Lab Reports

Please refer to the following documents for the expected format of your lab reports:


General Requirements:

  • Use the IPL Lab Report Template.
  • Use proper units (preferably SI) and proper significant figures for all quantities.
  • Write in crisp English, in essay form, but concise.
  • Type equations in equation editor.
  • Save as PDF, then submit your file to Canvas.
  • Make sure to check that you submitted the correct file.


Required Sections:

Lab Report must be well-structured, with the following sections:

  • Prelab Quiz (5 pts):
    – Complete it online before your lab.
  • Title Page:
    – Include experiment’s title, your / partner’s / TA’s names, date.
  • Abstract (1 bonus pt):
    – Write a brief and concise abstract.
  • Introduction (10 pts):
    – State motivation and goals –why you did this work and what you tried to accomplish.
    – Describe physics phenomena and include relevant equations.
    – Describe methods of study.
  • Experimental Data (25 pts):
    – For each investigation: Discuss experimental set-up.
    – Explain experimental procedure.
    – Describe how the data were collected.
    – Include all data using graphs/tables, with titles.
    – If needed, include truncated raw data into Appendix.
  • Analysis (40 pts):
    – Summarize physics concepts under investigation.
    – Discuss relation between data and theory.
    – Describe techniques used to analyze data.
    – Discuss sources/values of uncertainties in your measurement.
    – Write down main results with uncertainties.
    – Compare measured quantities to expected values.
    – Discuss if they match or not your expectations.
    – List the unaccounted factors in your analysis.
    – Argue why and how external factors may affect the results.
  • Conclusion (10 pts):
    – List physical concepts that have been investigated.
    – Summarize all main results that you obtained.
    – Discuss how external factors might have skewed the results.
    – Discuss possible improvements.
    – Keep to half a page.
  • Questions (10 pts + 3 bonus pts):
    – Answer all questions at the end of experiment in the IPL Manual.
    – Type all necessary algebra, not just the answer.
    – Honors sections must answer the extra honors question 1 & 2.
    – Honors questions 3 & 4 are worth 1 & 2 bonus points respectively.


Optional Sections:

  • Acknowledgements:
    – Acknowledge your partner, your TA.
  • References:
    – List the references that you used.