Class Web Site
Course Instructor
Course Organization
Course Rules
Laboratory Manual
Lab Supervisor
Lab Sessions
Lab Make-ups
Office Hours
Pre-lab Work
Lab Work
Post-lab Work
Teaching Assistants
Useful Links

Workshop Physics for Introduction to Physics for Engineers II

Physics 1429   Spring 2012

Course Instructor: Craig Dukes
Lab Supervisor: Larry Suddarth

This is part one of a two semester laboratory sequence (1429, 1429) that is typically taken by engineering students in conjunction with Physics 1425, 2415. Every student registered in 1425 should also be registered in 1429, although Phys 1425 is a separate administed one hour credit course. The workshop includes a two hour hands-on lab where students will answer pedagogical questions and perform experiments designed to help you learn physics. The purpose of the lab course is threefold:

  • To demonstrate some important physical phenomena and concepts that complement the lecture part of the course.
  • To introduce proper laboratory procedures and teach some basic laboratory techniques.
  • To instill confidence in one's ability to take measurements and analyze and interpret data.
  • To teach you better oral and written communication skills.
  • To teach you to think for yourself and to work in groups of peers.
Most of the experiments in this workshop will utilize data sensors interfaced to a computer. We utilize PASCO’s Data Studio software, because of its powerful ability to take, present, and analyze data. We will also make frequent use of Excel. In addition, Mathcad is available on the lab computers. Pre-lab homework assignments and post-lab quizzes will be done online using WebAssign.

To measure is to know.- Lord Kelvin.

Class Web Site
Refer to the class web page for up to date information. However, announcements made in class always supersede any information given on the class web page.


We will be using WebAssign for the pre-lab homework and for the post-lab quiz.
Note that there has never been an error with a WebAssign problem. If you are having problems getting the correct answer either: (1) you are doing it incorrectly or (2) you are not using enough significant digits in intermediate results. So do not send us email messages complaining that there is an error on WebAssign. To get into WebAssign through NetBadge click on: You will connected to NetBadge and will have to log into it usuing your UVa ID and password.
WebAssign Student Guide: NOTE: Sections 1, 2, and 3.3 do not apply to UVa students; UVa folks use NetBadge to log in.
WebAssign Guide for TAs (password protected).
WebAssign Guide for the course instructor (password protected).
TA home telephone numbers (password protected).


Physics 213/215


Physics 1429 is a dependent course for Physics 1425, but it is not part of Physics 1425. It is a one-credit course with an independent grade. You must, however, be registered in a 1425 (lecture) section before SIS will allow you to register for a 1429 (workshop) section.

If you already have credit for 1425, you must still register for 1429 before SIS will allow you to sign up for a 1429 section. After you have registered for the lab, you can drop the lecture.

Course Instructor

Craig Dukes, Room 117
High Energy Physics Laboratory
Telephone: 982-5364
E-mail: craigdukes(at)
A map to my office.

Office hours and Location

Office hours are posted here. All office hours are in Physics room 220. You do not have to go to the office hour given by your TA.

Lab Supervisor

Larry Suddarth, Room 214
Physics Building
Telephone: 924-6843
E-mail: lts7x(at)

The Lab Supervisor is responsible for keeping the class rolls, setting up the experiments, and repairing damaged equipment. After the first half-week of classes (in which there are no labs), the only way to add into the course or to switch sections is through the Lab Supervisor.

Workshop Manual

Laboratory Manual Physics 1429, Spring 2012
Every student must purchase the manual for Physics 1429 at the UVa bookstore. The Laboratory Manual contains the workshop activities which you will use each week. You’will be assessed a 10% penalty if you fail to bring your manual to lab. A .pdf version of the Workshop Manual can be found here. It is for reference ONLY.

