AP Physics Lab Page




Lab tutorials


Clemson lab tutorials

Reading a vernier caliper in inches

A good site for AP physics lab notebook







Part 1: Designing experiments in physics (cover page)


Performance objective(s):

Students should understand the process of designing experiments, so they can:
  1. Describe the purpose of an experiment or a problem to be investigated.
  2. Identify equipment needed and describe how it is to be used.
  3. Draw a diagram or provide a description of an experimental setup.
  4. Describe procedures to be used, including controls and measurements to be taken.

Part 2: Observe and measure real phenomena (data page(s))


Performance objective(s):

Students should be able to make relevant observations, and be
able to take measurements with a variety of instruments.

Tyson essay: "Coming to our senses"

Video (You Tube) - Tyson - Coming to our senses


Part 3a: Analyze data (data analysis page(s))


Performance objective(s):

Students should understand how to analyze data, so they can:
  1. Display data in graphical or tabular form.
  2. Fit lines and curves to data points in graphs.
  3. Perform calculations with data.
  4. Make extrapolations and interpolations from data.





Error bars directions - Excel 2007

Error bars directions - Excel 2010

Part 3b: Analyze errors


Performance objective(s):

Students should understand measurement and experimental error, so they can:
  1. Identify sources of error and how they propagate.
  2. Estimate magnitude and direction of errors.
  3. Determine significant digits.
  4. Identify ways to reduce error.

Part 4: Communicate results (conclusion page)


Performance objective(s):

Students should understand how to summarize and communicate results, so they can:
  1. Draw inferences and conclusions from experimental data.
  2. Suggest ways to improve experiment.
  3. Propose questions for further study.