energy spectrum of beta decay electrons Positron decay Richard Measurement of the momentum distribution of gamma rays from positron decay Photoelectric effect Andrzej Photoelectric effect: study of the photoemission ofelectrons Coulomb force Richard Test of the 1/r2 nature of the Coulomb force NMR Andrzej Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Spin echo and measurements of transverse spin relaxation time Optical pumping Andrzej Demonstration of optical pumping of Rb atoms and optical detection of magnetic resonance. Chaotic pendulum Mike Study classical chaos in a rotary pendulum Two-slit interference Mike Double-slit single photon interference measurements He-Ne Laser Mike Explore He-Ne laser with external mirrors, Sagnac effectMachine Shop TBD Three-week machine shop class, learn to use lathe, mill, drill press, etc. Testbooks There are no required textbooks for the class. A lot of the material discussed in lectures is available as handouts. However, the following textbooks will be helpful: "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill - standard reference for electronics "Building Scientific Apparatus" by Moore, Davis, Coplan – Gives a lot of practical lab

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