Physics 123 Waves & Optics Lab

Spring Quarter 2014

Instructor: Prof. Gerald Seidler
Office: B448 Physics/Astronomy Building
Office Hours: By appointment; please email
Telephone: 206-616-8746

Meeting Times and Locations

The Waves & Optics Lab meets in Rooms B123 & B125. To find the specific information for your section, consult your MyUW time schedule, your WebAssign lab section page, or the official UW registrar's time schedule:

Spring Quarter 2014 Time Schedule, Physics 123 labs

Required Lab Manual

The lab course requires the in-class use of a custom lab manual:

Physics 123: Waves & Optics Laboratory, by the Faculty of the Department of Physics, Autumn 2013, Winter/Spring/Summer 2014, published by Hayden-McNeil (ISBN 978-0-7380-6365-2). It may be purchased at the University Bookstore for $19.00.

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.


The first Pre-Lab is due on WebAssign before the first meeting.

Week/Dates Lab Title
1: Apr. 1-4No lab meeting. Do Pre-Lab 1
2: Apr. 8-111Resonance & Standing waves
3: Apr. 15-182Waves, Phase & Speed of sound
4: Apr. 22-253Light rays & Law of reflection
5: Apr. 28 - May 24Mirrors
6: May 6-95Lenses
7: May 13-166Optical Instruments
8: May 20-237Diffraction & Interference
9: May 27-308Spectra & Planck's constant
10: June 3-6Make-up week. One missed lab only.

Lab Section/T.A. Info

Contact information for your TA and to find other TAs and sections. Look here if you need to email your TA or find another section to attend a make-up lab.


WebAssign is used for pre-labs and post-lab assignments. 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:

Course Structure

The lab course has three parts: online pre-labs, in-class sessions, and online post-labs. This link describes the course structure in detail.


Please be aware that there is a strict minimum requirement for passing the course:

Unless, at the end of the term, a student has (1) completed at least 6 in-class sessions (either as regularly scheduled or as make-up), and (2) achieved a score of at least 60% of the total possible points from online work and class participation, the grade for the entire 5 credit Physics 121, 122 or 123 course (lecture+lab+tutorial) will be 0.0.

All labs are graded and count toward your final grade. This link gives the details.

Due Dates

This link explains the due dates for pre-labs, in-class work, and post-labs.

Make-up Work

Different policies apply to making up missed work:

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

Email Policy

You may send the lab instructor in charge of the labs an email. But, only some kinds of mail will get answered. This link will help you write a message that will get a useful response.