Physics Lab Report Format
Writing a lab report is the only way your TA will know what you have done during the lab and how well you have understood the process and the results. Part of your lab experience should be learning how to organize and present your work in a scientific way. There is no framework that can be used as a “one size fits all”, therefore this sample lab report should only be used as an example.
Any lab report should have the following features:
• It should be concise but should also contain the necessary details and well-developed explanations. • It should be organized. You should enable the reader to quickly find the information he or she may be interested in. • It should contain all the relevant information and reasoning. You should enable the reader to validate your conclusion.
A possible way to achieve this is using the following framework: • Objective: State what you want to achieve in this experiment. A formal way to do this is to state a question or hypothesis that you want to address. • Method: You should include a summary of the lab procedure in your words; do not merely copy what is in the manual. This section should demonstrate your understanding of what exactly you measured and how you measured it. • Data: In this section you should include the raw data you measured; generally, an estimate of the error should accompany all measured values. Be sure to present your data in an organized manner (e.g. a data table) and to include units. • Data Analysis: In this section you will manipulate the data in order to help you address your question or hypothesis. Usually this entails performing calculations and/or creating graphs of the data. • Uncertainty & Error: You cannot draw any final conclusions from your data until you think carefully about how well you can trust your data and what factors may have affected or biased it. Additionally, you must often propagate the error from...
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