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Undergraduate Laboratories

Lab Courses

Spring/Summer 2020

Summer term Engineering courses begin June 22.
Summer term Science courses begin June 29.

Labs will start during week two of each course and will be run remotely using interactive online simulations or video analysis.

Unless otherwise instructed, students will be expected to review the lab manual and complete a pre-lab portion of their report prior to their lab session. Scheduled lab sessions will provide an opportunity to remotely review the experiment and data collection procedures with a Teaching Assistant via Zoom. Reports should be submitted individually via D2L no later than one week from the beginning of the scheduled lab session.


PCS 130

PCS 125

PCS 211

PCS 213

Laboratory Expectations

Before coming to the lab, all students must download the appropriate Physics Lab Manual from the Physics Lab Website:

Students should familiarize themselves with the physics of the experiment to be performed. This requires reading the description of the experiment in the manual and appropriate sections of the textbook.


All students must also prepare the necessary tables for data acquisition and data analysis, and study the list of pre-lab questions posted on each course website. The students will be individually tested on those questions in a short 10 minute quiz at the beginning of each lab session.

Lab Groups

Unless otherwise stipulated by the course instructor, experiments are to be performed in groups of two students. (On occasion, odd numbers may require that a group of three students work together.) Both members of the group share responsibility for the writing of the report and are expected to share the workload.

Missed Labs

If a lab is missed with reason, the student is required to contact their Science or Engineering Office as soon as possible to request permission to perform a make-up lab. For more information see your Course Management Form.

Late Arrival

No student will be allowed to join their partner(s) and perform the experiment if he/she shows up more than 15 minutes after the lab has commenced.

Data Submission

At the end of each lab session each member of the group is responsible for having a record of the data acquired. All members of the group are collectively responsible for giving a copy of the data sheet to the lab instructor.

Report Submission

Unless otherwise instructed, all members of the group are collectively responsible for jointly writing one lab report.

Due date for the report submission is usually either 6 days or 1 week from the date the experiment was performed, depending on the course. However, check with your TA during the lab session for confirmation.

In most courses the lab report is to be submitted electronically via D2L. Alternative submission methods (hardcopy, etc.), if applicable for your course, will be detailed by your TA during your lab session.

To help you write a good report, check the report content guidelines at:

If any penalties are incurred (e.g. report inadequacies, late submission, plagiarism, etc.), they will apply to all members of the group.

Late Reports Submissions

A lateness penalty of 20% will be applied after the specified due-date and time (e.g. a report marked 80% will now receive 60%). This rule will be in effect for exactly one week (thus ending on the same weekday and a the same time as the original deadline).


Students should be aware that the laboratory portion of the course is required: no passing grade will be assigned unless a satisfactory mark is obtained for the lab attendance and performance of the experiments as well as the required reports.

Please remember that no one will be granted a lab exemption for work done in a previous term. Therefore, a student who is repeating the course, even if they have completed the lab in the past, needs to re-do all experiments and submit reports on all of them on time in order to obtain a passing mark for the lab component.

Reading Your Time Table

When you check your schedule on RAMSS, course information is encoded in the course number. Check your schedule each week to be sure that you go to the correct location.

For example, "PCS211-XXY" indicates that you are in Section XX of the course PCS211. The Y at the end of the code indicates whether the session is a lecture (Y=1), laboratory (Y=2), or tutorial (Y=3). Note that, for a particular course, labs and tutorials occur every other week and will typically take place in separate locations.

Personal Belongings and Electronics

Students are generally welcome to bring and use personal electronics (laptops, phones, etc.) in laboratories at their own discretion. The Department of Physics and its staff cannot be held responsible for lost or damaged personal electronics or other belongings. Students are entirely responsible for their own belongings.

At the discretion of Physics instructors or other staff, students may at times be required to power down or put away personal electronics during laboratory or tutorial sessions.