Laboratory Write-ups: Pre-Lab Prep & Notebooks

For each laboratory experiment, you will turn in your Pre-Lab Prep and a scan of your Lab Notebook.

Pre-Labs Preparation:

Most of the laboratory experiments include pre-lab prepration. You conduct this preparation (as outlined int eh Lab Guides) in your lab notebook. Preparation for the lab experiments is critical. Preparation will most often consist of two components. The first will be done using Mathematica where you will have to predict the response of the circuits you will build in lab. The second part will be addressing laboratory preparation as called for in the specific lab-guides. As well as brought to lab preferably in your notebook and (for Mathematica code) on your laptop (or USB memory stick).
Lab-prep documents are due at midnight the evening before your lab and should be uploaded as asingle PDF file to the dropbox on D2L. Late submissions will NOT be accepted. It is very important to finish the Pre-Labs before you start the experiment.

Lab notebooks: See the example and descrpition.

This will be the primary form of documenting your laboratory experience. It should be complete and designed to capture the goals of your lab, the procedures / approaches used, your analysis and modeling of the experiemnt, the results and interpretation. By reading your lab notebook another scientist should be able to interpret what experiemnt you conducted, observe your data and follow your analysis and findings. It should contain enough information that another person could replicate your work. It will include and build on your labatoraty prep work, your mathematica code/ models, show your data, compare your data and analysis and reconcile differences.

  1. A lab notebook will provided at the beginning of the course. You should the notebook to every lab including the times you work on your final project. Do not use loose sheets. If you ever forget to bring your notebook to the lab and have to use loose sheets instead, be sure to tape or glue these into your lab book as soon as possible.
  2. Don’t skip pages. Use them all. Write in ink. Don’t erase mistakes, rather, box them and put a line through with short explanation e.g., ‘Wrong!’.  Do not tear out or remove pages.
  3. Enter the date in your notebook when you start to work each day. Use a consistent format so it is easy to find the work that was done on a given day or a given experiment.  Noting the time in your lab book for the start of specific experiments is also useful.
  4. Keep a record of your data as well as of the experimental procedure, describing what you tried, what worked and what did not work etc.
  5. Your lab book will be your main format for communicating what you did in the lab, your results, and scientifically argued conclusions. Make sure that you get your instructors input on your lab notebook during the lab.

More details about keeping a complete lab notebook are located in the following example and descrpition will be covered in lecture and at the beginning of the first lab section.

Again, your instructor will be concerned with the quality of the writing. If it is poor incomplete, your will be marked accordingly.

Scans of notebooks are due at midnight two days before your next lab and should be uploaded as asingle PDF file to the dropbox

You are encouraged to work with your partner in carrying out and analyzing the experiment, but the notebooks and writeups should be conducted independently, and each partner is expected to work through and understand all aspects of the experiment.