Physics 123 Waves & Optics Lab

Winter Quarter 2017

Instructor: Prof. Henry Lubatti
Office: Physics/Astronomy B301
Office Hours: By appointment: please phone or email.
Telephone: 206-543-8964

Most Important Lab Policies

  • To pass the Physics 123 course, you must pass the lab. To pass the lab you must earn at least 50 points of the WebAssign lab homework (Pre-Labs and Post-Labs) and you must not miss more than two lab sessions. See Grades for more information.
  • The weekly due date for all WebAssign lab homework is SUNDAY NIGHT, 11:59 PM.
  • Lab attendance will be recorded on a UW Canvas webpage, not on WebAssign.

Meeting Times and Locations

The Waves & Optics Lab meets in Room B123. In the schedule below, the TA's email address is linked to the TA's name.

Winter 2017 Physics 123 TAs and Sections
B123123 AM Zhengde Ted Zhao123 BP Chang Sun123 AR Zhengde Ted Zhao123 BT Raahul Buch
B123123 BM Matthew Childers123 BS Raahul Buch123 BU Dylan Chase-Woods
B123123 AN Tun Sheng Tan123 BQ Seth Hirsh123 AS Matthew Childers
B123123 AO Matthew Childers123 AP Zhengde Ted Zhao
B123123 BN Matthew Childers123 BR Raahul Buch
B123123 BO Zhengde Ted Zhao123 AQ Zhengde Ted Zhao

If you need to attend a different section to make up a lab, see the Lab Section/TA Info page for further details.

TA Office Hours

TAOffice HoursLocation
Raahul BuchFriday 11:30am-1:30pmPAA Study Center
Dylan Chase-WoodsThursday 2:30-3:30pmPAC 6th Floor Lounge
Matthew ChildersWednesday 2:00-5:00pm & Thursday 3:30-4:30pmPAC 6th Floor Lounge
Tun Sheng TanWednesday 3:00-4:00pmPAB B231
Zhengde Ted ZhaoMonday 10:30am-12:00pm & Tuesday 4:00-5:30pmPAB B205
Sun ChangMonday 2:00-3:00pmPAB B147
Seth HirshThursday 9:30-10:30amPAB B245

To find the further information concerning your lab section, consult your MyUW page, or the official UW registrar's time schedule:

Winter Quarter 2017 Time Schedule, Physics 123 labs


The first Pre-Lab homework is due before the first meeting.

1: Jan. 3-6Do Pre-Lab 1 and Policies Quiz
2: Jan. 9-131Resonance & Standing waves
3: Jan. 17-202Waves, Phase & Speed of sound
4: Jan. 23-273Light rays & Law of reflection
5: Jan. 30 - Feb. 34Mirrors
6: Feb. 6-105Lenses
7: Feb. 13-176Optical instruments
8: Feb. 21-247Diffraction & Interference
9: Feb. 27 - Mar. 38Spectra & Planck's constant
10: Mar. 6-10Make-up week. One missed lab only.

Required Lab Manual, WebAssign and Canvas Webpage

Because you will record your experimental results in the manual, you must have an unused copy of the current manual to participate in the class:

Physics 123: Waves & Optics Laboratory, by the Faculty of the Department of Physics, Autumn 2015 & Winter 2016, published by Hayden-McNeil (ISBN 978-0-7380-8489-3). It may be purchased at the University Bookstore for $20.00.

Online homework (Pre-Labs and Post-Labs) are done on WebAssign Look here for information about getting on to WebAssign and what to do if you are having trouble with WebAssign access or need to contact someone to solve a WebAssign use problem.

Connect to WebAssign:

Attendance to the lab sections is recorded on the UW Canvas system, not WebAssign. Contact your instructor to obtain the web address of your Canvas lab course, or look for it on MyUW.

Course Structure and Grades

The lab course has two required parts: (1) a weekly two-hour lab session and (2) online homework with both Pre-Lab and Post-Lab components. This link describes the course structure in detail.

A student must pass both the In-Class and the Homework parts of the lab course in order to pass the full physics 123 5 credit course. To pass the In-Class part of the lab the student must attend at least 6 In-Class sessions (either as regularly scheduled or as make-up), that is, get a minimum of 60/80 In-Class points. To pass the Homework part the student must earn at least 50%, or a minimum of 50/100 of the lab Homework points. Failure of either part of the lab will result in a grade of 0.0 for the entire 5 credit Physics 12x course (lecture+lab+tutorial).

Due Dates and Make-up Work

Assignment Due date & time Make up policy
Online Pre-Lab Sunday night, 11:59 PM before lab session begins. Never.
In-class session Attendance required at scheduled time for section. Attend another session during week, or attend make-up week session.
Online Post-Lab Sunday night, 11:59 PM, following lab session. Automatic request from WebAssign for one 24 hr period within 7 days of due date. A 40% penalty is applied. After 7 day period, no make-up allowed.

Attendance is required to the regularly scheduled lab section. The TA will initial the lab papers at the end of the In-Class session and record satisfactory completion of the In-Class part. Students must have the TA's final initials in order to assure credit for attending the session.

Make-ups are allowed during another session in the same week, or one lab may be made-up during the make-up week without special permission(plus one more with special permission).

In some cases, missed work may be excused. This link explains the policies.

Email Policy

Before sending an email note the following:

If after reading the above you still have a lab related question please send the lab instructor an email at