Course Organization

Your work in Physics 1429 will consist of three parts:
  • Pre-lab homework that you do online using WebAssign and that must be completed before coming to the lab.
  • The lab itself, answering all the questions and predictions, and attaching data, results, graphs, and analysis as requested with your group members that will be turned in at the end of the lab.
  • A post-lab quiz that you do online using WebAssign and that must be finished in the specified time period.
Note that no work is assigned after the lab. The labs meet during each full week of classes and are overseen by a graduate teaching assistant (commonly called a TA). The TA's responsibilities are to ensure the safety of the students, protect the equipment, provide good teaching pedagogy to help you learn as much as possible, provide additional instructions and information concerning the lab, grade your work and, together with the faculty, assign your grade.

Pre-lab work

  • Before each lab read the appropriate section of the lab manual. Particularly important is Appendix D: The Accuracy of Measurements and Significant Figures. Refer to Appendix D and apply it appropriately throughout the semester.
  • Read over the lab write-up in this manual (including the relevant appendices) to get an overview of the material.
  • Read the instructions again, but this time more carefully; highlighting the important features of the lab. Try to work through any derivations you do not understand (refer to your textbook as needed). In other words, be an active reader and study the manual.
  • Complete the pre-lab homework, which is found on the WebAssign Internet site:
    The homework is not pledged and you are encouraged to work together to understand and solve the problems. HOWEVER, you are responsible for really knowing how to work the problems. Simply “plugging numbers” into a formula or spreadsheet given to you will teach you nothing.
  • The pre-lab homework will typically be posted on the Tuesday of the week before the regularly scheduled lab. The homework is due thirty minutes before the lab (and no extension other than that described in the make-up policy will be granted).
  • You will be given several submissions to obtain the correct answer. Do not waste your submissions. Seek assistance if you are having difficulty. Remember, the homework is NOT pledged. Indeed, you are encouraged to work together. As noted earlier, though, you are expected to learn how to do the problem, not just“"work the calculator."

Lab work

  • Normally you will work in groups of three.
  • You will be assigned to a different group each week. We encourage a free exchange of ideas between group members (and also generally in the laboratory), and we expect you to share both in taking data and in operating the computer system.
  • You will turn in your lab materials as a group at the end of the period. Everyone must fill out the material asked for in the manual, but you only should turn in one set of graphs and data when you are asked to print them out. Be sure that all such printouts are well noted with the activity number and your lab partners’ names. You and your group members will not necessarily receive a common grade for the lab each week, because we will grade both your results and your answers.
  • Each lab is two hours (technically one hour and fifty minutes) long. You are expected to have vacated the room within one hour and fifty-five minutes to allow the next section to begin on time.

Post-lab work

  • The post-lab quiz IS pledged. You are allowed to use your book, notes, and manual (available in PDF form via the class web site), but you are NOT allowed to consult anyone.
  • The quiz will be posted right after the lab (at the next hour mark). It is DUE by midnight of the day of the lab. We do, however, give you a penalty-free extension until the following calendar Monday at 5 AM. This is an absolute deadline. If, for whatever reason, you do not complete the post-lab quiz on time, you will receive a zero.
  • The quizzes have a time limit of 60 minutes. Once you have started the quiz the clock is running and you cannot stop it and restart at a later time!
  • You will be given several submissions to allow you to “save” your work and to reduce the temptation to wait until the last second to hit "Submit".
  • If, for whatever reason, you cannot log onto WebAssign and open the quiz, you must contact the Course Instructor by email immediately so that the problem can be fixed by the deadline.


You will be doing twelve experiments, each nominally two hours long. The following link gives the syllabus for the course. It is subject to change and students are responsible for keeping up with any changes.


Registration in Physics 1429 will be blocked on Friday, January 21, 2012. The labs start on Monday during the semester's first full week of classes (January 24, 2012).

Once registration is blocked, Mr. Larry Suddarth (room 214 Physics building, 924-6843, lts7x(at)Virginia.EDU) will be the only person who can add you into a section of 1429.

