site under construction for Fall 2017!

Physics 480W Laboratory

Experimental Modern Physics (EMP)

Physics 480W

Primary Text: Experiments in Modern Physics, 2nd Ed., A.C. Melissinos and J. Napolitano, Academic Press, 2003.

Dr. Greg Severn, X6845, ST285

Course Description

PHYS 480W Experimental Modern Physics Units: 4, Prerequisites: PHYS 330 (Quantum Mechanics), A laboratory-based course focused on the introduction to principles of research techniques with an emphasis on modern physics. Experiments illustrate physical phenomena pertaining to core areas of physics: quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, laser physics and plasma physics. Analog and digital data acquisition instrumentation, high-resolution optical and laser technology, and phase sensitive detection technology will be explored. This course is the required writing-intensive course for physics majors and fulfills the upper-division core writing requirement. Students write papers up to professional standards required of publication in physics research journals, learn to write mathematical prose, engage in the peer review process, and learn to code LaTeX.

Guide to Course Policies, description of experiments, LaTeX stuff, and all that...

item description
experiment schedule tentative plan for semester
syllabus course intro. & class policies
tutorial nature of the coursebut what the heck is a tutorial course?
theoretical minimum the quantum minimum needed for this course
Lab Notebooksnotes on keeping lab notebooks
nmr stuff readings and instrument manuals for Pulsed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance experiments
optical pumping stuff readings and instrument manuals for Optical Pumping in Rb experiments
laser spectroscopy stuff readings and instrument manuals High resolution optical spectroscopy (in Rb :) with tunable diode lasers
plasma physics stuff readings and instrument manuals for Basics Plasma Physics experiments (not in Rb :( rather, Ar:))
DAQ stuff notes on MyDaq, LabView, etc.
LaTeX stuff software for typesetting mathematical prose
writing stuff information for authors (yes, you are an author)
graphicx stuff stuff for converting jpg's to eps files (the link LaTeX likes)
lecture stuff notes on various subjects related to our experiments
Physics 480W Undergraduate Journal of Physicstable for submissions & review(er)s

Calendar for Fa17---note due dates for submissions!

Postings for Journal Submissions (all of this will move to BB course site...probably)

Table 1: All manuscripts are received, all reviews posted, sorta like this. Final submission closing date is NOON 21 Ocwonder 2117 (yes, there will be new months then). Submit by then in order to have your paper considered for a grade. As always, submit your final paper with a cover letter as described below.
Manuscriptreferees assignedposted reviews
enumi 2nd reviewer 2nd reviewer tje
a 2 review posted review
b 7 reviewno manuscript submitted yet
c 9 posted review posted review
d 4review posted review
e 1posted review posted reviews
f 3 review posted review
g 5review no manuscript submitted yet
h 6review posted review
i 8 review posted review

Each student is required to submit a draft, a review, and a final manuscript before the given closing dates and times. Each student will be provided with a manuscript code and a referee code. These will be top secret-do NOT share them with anyone (they can be inferred in part from first author of author list....). The manuscripts will be posted here, and each referee will be required to download the paper and submit a review (using the .tex file `grading_rubric_v6m.tex', found below on the Information For 480W Authors tab on this site, and immediately below this sections) in pdf format. The editor will then post the reviews. The author will then download the submitted reviews (those from the tyrant journal editor {you know who} and from the referee assigned to the manscript) and then revise and compose a final draft for the grade. Turning in the draft, the review, or the final draft after the closing date will result in a decrement of either the paper grade or from the score attending that vague and nebulous `course participation' thing. I reserve the right to do so as `The Tyrant Journal Editor'; every one of whom has been a kind of tyrant, and I will not break the mold. So, it is in your interest to PLAY BY THE ROOLS. (Tyrants have traditionally had trouble spelling).

A NEW ROOL: Each final submission is to be accompanied by a cover letter stating your name as the author of the work, and listing the colleagues in your research group (with whom you had significant discussions about the execution of the experiment). The most important part of the cover letter is this, and I'll quote from the `information for contributors' from the Physics of Plasmas, the most important journal devoted to plasma physics research in the United States, and therefore a world standard, ANOTHER NEW ROOL: ALL EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE SHALL HENCEFORTH HAVE 480W in the subject line for EASY SEARCHING
Resubmission Process: The manuscript resubmission process proceeds through the same series of steps as the original submission. Previously submitted data will be copied forward and can be modified. Authors should submit a new cover letter and a point-by-point response to each referee [my italics]. The two may be the same, if you wish. A detailed response to the referees' comments is helpful to everyone and can significantly speed up the reviewing of your revised manuscript. As with new manuscripts, the submission of your revision is not complete until you have corrected any errors that are marked with a large red arrow and have pressed the button to complete the submission.
A `point-by-point response' to each reviewer will be almost impossible. Instead, itemize what you think were significant ones. Don't include every little `copy edit', but, as you are revising your texts this weekend, keep track of the significant changes and itemize them in a simple list. These items can be a simple and broad as, `reviewers asked for more background in the introduction: I added an indication of the connection between optical pumping and the LASER....', or, `all the sentence pathologies noted by the reviewers were considers and the each of those sentences were reworked'. Note that such a cover letter indicates that you have considered how to make changes in your manuscript. This is hugely important! Note also that drafts submitted that were significantly incomplete will submit, as a final submission, a draft which is only of `first draft quality'. So try to submit complete first drafts!
There is a letter environment in LATEX:
  ... letters ...

Each letter is a letter environment, whose argument is the name and address of the recipient. For example, you might have
 \begin{letter}{Mr. J. Coffee  \\ Dept. of Physics
      \\ University of San Diego}

The letter itself begins with the \opening command, such as \opening{Dear Tyrant Journal Editor,}. Give it a try!

Information for PHYS 480W authors

No Title

this part of the site under construction too: check back often!

The tutorial nature of the course, I mean, why do this course tutorialy?

Tutorial teaching in PHYS 480W generally involves very small groups meeting with the tutor (generally the instructor of record) once or twice a week. A list of questions is prepared to which the students respond with written out solutions, delivered discursively as well as algebraically, often festooned with cartoon figures as aids for ones understanding of the solution to the prompt. At the tutorial session, the tutor and student(s) discuss the work with a view toward mutual critical evaluation and deep down understanding. Questions and comments fly. The student is expected to piece things together for him or herself, to become critical of written materials (everything from research papers to lab manuals) so that at length the student improves at producing them. Besides being terrifying, it's kinda fun. And a lot of work.

optical pumping readings

pulsed nmr readings

Laser Spectroscopy Readings

plasma physics readings

LaTeX readings

Graphicx stuff

some of the class notes, and incomplete set which does not space the space of ...

"The life of a great scientist in his laboratory is not, as many may think, a peaceful idyll. More often, it is a bitter battle with things, with one's surroundings, and above all with oneself. A great discovery does not leap completely achieved from the brain of the scientist, as Minerva sprang, all panoplied, from the head of Jupiter; it is the fruit of accumulated preliminary work." -- Marie Curie

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.81.
summer 2017
possibly useful stuff

The course has a strong tutorial component.. But what does this mean? That there is a lot of independent reading, writing, and for that matter, thinking in this course. At some point, this differs with all students, one recognizes that 'getting the data' is really the least time intensive part of the course. Understanding the results has a much higher time cost, especially as it requires the student to 'stand and deliver' both in oral sessions, and in writing.