Course Syllabus

 Physics 2 Laboratory 

Instructor Information

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Dr. Robert DeSerio
Director of Undergraduate Labs Backup Student Liaison

Mr. Charles Parks
Lab Supervisor
Materials Kit

Mr. John Mocko
IOLab Technical Support
Email | Phone: (352) 392-1690 Email  | Phone: (352) 392-0516 Email | Phone: (352) 392-0488

Weekly Lab TA Synchronous Meetings

Class Number Meeting Time TA (email address)
13258 (73FA)

Omer Haq


13259 (77BH)

Omer Haq


13260 (7821)

Omer Haq


13261 (8735)

Omer Haq


13262 (8736)

Jonathan Destefano


13263 (8737)

Jonathan Destefano


13264 (8738)

Jonathan Destefano


13265 (8739)

Jonathan Destefano


13288 (8740)

Sasank Desaraju


19747 (8742)

Sasank Desaraju


19748 (8743)

Sasank Desaraju


19756 (8744)

Sasank Desaraju


Course Description

The Physics 2 Lab online course offers students the experience to complete individual investigations remotely, using the same data acquisition techniques and data analysis as students in campus-based sections. Each student will build the experimental apparatus from materials shipped to them from the physics department (no cost to you), and utilize a sensor cart to collect data for further analysis (rental or purchase option for cart, see below). Collaboration with lab partners is required during the sense-making stage of the analysis. Some labs will differ from the campus-based sections due to cost of apparatus, although care is taken to match the learning outcomes between alternate investigations.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Basic algebra and trigonometry; manual dexterity for performing experimental procedures. 

Credits: 1 credit

Purpose of Course

The purpose of this lab course is to provide students with hands-on experiments that give them the opportunity to:

  • Observe and make measurements on simple electrical systems.
  • Practice performing quantitative analysis of those measurements in order to discover or confirm relationships among the variables involved.
  • Make predictions about similar systems and make measurements to check those predictions.
  • Relate the measurements to physical principles in order to determine material constants such as mass density or to determine fundamental constants such as the acceleration due to gravity.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify quantitative and qualitative variables in an experimental investigation,
  2. Design procedures and carry them out to measure quantitative variables systematically,
  3. Graph and analyze those measurements via linearization and regression techniques, and
  4. Interpret analysis relative to proposed theoretical principles to determine material and physical constants of the theory.

Student Expectations

This is a listing of the expectations and standards we have for students enrolled in this course:

  • Pay attention to course announcements and email.
  • Attend lab meetings scheduled at the time of your lab section to ask questions.
  • Post weekly to the discussion board and offer assistance on the boards in addition to answering the questions posed each week.
  • Have access to the required material below and work diligently to securing these materials before the first lab starts.
  • Read the lab manual and supporting lab module pages, which offer tips and videos for completing each lab.
  • Seek assistance from your TA when you need help.
  • Follow the student code of conduct, including the Honor Code, and bear witness to incidents of academic misconduct and report accordingly.

Labs will vary in length and difficulty. Since the labs are done asynchronously and you are building your own apparatus, they will take more time to complete. It will be helpful to have a workspace where you can move the apparatus for periods of time when you are focused on other tasks.

Required Course Materials

This course consists of hands-on lab experiments that complement Physics 2 lecture. The kit consists of disposable materials you will need to complete the course objectives. The kit DOES NOT INCLUDE the iOLab mentioned below. Students are responsible for obtaining an iOLab cart as well.  Students are required to:

  1. Purchase or rent an IOLab cart. See details below about options
  2. Submit a valid shipping address to receive a UF Physics 2 laboratory kit.

The kit will be shipped the week of May 16 (if not sooner) via UPS Ground. Kits returned due to incorrect or undeliverable addresses submitted to the shipping information form linked above will cause delay and added costs to students for resending at current rates. Please check that the address entered can receive packages delivered by UPS.

Students utilizing financial aid: It typically takes a week or more into the beginning of the semester for financial aid to be disbursed to student accounts. DO NOT WAIT until the disbursement to order materials. You may utilize the UF BOOKSTORE DEFERRED PAYMENT PROGRAM to order your IOLab

  • PURCHASE or RENT an iOLab cart

Purchase IOLab from the Bookstore

The IOLab is a mobile cart with sensors and probes used to collect data that you will analyze in this course. The bookstore may have these in stock. If not, see below for the next option:

Purchase or Rent the IOLab from MacMillan Student Store

  1. Go to the vendor website.
  2. Select the triangle (underneath "Format")  to reveal a drop down of rental and purchase options.



If you need assistance regarding then contact the following (contact info above)
Registration for a specific lab period Dr. Robert DeSerio
Specific labs, feedback, grading Your lab TA
Grading disputes and concerns about instructor Mr. Charles Parks
Makeup labs or extensions Mr. Charles Parks
Shipment/issues with your lab materials kit Mr. Charles Parks
Troubleshooting the IOLab cart Mr. John Mocko
Shipment or returns of IOLab cart MacMillan Student Store

Canvas Information

Canvas is the where course content, grades, and communication will reside for this course.

