For Students


Physics is an experimental science; only theories that agree with experiment are acceptable physical theories. Even accepted theories are based on assumptions and thus have limitations. Physical theories are better understood by experimentation and, at an advanced level, experiments lead to new theories.

In the study of experimental physics, students are involved in the whole process of science, including theory, the construction and testing of hypothesis, the use of creative imagination, as well as observation and measurement. In addition, students are exposed to many techniques; theory of error, control of variables, use of graphs, etc. Finally, students become familiar with the language of science and improve their ability to write a concise and logical report (an ability required in almost any career).

Credit Requirements

A student must obtain a passing grade of 50% or better in the laboratory to receive a passing grade for the course. The lab will count 20% ± 5% towards the final mark for the course. The actual percentage depends on the judgment of the lecturers. The Department of Physics offers lab exemptions for students who are taking the course for the second time who have failed the course but passed the lab component. In this case, student must register in the lab component on BearTracks and apply for a lab exemption at the Physics General Office.

Laboratory Schedule

The complete laboratory schedule for the current term is accessible from the left menu on this page under "Schedules" .


Laboratories occurring on a holiday are rescheduled. See Schedules for details. 


You will need a current laboratory manual available from the bookstore. All lab reports must be typed electronically and printed. Access to a computer and a printer is required (either personal or using access to IST computer labs). 

Advance Laboratory Preparation

Each experiment should be read in advance of the laboratory. If applicable, the section titled "Advance Preparation" must be completed and any assigned work submitted before or at the start of the laboratory period. 

Laboratory Exercise Hand-in

In first year courses, students hand in laboratory exercises in designated drop boxes on level L2 in CCIS Building no later than 5:00 PM the day following their lab. In second year courses, depending on the experiment, students may have up to two days to hand in their report. 

Student Absenteeism and Make-up

Students who miss a laboratory session may arrange a make-up provided that the equipment has not been put away.

To make up an experiment, students first consult with their own teaching assistant and obtain a note granting them permission to perform a "make-up" of the experiment in another laboratory section. The student may then enter any regular laboratory in which the proper experiment is set out. The teaching assistant in the room should collect, sign and date the completed work and then give the report to the student's regular teaching assistant to be graded. Students should check later that the mark has been recorded.

Students who miss a laboratory session due to illness may apply to their teaching assistant for an excused absence. They must fill out an "Excused Absence Form" (DOC 105 KB).

Lost and found

Any student property found by the laboratory staff can be claimed from room CCIS L2-069.