Lab report – Experiment – Density

The Lab Report and Discussion activities have two components, both of which must be satisfactorily met to be awarded full credit.The Lab Report must be submitted in the discussion forum utilizing the format below, based on the results of the respective experiment(s).Responses to and comments on your classmates’ Lab Reports must be made within the module period. Comments/responses will be made on at least two different Lab Reports, utilizing the directions provided.
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Physics Lab Report Format
Name:
Title:
Hypothesis:
Overview:
Procedure: See Lab Instructions
Data Table: See Lab data sheet(s)
Uncertainty & Error:
Conclusion/Summary:
Application:
______________________________________________________________________
Notes for each heading:
Name: Do not expect credit if not included.
Title: The experiment name. Do not include the Module number. Again, without this, do
not expect credit.
Hypothesis: Statement that the experiment is going to test, prove, or disprove. What is
the point of the experiment? (Make a statement that the experiment will either prove or
disprove.)
Overview: Brief summary of what occurred in the experiment or what was tested and
how.
Procedures: See Experiment Instructions
Data Table: See Experiment Data Table
Uncertainty & Error: Can you trust your data?
Considerations:
1) What factors may have affected or biased the data and introduced uncertainty in
the lab measurements? Or, what conditions created uncertainty in your
measurements? Which measurements were most affected?”
2) If you were conducting the lab in a physical environment, what other factors
would have to be taken into account while accomplishing the procedures? How
might they affect the data and/or experiment outcome?
Conclusion/Summary: This section must contain each of the items listed below. You
are now the one speaking, of your personal results. Although this is merely an example,
it does contain all the requisite components. You may write this section how you see fit,
as long as the items annotated are included. However, a checklist or bullet list is not
acceptable. The clarity and flow of your conclusion/summary should make clear to any
ready what you did in the experiment and how it turned out.
“In this lab, I (what you did). I did this by (how you did it—brief description of
procedures). I found out/learned that (what you learned). Some errors that may have
occurred with this lab include (possible errors/flaws—must include at least one). In the
future, I would (change, add, delete) (suggest an improvement) to enhance the lab.
I loved this lab and think I have the best physics teacher ever!” (Okay, that last line isn’t
truly necessary, but it never hurts. ?)
Application: How does this topic—and science in general—impact our understanding
of the complex, technological society of which we are a part? How does this explain
something in the real world around you?
Physics Lab Report Example
The following pages contain a sample lab report for an experiment where the water
level in a 2-liter soda bottle changes as more and more water is added. It is slightly
more brief and less well-developed than your lab reports are expected to be (except in
the area of Uncertainty, which is more robust than you may be able to produce),
however, it provides a sense of what type of information is expected in each section.
Note: This Lab Report example has been edited to follow the Lab Report requirements
of the PHYS 102 class. Certain headings and sections were removed (including
Method, Materials List, Raw Data table, and Data Analysis) due to the virtual nature of
the experiment simulations, and the desire to focus on the experiment results and
student conclusions.
This experiment example below is designed to correlate the volume of the water
contained within the bottle to the height of the water in that bottle.
Name: Stuart (Stu) Dent
Title: Soda Bottle Experiment
Hypothesis: Given that a soda bottle roughly resembles a cylinder, we expect a linear
relationship between the height of the water and the amount of water (volume) poured
into it.
Overview: We measure the height of the water after filling in equal amounts of water.
To test for the linear relationship, we will make a best line fit in a Volume-height (V-h)
diagram.
Procedure: See Lab Instructions
Raw Data: See Lab data sheet(s)
Uncertainty & Error:
Uncertainty:
We were able to measure the volume with a precision of ±25mL and the water level with
a precision of ±0.5cm.
Major Sources of Error:
Systematic:
• In particular at the lower and upper end of the bottle we have indentions that
make the shape of the bottle deviate from a cylindrical shape. This should
overall shift the curve upwards. (Can be avoided by only measuring the height
gain for the middle part of the bottle.)
• Ruler held at an angle. This will result in an over-estimate of h. (Can be
avoided by holding ruler perpendicular.)
•
Residual water in the bottle. This will again shift the entire curve upwards.
(Can be avoided by having the bottle carefully dried.)
• Bubbles in the water. This will result in an overestimation of the volume.
(Effect can be reduced by letting water sit before measurements).
Random:
• Change in temperature in water (thermal expansion).
• Misreading the ruler.
Summary: Our expectation of a linear relationship between volume and height seems
correct. The measured heights of the water in the bottle as the volume of water
increased fell along a straight line in the V-h graph, very well supporting this notion. The
fact that the intercept is non-zero (as we would expect) can be accounted for by the
indentations at the lower end of the bottle. This error is based on the fact that the bottle
is not a true cylinder. Additional errors may have been introduced by incorrect
measurement readings or other aspects relating to the temperature of the water or
fluctuations in volume. The slope has little physical meaning, except that it is
proportional to the average area of the bottle. Future iterations of this experiment might
benefit from ensuring the experiment is conducted in a constant temperature
environment, the water is room temperature, and the bottle has a flat bottom and is
closer to the shape of a true cylinder.
I loved this lab and think I have the best physics teacher ever!
Application: This experiment shows the connection between volume and height,
providing some insight for manufacturers to estimate how much liquid could be held in
cylindrical containers, whether they be water bottles or giant beer vats. An alternate
view could be that the set height of fluid in a cylindrical container would tell the
manufacturer how much liquid is in the container. The use of height sensors could be
used as quality control for bottling plants.

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