In that first week, you must attend the section of your choice on time. If you are registered for that section, your place in that section is secure. If you do not attend or are late to your registered section, your name will be dropped from that section’s enrollment. Let us re-emphasize this point: If you are registered for a section and wish to secure your place in that section, you must attend that section on time during the first full week of classes.

After students registered for a section (who show up on time!) have been added to the roster, those who wish to add to that section will then be added if space is available. Since only 24 students may be in any given section, if more students want to add than there is space available, names will be drawn at random and added to the roster until the 24 spaces are filled. The remaining students must find other sections to attend. Note, however, that there are normally two sections being held simultaneously so that most time slots have space available for 48 students in the two sections.

In the extraordinary event that you cannot attend any sections during that first full week of classes (say due to major illness or a family emergency), please contact Mr. Suddarth as soon as possible, but absolutely before your scheduled section. Contact Mr. Suddarth regarding any problems with registration.

It is your responsibility to be registered for a workshop. If you are unable to find a workshop open that meets your schedule, go to a suitable section the first week to see if space becomes available or to see if someone will switch with you. You may need to go to several workshops before this is successful.

Lab sessions

You must enroll in one of 29 lab sessions. Note that we do not meet the first (half) week of classes.


You are expected to attend all classes. Absences will be excused only for legitimate reasons (illness, a death in your family, etc.). Pre-approval to miss a lab is only given by the course instructor prior to the lab. If you have missed a laboratory session, submit a written petition (email will suffice) to your TA explaining your situation and requesting permission to make up the lab. This request should be made within 48 hours of your scheduled lab session. Unexcused absences earn a grade of zero for that lab.

Late arrival for any lab session is very disruptive and will be penalized. After an initial five minute grace period, the TA will deduct 10% from your grade for the first ten minutes of tardiness and 15% for each successive 10-minute period (or part thereof).

Incompletes are not given for the course; if for whatever reason you cannot keep up with the course requirements, then you are expected to withdraw from the course.

Lab Make-ups

You must notify your TA of any missed lab within 48 hours of your scheduled lab session. In order to make-up the lab you must receive written permission from your TA, email is fine. All make-ups must be arranged by your TA in advance. Without prior arrangements, there will be a 50% penalty (assuming, of course, that there is even space available in the make-up session). Make-up labs are normally Thursday afternoon beginning at 4 PM. You may only make up a lab during the week that you missed it or the following week, as the lab apparatus is dismantled. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the TA has given permission and to attend the make up.

If you miss a lab for an approved reason (see Course Rules for approved reasons) and do not make up the lab until the following week, your TA should contact Mr. Suddarth for an extension for the homework and the quiz. If you take the make-up on Thursday of the regular lab week, you do not receive a time extension.


The workshop will be graded as follows:
  • The pre-lab homework is worth 20%.
  • The weekly lab is worth 40%. Your grade is based on your performance in the laboratory as evidenced by what you turn in each week.
  • The post-lab quiz is worth 40%.
No scores will be dropped. Lab scores will be curved based on your TA's students only (to take account of the different grading scales of the TAs). Final grades are determined by relative class rank, not by a predefined numerical scale. Historically, the average grade in 1429 has been between B and B+.

There will be no exams during the semester, nor any final.

How your grade was calculated can be found here.

Lab TAs

To help the students with the labs are teaching assistants (TAs) who will also grade the lab reports. If you should have a problem that cannot be resolved by the TA then do not hesitate to contact the Course Instructor.
TA home telephone numbers (password protected).
Evan Askanazi
328 Physics

Matt Childers
2023 MRS

Vimal Desai

Ahmad Elhajj

Zach Levin

Xiaopu Li
27 Physics

Linqiang Luo
107 Physics

Dien Nguyen
107 Physics

Hung Nguyen
107 Physics

Yonghang Pei


Pei Wang
107 Physics

Course Rules

Please read these course rules. By registering for this course you are agreeing to abide by these rules.

Useful links

Click here for some links to web sites of interest.

(Modified December 3, 2011)