What Makes Things Tick?
Welcome to What Makes Things Tick? This course focuses on the phenomenon of oscillation, beginning with simple mechanical and electrical oscillators and growing progressively more complicated and interesting as the semester progresses. The goal is for you to marry theoretical understanding of phenomena with their actual manifestations in the laboratory, so you can take control of designing and conducting your own investigations.
The first few experiments are fully described in this (electronic) manual, much as experiments were described in Physics 22 (Frosh Physics Lab). In these experiments, you will come up to speed using the equipment, taking data, analyzing it carefully, and summarizing your results. Thereafter, however, you will have much more freedom to propose and conduct your own experiments using the equipment available in the laboratory. This freedom can be both liberating and terrifying! Not to worry; your instructors will help guide your investigations and offer suggestions when you are stuck. There are also plenty of suggestions and hints on the Experiments page.
The important things you need to do before showing up on the first day. Be sure to take care of these!
- Syllabus — This tells you about how you will be graded
- Schedule — This page has very important information about how the first three weeks of the course will go. Definitely read it. Now!
- Lab Notebook — Tips for how to keep a useful lab notebook
- Background Theory — A concise reminder of things you should already have learned in differential equations and which you will be using a lot in STEMs
- How to take and analyze data — Lots of good information on how to conduct and analyze your experiments
- Technical Writing — Resources for writing action plans, summaries, and technical reports