I. Preparation for laboratory work
- Once the student is familiar with the assigned task and its theoretical aspects, before beginning the work he must clarify the work methodology, the operation principles of the equipment, the procedures, the purpose electrical and optical circuit elements, know what laws to verify, what relationships he/she will explore. The list of laboratory works and their descriptions can be found here.
- The student writes up a report of his/her work in the laboratory work journal. The laboratory work journal is usually an A4 or A5 format exercise book (or A4 size sheets neatly attached to a document folder), in which, according to the laboratory requirements, the student describes all the work performed in the laboratory. The title page of the journal must include the student's full name, study program, year, group, and the name of the teacher who manage laboratory works.
II. Recommendations for recording in the laboratory journal
Work shall be entered in the journal in the following order:
- Work title.
- Purpose and tasks.
- Theoretical topics reflecting the themes related to the lab. work purpose. The theoretical topics and the associated work tasks are usually provided in the methodological literature of every laboratory.
- Summary of the theoretical part, i.e., short summary of the literature: the basic laws, propositions, formulas, research, the essence of the research method, etc.
- Lab. work devices and tools. Indicate all equipment necessary for the work and their characteristics. When describing devices, you must provide the name, type (brand), and the measurement range. If the accuracy class is known, you must indicate the absolute or relative error of the device.
- The connecting circuits used in the work or the structural diagrams of the devices.
- Workflow. Briefly describe the main stages of the experiment, and the workflow.
- Measurement results. Record the measurement results in tables, note the experiment conditions, calculate the physical quantities and plot graphs: provide well-structured diagrams, oscillograms, or spectrograms, indicate the final results and evaluate their accuracy.
- Discussion of results and conclusions. The relationships and results obtained are explained on the basis of theoretical principles; the values obtained are compared with theoretical results and with the values obtained by different methods and under different conditions; the main causes of errors are identified together with ways to reduce them, and so on. Specific conclusions are formulated.
- References. List of consulted references used for preparing the laboratory work.
A part, corresponding to items 1-6, can be written in advance when preparing for laboratory work at home, and then checked in the laboratory in case there are changes in the work tasks, means or equipment. If so, then the changes are recorded in the work journal. The other items are recorded once in the laboratory.
All figures (charts, graphs, diagrams) and tables are numbered. The title is written beneath the figures and above the tables.
The list of references is compiled according to the standards governing the publication of bibliographic descriptions. The form of the basic bibliographic data depends on the specific requirements for publishing: if the number of authors of a book is three or less, their names are written at the beginning, otherwise the authors' names are written after the book title. Following that, appear the place of publishing, the name of the publisher, year of publication and the number of pages.
III. Carrying out the work, its organization and evaluation
- Once the student comes to the lab he/she must show the teacher he/she is prepared for the work and get permission to carry it out. Prior to experimental measurements, the technician or engineer will briefly check that the student knows the work methods and specify what specific tasks he/she will perform. The student must answer the teacher‘s, engineer‘s (or technician‘s) questions related to the theoretical topics and practical tasks.
- In addition, the student must submit a report to the teacher on any previous work carried out together with calculations, graphs, conclusions, and so on (if he was unable to write the report at that time.)
- If the student has not prepared for the new work at home, then he/she must prepare for it in the laboratory according to the requirements set by the laboratory staff. When the student has finished, the teacher or engineer can re-examine the student‘s readiness. If the student is well prepared, he/she will be permitted to carry out the task in extra time with another group, provided the work station in the laboratory is free.
- When carrying out laboratory work, students must comply with general safety procedures and requirements (with which they will be familiarized by laboratory staff and/or teachers during the introductory class), must not obstruct the work of their colleagues, must remain at their work station and not leave equipment switched on unattended.
- Breaks will be chosen individually.
- Questions concerning all work and organizational issues may be addressed to the laboratory staff and teachers.
- Completion of the tasks will be first certified by an engineer (or technician) signing the logbook with the word "Done." The work then goes to the teacher who evaluates the task with a grade and certifies the evaluation with his/her signature and the note „Registered“. When defending the work for the teacher, the student should be able to explain the results and their accuracy, and should know the theoretical themes. Performance of the overall task will be evaluated with a final grade, which is recorded in the work accounting table.
- If two laboratory tasks remain without defence, the student will not be permitted to carry out further work. If the student wishes to carry out the missed work with another group, he/she must obtain the teacher‘s agreement and written permission in the work journal, and negotiate a time for the work with the laboratory staff.
- If the student has not had time to complete and defend all his/her laboratory works by the end of the semester, the laboratory staff may agree to conditions for carrying them out, and the teacher may agree to conditions for their defence, provided that the student has/her shown extenuating circumstances, submitted appropriate documentation and received the required permission from the Dean's Office and/or department chairs. In all other cases, the laboratory work will not be registered. Without a certificate of laboratory work completion, the student cannot sit the physics exam.
These requirements have been prepared on the basis of Vilnius University, Faculty of Physics, 1992 04 28 (Protocol. 4-92), General Laboratory practice regulations, rules and safe and P.J.Žilinskas‘ book "Recommendations for the Preparing Written Work" (VU, 2000; in Lithuanian).