General Information (Preliminary)


PHYS 107: Light, Perception, Photography & Visual Phenomena Laboratory


Spring  2014



Instructor :  Dr.  Andris Skuja

Toll Phys. 4329 or PSC 3103; Phone: 301-405-6059; E-mail:





TA : Zelong Yu

Sections 0101, 0501


Contact by email



TA : Ipsita Patnaik

Section 0301


Contact by email




Class Schedule 

All Sections meet in Room 3214 of the John Toll Physics Building


Section 101:  Monday 3:00pm – 4:50 pm (TA: )

Section 301:  Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:50pm (TA: )

Section 501:  Wednesday 3:00pm – 4:50pm (TA: )



Required Text

 Physics 107 Laboratory Manual

WILEY Custom Learning Solutions

You will have to provide paper on which you submit your lab reports.

Its advisable to prepare a lab response template in advance, including listing the questions you must answer as part of the lab report.




Course Overview: PHYS 107 LIGHT, PERCEPTION, PHOTOGRAPHY & VISUAL PHENOMENA LABORATORY is a one (1) credit hour course that must be taken concurrently with PHYSICS 106 LIGHT, PERCEPTION, PHOTOGRAPHY & VISUAL PHENOMENA  to receive CORE credit, and may not be taken for credit by Physics Majors. The lab meets for two hours weekly, giving students hands-on in-depth experience with some of the topics covered in the Physics 106 lecture class.


The lab is a participatory activity, it is mandatory that you attend all labs. It is also important that you prepare for your lab period by carefully reading the lab instruction sheets and doing the pre-lab questions. Pre-lab questions serve both as a review of important ideas and preparation for lab activities. If you do not do the pre-lab questions before you come to the lab, points will be subtracted from your grade. If you do not understand the questions or have difficulty completing the assignment you may ask for clarification. Lab reports are completed  in the lab, submitted to the TA at the end of the lab period for grading, and will be returned to the student during the next lab session, so that writing (and grading) long and detailed lab reports is avoided. The questions that you must answer are embedded in the text in the Lab Manual that describes how the lab is to be done. Each of your answers must be self-contained. It should not be necessary for the TA to refer to the Lab Manual on order to determine the question you are answering.  A simple yes or no answer by itself is never enough to receive full credit. The text is broken up in topics – T1, T2, T3, etc.  Be very careful as you read the Lab Manual that you find all the questions, and that you answer them completely. Please include the experiment number, date, your own name and the name of your lab partner, your section number on your lab report. Write a brief summary of your work and your conclusions as the final section of your lab report.


You will carry out the lab with one or more lab partners. Discussion and cooperation with other students while doing the labs is encouraged. However, entry of observations and conclusions in the Lab Report should be done by each student independently. Pre-lab questions should also be answered independently in the final instance.


If you miss a lab, the reason for your absence must be submitted to the instructor in writing. If your absence is due to any of the University approved acceptable excuses, as given in the University of Maryland Undergraduate Catalogue, you will be permitted to make up the missed lab without any loss of credit. You are encouraged to make up the missed lab by attending another lab session that week (at the discretion of the instructor) (see the lab schedule below). You may also make up the missed lab(s) by attending one or more of the lab sessions during make-up week as designated in the lab schedule. However, you shall get only half credit for any make-up labs which you missed during your regular lab sessions for unacceptable excuses. If you have to miss labs for religious reasons, you are encouraged to arrange for a make-up session before you miss the lab.


Grading will be based on the total point accumulation for the 11 labs, each lab being weighted equally. A histogram of total scores will be made, and a letter grade will be assigned approximately as follows from this distribution:


Top 20% - A;   Next 40% - B;   Next 30% - C;   and the Bottom 10% - D or F


To qualify for an A, you must distinguish yourself among your peers. All these grade assignments are nominal and are based on previous experience of student participation in the course. In the unexpected circumstance that all students complete the labs with reasonable grades, failing letter grades will not be given.


It is mandatory to do all labs. Missing one lab will lower your grade by one letter grade; missing two labs will result in a D grade and missing more than two labs will result in a grade of F. If you miss a lab for any reason you must make it up as explained previously if you do not want to be penalized in the manner just described. Credit for make-up labs will be given as explained previously.



Lab Manual: You must purchase a current lab manual.


Preparation for Lab #1: (a) Obtain your lab manual, (b) Read the Introduction and the Lab #1 write-up and come prepared to ask questions if you do not understand the material, (c) Answer the pre-lab questions on the first page  of the Lab Report (Data Sheet)  for Lab #1 before coming to the lab


Schedule of Experiments:


The order of the labs may be different from that in the lab manual to try to match more closely the material of the lecture course. The labs can be carried out independently of your lecture course if necessary.




Experimental Topic



Lab Rep


January 27, 28 29

Experiment 1: Camera Obscura



Due at end of session


February 3, 4, 5

Experiment 2: Pinhole Camera



Due at end of session


February 10,11, 12

Experiment 3: Light Reflection, Mirrors and Images



Due at end of session


February 17, 18, 19

Experiment 4: Light Refraction



Due at end of session


February 24, 25, 26

Experiment 5: Images and Shaped Surfaces, Simple Lenses



Due at end of session


March 3, 4, 5

Experiment 6: More Simple Lenses



Due at end of Session


March 10, 11, 12

SNOW DAY makeup of  Experiment 6 for section 101 !!

 Make-up Week # 1: You must get Instructor approval to do a make-up Lab



Give to appropriate TA


March 17, 18, 19

Spring Break





March 24, 25, 26

Experiment 7: The Camera



Due at end of Session


March 31, April 1, 2

Experiment 8: Polarized Light and Birefringence



Due at end of Session


April 7, 8, 9

Experiment 9: Light Interference



Due at end of Session


April 14, 15, 16

Experiment 10: Light Diffraction



Due at end of Session


April 21, 22, 23

Experiment 11: Gratings, Color & Holography






April 28, 29, 30

Make up week # 2. You must get

Instructor approval to do a make-up Lab



Give to appropriate TA


May 5, 6, 7

No Labs. Additional Make-up periods may be schedule at Instructors discretion.



Give to appropriate TA


May 12, 13, 14

Final Week of Classes & Exam Week: No Scheduled Labs/ No Exams





You must finish all 11 labs and hand in the corresponding reports to successfully complete the course for full credit. Missing Lab reports will be assigned a grade of “0” points.


In case of Bad weather: Winter in the Washington Metro area can bring large snowstorms that make travel dangerous. Should this happen and the University is closed as a result on a day of a scheduled lab, class will be cancelled, and we will reschedule the lab. University Closing is announced over local radio and TV as well as on the University’s homepage


Academic Integrity : "The University of Maryland has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism.” For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit