Course Syllabus

F22 UFO PHY2053L & PHY2004L 

COMBINED ONLINE Physics Laboratory 

Course Description

This Physics 1 Lab course offers students the experience of completing experimental investigations remotely, using similar data acquisition techniques and data analysis as students in campus-based sections. Each student will build the experimental apparatus from materials supplied by the Physics Department, and utilize a sensor cart (iOLab), which will be available to rent or purchase, to collect data for further analysis. 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 the cost of the 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


Physics, like all human endeavors, is something that is learned. Physics is practiced and advanced by a scientific community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities and is open and welcoming to everyone. I recognize the value in diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of this course. This includes, but is not limited to differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religion, and disability.

My aim is to foster an atmosphere of learning that is based on inclusion, transparency, and respect for all. I acknowledge the different needs and perspectives we bring to our common learning space and strive to provide everyone with equal access. I hope you truly believe, as I do, that by meeting the prerequisites, you belong in this physics class and are well-positioned for success.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any concerns, or with any suggestions for improving the inclusivity of this course.

Instructor Information

Dr. Sujata Krishna
Course Instructor


Contact via

Subject: 2004L -
Phone: (352) 392-3898



Purpose of Course

The purpose of this lab course is to provide students with hands-on experiments in an exploratory -inquiry-based nature that give them the opportunity to:

  • Observe and make measurements on simple mechanical 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.
  • Post  to the discussion board during each lab 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 towards 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 instructor 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 the Applied Physics 1 lecture and includes a Materials and Supply fee of $49.50 that will pay for the UF Applied Physics 1 laboratory kit. The kit consists of the disposable materials you will need to complete the course objectives.

 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 Applied Physics 1 laboratory kit.
  3. Obtain an object, like a bookshelf (example here) to serve as a sturdy ramp.

The kit will be shipped the week of September 1 (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 with a PO Box or
stationed on a US military base

Specify this information on the shipping information form linked above.

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 cart.

iOLab Purchase and Rental Options

  • PURCHASE or RENT an iOLab cart
    • Overview
    • 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 the 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. 
    3. Rental options are only available to students in the United States. MacMillan will not ship rental units to foreign addresses. Students with foreign addresses may purchase the iOLab from the UF bookstore or other resellers.

Lab Safety

Please take safety precautions while performing experiments. The materials kit includes tools with sharp edges. It is best to handle each item with care and operate the tools such that they do not pose any possible harm to you, your belongings, or to others. Please keep small parts and tools away from children or animals, as they may pose a choking hazard. Lab procedures may involve actions which could cause damage or injury if safety precautions are not followed. Do not begin building the weekly lab apparatus until you read, understand, and follow the safety precautions demonstrated in each safety video, linked on the week's lab page. Be aware of any moving parts and take precautions so that these moving parts cannot cause damage or harm. The lab kit contains lead weights, and you should wash your hands after handling the lead weights. None of the items in the kit are intended for digestion. The kit is intended for adults only.


If you need assistance regarding then contact the following
(contact info above)
Specific labs, feedback, grading TA
Shipment/issues with your lab materials kit Dr. Krishna
Troubleshooting the iOLab cart TA
Shipment or returns of iOLab cart MacMillan Student Store
Note: Dr. Krishna will mainly send out Announcements and be there for you if you have issues with the course. The TA will hold office hours and respond to you in the Discussion Board and grade you. 

Canvas Information

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

  • For issues with Canvas, please contact the UF Help Desk via email or phone: (352) 392-HELP (4357)

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 professor 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.
  • Assignment Submission Policy
    • Generally, all lab work including, iOLab data collection and discussion, and completed lab questions are due on Sundays at 11:59 pm Eastern. Acceptance of late work is consistent with university attendance policies.
    • For a foreseeable absence, it is your responsibility to identify yourself as requiring an accommodation at least one week prior to the absence. Late work submitted may not receive full credit.
  • Course Technology
    • This course will be offered through the University of Florida’s learning management system, Canvas. Students will also be required to install the iOLab software.  Students will be required to use Microsoft Excel to process data. As this is an online course, students are responsible for the working order of their technology. Computer failure and breakage and other technology issues associated with the operation of the computer are in the hands of students. Accommodations will not be made for absences due to technology issues.
  • Student Collaboration Policy
    • Your lab partners will consist of  small group  of lab partners. Students may collaborate in the experimental setup by offering tips and suggestions, but each student must collect some data using the materials found in the lab kit. The process of analyzing and making sense of the gathered data and the experiment are  all expected to be collaborative. Students will turn in group assignments by 1 student in the group submitting for all the group. You must use the discussion boards for all group communication about labs. Lab group communication is expected to be frequent throughout each week and will be evaluated based on the quality of your substantive contributions to the discussion. Your entire group may seek assistance from other groups via the shared Discussion Board for the Whole Cohort.

University Policies

  • University Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities
    • Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the Disability Resource Center. It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive and need to be provided to the instructor to allow for adequate time for implementation.
  • 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.
    • In context of this course, academic misconduct includes falsely representing the work of others as your own, reusing prior submitted work and submitting it during this term, manipulating raw data to align with expected results, using the responses of other students without attribution, and other actions which violate the understanding that submitted work is representative of your own thinking and reasoning on questions asked while completing the assigned work.
  • **Netiquette: Communication Courtesy
    • All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats. Discussion board posts are to remain on topic, and any off-topic discussions may be removed by the moderator.
    • If you are a registered student, you can read the Netiquette Guide for additional information.
  • 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. Please read the guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available. 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 the GatorEvals site. You may also view summaries of course evaluation results.
  • Attendance and Makeup Policy


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


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 the 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 group's investigations. Students may not use data from other groups or sources without the explicit approval of your instructor.
  • Data Analysis
    • Showing how data is related to theory and its predictions. This will be evaluated from the group’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. Since this class is small, think of everyone as your lab partners. 

Weekly discussion questions will accompany each lab to mediate this desired outcome of thoughtful discourse based on your experience completing laboratory exercises.

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 Eastern on the Friday before the lab is due.


Letter grades are assigned based on the total points awarded in the course and in accordance with the university policy on grades and grading. These points are indications of your achievement of the course-level learning objectives and are from the following experiences: For group assignment submissions the grade is the same for the entire group unless the instructor receives feedback from your group members of your lack of participation. In that case you may receive a zero. Individual submissions will not be accepted, you must work with your group for a group submission. 

Item Points
Completion of 9 labs
11 points per lab
Submission of Shipping Information Form (on time) 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:


























Lab Schedule

The calendar below details the dates a lab module will become available to students. Each module contains a page detailing the objectives, required materials, tips, and list of assignments to be submitted, with links.

Typically, assignments are completed during the same week and are due throughout the week. The modules are locked to ensure students are all working on the same lab at the same time to promote collaboration. Labs are not released earlier than indicated below.

This schedule may be adjusted by the instructor during the semester, as necessary. If so, you will be alerted to any impacts on assignments due soon. Assignment due date will not be brought forward without at least 1-weeks notice, though it may be pushed back.



Lab Name


Aug 30

1. Orientation and Introductions


Sep 18

Kit Arrival & Inventory Check, 

Lab 1. Practice!


Oct 9

Position and Velocity - Part 1 & 2

3 Oct 16

Velocity and Acceleration


Oct 23

Passive Forces


Oct 30

Acceleration and Force


Nov 13

Impulse and Momentum


Nov 13

Centripetal Acceleration


Nov 20

Simple Harmonic Motion


Dec 4

Standing Waves and Resonance


This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the learning opportunities in the class. Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected, and this syllabus will be updated accordingly.