Fall 2022 - PHYS 233 LA03

Physics Laboratory III (3)

Class Number: 8119

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Thu, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    PHYS 133 or PHYS 141 or ENSC 120, with a minimum grade of C-. Recommended Prerequisite: CMPT 120.



Statistical data analysis, experimental design and scientific communication, studied in the context of experiments spanning a range of physical systems. Quantitative.


This course has three main educational goals; by the end of the course, you should:  
1.  Develop skill using physical models to guide experimentation, including experimental design, analysis, and troubleshooting. 
2.  Develop an appreciation for good experimental documentation, including regular note-taking, clear graphical data visualization, and logical argument.
3.  Learn to use basic statistical methods and computer software to test theoretical claims with experimental observations.

The course is designed to help you achieve these three goals.  The first part of the course will focus on building skills in data analysis using Python. Students will engage in a number of small experiments to practice these techniques. In the second part of the course, students will perform two extended experiments to apply these techniques to a variety of physical phenomena. 

Course Delivery:

*This course is being taught face to face on campus. Students are expected to attend all scheduled lab sessions.

Modes of teaching:
·   Lecture: in-person (Tuesdays 1:30-2:20 pm in AQ 5016)
·   Laboratory: in person (Thursdays 1:30 - 5:20pm, Lab rooms: P9413 and P9423)
·   Office hours: remote, in-person (synchronous)
·   Tests: in-person (synchronous); dates: TBA


  • Laboratory notebooks 50%
  • Technical summaries 20%
  • Data analysis assignments and tests 30%



Required Text:
Measurements and Their Uncertainties: A Practical Guide to Modern Error Analysis
by Hughes and Hase

*Students can purchase text from online retailer if e-book not available at SFU Library.

*Computer and internet connection required, including: word processing (e.g. LaTeX, MS Word), data analysis (e.g. python), scanner or camera for assignment and test uploading.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students who cannot write their exam during the course's scheduled exam time must request accommodation from their instructor in writing, clearly stating the reason for this request, within one week of the final exam schedule being posted.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html