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Advanced Lab

During the semester, students complete two laboratory projects.  The first is usually suggested by the professor and conducted with close guidance.  The second can be thought up by the student and is usually more self-directed.  Students learn to write up their project in standard scientific style, and also present their results to their classmates.  Sometimes a project begun during the advanced lab becomes a more extensive project that can be pursued in the summer or as a senior thesis.

nonlinear pendulum

Frank Lynch and Jesse Smith measure the period of a physical (non-linear) pendulum

trebouchet

Matthew Kirby and Ted Sobey test the range of their trebouchet.

sonoluminescence

Robert Poppe and Kristopher Karpstein observe sonoluminescence.

can crusher

Ashok Bhandary and Mike Quinn test their electromagnetic can crusher.

Other typical advanced lab experiments include:

Measurement of the gravitational constant, G, by the Cavendish method

The Seebeck effect and the thermocouple

Measuring the speed of sound in air, nitrogen, and helium.

Measuring the speed of light.

Observing interference and diffraction.

Measurement of the charge-mass ration of the electron, e/m.

Electron diffraction and measurement of Planck's constant

Superconductivity

Measurement of half-life of a radioactive source.

Rutherford scattering.