Course Policies

Attendance Policy: This course is completely remote, but your “attendance” is still important! Because this course is an application course, collaboration with your peers and TA is integral to your success. Timely and engaged responses to discussions and lab work will make the experience easier for everyone.  If you wait to the last minute, you may find that help is harder to find.

TAs will hold weekly synchronous lab sessions during the time slot of your lab section. The TAs will be available during this time to provide you with assistance building the lab apparatus, clarifying the procedure and analysis, review your data, and provide feedback.

Make-up Policy:  Generally, all lab work including IOLab data collection and discussion, and completed lab questions are due on Sundays at 11:59PM. Acceptance of late work is consistent with university policies that can be found at

For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence.

Course Technology:  This course will be offered through the University of Florida’s LMS, Canvas. Students will also be required to install the IOLab software.  Students will be required to use Microsoft Excel to process data. 

Lab Group Policy: Students will not have specific lab parter assignments. Students may collaborate in the experimental setup by offering tips and suggestions, but each student must collect his or her own data using the materials found in the lab kit. The process of analyzing and making sense of the gathered data and the experiment are expected to be collaborative using the discussion board forum. Students will turn in individual assignments and use the discussion boards for all communication about labs. Communication is expected to be frequent throughout each week and will be evaluated based on the quality of your substantive contributions to the discussion.

University Policies

University Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking the quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

University Policy on Academic Misconduct:  Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code at

**Netiquette: Communication Courtesy:  All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats.

COURSE EVALUATION: Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at

ATTENDANCE AND MAKE-UP POLICY: Excused absences and allowances for make-up work are consistent with university policies in the undergraduate catalog ( and require appropriate documentation.


Your overall course grade will be determined by your performance on each of the labs and on your participation on discussion boards. There are no exams in this course.

This course is taught by many instructors that may have different grading scales.  The Lab Supervisor will adjust the grades from demanding instructors upwards so that all instructors will have the same average letter grade.


You will complete 9 labs, each worth a total of 11 points. These points may be divided among submissions of data, excel workbooks, and postings to the discussion board. You will submit evidence of completing the lab in order to earn these points according to your performance and success on presenting the following laboratory elements:

Setup and data acquisition: Showing diligence in setting up apparatus, carrying out suggested procedures and measurements, and collecting raw data.  This will be evaluated by the quality and completeness of raw data sets collected and by the display of this data in tables including their physical units, or plots displaying data collected with the IOLab cart. All data submitted must come from your investigations alone. Students may not use data from other classmates or sources without the explicit approval from your instructor.

Data analysis:Showing how data is related to theory and its predictions. This will be evaluated from student’s construction of properly-labeled spreadsheet tables of theoretically-motivated derived quantities based on raw data and including units, making graphs and doing regression analysis, or other tools as instructed.

Conclusions: Showing an understanding of the physical laws involved and how they are applied.  This will be evaluated from interpretations of graphing and regression, from answers to comprehension questions and by making predictions and measurements to check those predictions. Practice academic honesty and attribute contributions of others (using names) when conclusions are informed by discussions involving other individuals.


High quality scientific discovery is often completed with colleagues, most of whom are located at different research labs across the world. This remote lab course provides students an authentic experience to collect their own data following a common procedure and use these data sets as a framework for making sense of the data and discussing scientific practice with colleagues.

Weekly discussion questions will accompany each lab to mediate this desired outcome of thoughtful discourse based on your experience completing laboratory exercises. Discussions are moderated to ensure posts remain on topic. Any harassment or inappropriate posts will be removed. After a warning, subsequent inappropriate posts will be deleted and the individual will lose access to discussion boards.

To begin discussions, each student is required to post certain data sets as described in the lab instructions or indicated in weekly announcements to the discussion board. This posting of data is due no later than 11:59PM Friday before the lab is due, however it is to your benefit to post to the discussion board earlier in the week so you can discuss it with other class members. A few discussion board tasks require two postings with the first post deadline of Friday and the second post deadline of Sunday. These are noted in the instructions of the applicable discussion boards.


Letter grades are assigned based on the total points awarded in the course. These points are indications of your achievement of the course-level learning objectives and are from the following experiences:

Completion of 9 labs                                                            11 points per lab
Timely submission of mailing address                          1 point

TOTAL                                                                                                 100 points

Your course grade will not be assigned based on a curve, but based on a percentage of the earned points to the maximum points available. This 100-point fixed scale rounded to the nearest point:



























Wk #

Release Date

Lab #

Lab Name





Orientation and Inventory Check




Electrostatics: Magic Tape




Electrostatics: Pie Plate Demonstrator




Equipotential Line Mapping




Resistance and Resistivity




RC Circuits




Magnetic Field Mapping




Distance Dependence of Magnetic Field due to a Bar Magnet




Induced EMF and Lenz's Law




Image Formation from Lens


Disclaimer:This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives.  As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity.  These changes will be communicated clearly via announcements on Canvas.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due