Undergraduate Physics Labs

Department of Physics

University of Miami


Four lab courses accompany the undergraduate lecture courses offered at the Department of Physics.

The usual lab course association is as follows:

Lab Course

Phy 106

Phy 108

Phy 208

Phy 209

Lecture Course

Phy 101

College Physics I

Phy 102

College Physics II

Phy 206

University Physics II

Phy 207

University Physics III

Clicking on a lab course designation connects to the respective syllabus, including lab-room rotation schedule and link to the pre-lab website.


Summer A Semester Labs Begin on May 21, 2018
Look in Syllabus for Lab Room Rotation


Lab Semesters

Spring and Fall semesters of the four lab courses run for ten weeks. Each lab course covers ten experiments, allowing one experiment per week.

In the Spring semester the labs begin on the Monday of the third semester week. After five lab weeks, there is a two-week lab recess overlapping its second week with the Spring break through the first half of March.

In the Fall semester the labs begin on the third week of the semester. When the Labor Day holiday falls on the third week of the semester, the holiday is compensated on the Monday of the previous week. Such occasions are prominently announced. At mid-October there is a one week Fall break and the lab schedule accommodates it. Hurricane emergencies could cause rescheduling corelated with all other classes.

Summer A and Summer B lab semesters run for four and a half weeks, each with two lab courses covering nine experiments, two per week.

Summer lab semesters usually begin on the first Monday of the respective semester.

Lab Arrangement

The lab class capacity is 18 students. Each lab course has several class sections, their number depending on the course enrollment. Each class section works on identical experimental setups prepared on nine individual benches in the lab-room.

The class is split in two students per bench. They collaborate when performing the experiment on their bench.

There is no lab-room assignment to a specific lab course. Some lab-rooms are equipped to facilitate particular experiments. The weekly change of the experimental setups necessitates a scheduled lab-room rotation.

Lab Procedures

At the beginning of the semester students should organize their access to the secured pre-lab website of their lab course. The two weeks lag of the labs beginning allows abundant time for this. The relevant links are provided on the respective syllabi web pages accessible through the table above.  Enrolled students should use as login credential their CaneLink ID# as explained on the pre-lab websites. Students on a waitlist of given lab class section who anticipate regular enrollment on a vacated spot should contact ugradlabs@physics.miami.edu with their CaneLink ID# in order to arrange the access.

Each lab course pre-lab website contains the texts of a lab advisory and the scheduled experiments (pdf format). Students are expected to get acquainted with the lab advisory and to study independently the text of the upcoming experiment before coming in class; having it printed out would be instrumental.

Students should enquire about the location of their first class either form the links provided in the table above, or from the postings at the lab-rooms (1st floor of Physics Building) and the Department's office (3rd floor of Physics Building).

In the first class session the students will meet their assigned lab instructor. The students will be introduced to the details of the lab-course and the class policies. A printed Syllabus sheet and a Lab Notebook will be distributed to each student.

The Syllabus remains in students' possession. The Lab Notebook is turned in to the instructor for grading at completion of the lab-report. It stays with the instructor until the next lab. At the beginning of the next lab, the student will receive his/her Lab Notebook back, with the previous lab-report graded.

Before each lab (beginning with experiment #1) a two-problem preparation test accompanies the study of the upcoming experiment. The access link to the problems is on the same web page line as the link to the experiment text. The aggregated equal pre-lab test credits amount to 15% of the final grade. Deadline for submitting the responses (server-enforced) is one hour before the lab start.

There will be at least four quizzes during the semester over material of passed labs (at least three quizzes for the summer semesters). The quizzes will count 15% of the final grade.

Lab Attendance

Labs run in a tight rotation schedule, with very little room for change/adjustment of experimental setups. Consequently, the attendance policy is demanding.

Showing up on the first two class sessions is of high importance, so much so that missing them leads to automatic drop of the course.

One missed lab out of ten will automatically decrease your grade by 10% of the maximum score of the lab report portion of the final grade. Two missed labs will result in a failing grade. Legitimate emergency cases should arrange for make up immediately (no reading days for labs). The lab class instructors and the labs office have to be contacted for the arrangement.


James L. Knight Physics Building, #103
Coral Gables, FL 33124
Ph: (305) 284-7139   Fax: (305) 284-4222


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