UBC Physics 408: Applied Optics: Laboratory Guidelines


Please adhere to the following procedures


Safety Procedures

Marks will be based on the following guidelines.


Your lab write up should be a good working record of your measurements, results, and calculations. The finished lab is not meant to be a formal writeup, but a neat copy of a working lab book, so that, say in 6 months, you could use that notebook to write up a formal report or journal article. You should spend enough time to produce a clear report that the marker can understand and follow easily. If mistakes are made, they should be neatly crossed out, not erased. Only the lab notebooks should be used.

  • At the top of each page, write the title, date and page number.
  • Record carefully everything you're doing as you do it using subtitles such as Procedure, Apparatus, Results, Analysis or Discussion, and Conclusion.
  • Document your work with schematic diagrams where necesssary
  • All original data and observations should be entered directly into the lab book. Tables and graphs must be clearly titled and the axes labelled. There is no need to repeat anything in the manual but you should make notes of what you did, with diagrams, and anything unexpected.
  • Provide a clear summary of your objective in each section
  • Answer all questions posed in the lab manual. Include units on all measurements and propagate units through all calculations. You can propagate the numbers and units separately if you so choose. Also, you can include just one example of a given class of calculation performed.
  • Include uncertainties on all measurements as well as a justification.
  • Include an error analysis of your results (i.e. propagate your errors through all calculations). In case you've forgotten how to do this look here: Error Propagation.
  • Analysis: compare your results with expected results and analyze possible sources of error. A good comprehension of the theory will be needed for this part. Where possible, suggest improvements to the methods or apparatus used.
  • Provide a conclusions section.
  • If you perform work beyond the scope of the lab, bonus marks may be awarded.