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Physics 4410/6510 Cornell University

This is an advanced lab course where students work independently on one of over fifty different labs.


Lab Master Sheet

Course Documents

Previous Semesters

Monday Lecture Documents

Previous Semesters

Safety Precautions

General Laboratory Polices
Radiation Safety PDF
Operation of X-Ray Machines
Transferring Liquid Helium for SS-10 and SS-11
Vacuum Systems for SS-10 and SS-11

Report Writing & Presentations

Accessing Online Journals from Off-Campus

Resources for using LaTeX for Lab Reports

  • You can download free LaTeX packages for Windows, Unix, and Mac at the CTAN website.
  • The RevTeX4 package which is used by the American Physical Society for creating Physical Review Letters style documents can be downloaded here. Many LaTeX installations will already have this installed, so check before you install it.
  • Instructions and tips for using the RevTeX package can be found here
  • A sample file for creating a paper is included in the zip file (apssamp.tex)
  • As was mentioned in lecture, you can use a WYSIWYG front-end to LaTeX called Lyx if you want a prettier front-end.

Data Analysis Software

We strongly encourage you to learn how to use real data software in this class. Some good data analysis software tools include :

  • Root - this is the tool of choice for manipulating histograms, but has a steep learning curve. Used extensively in particle physics.
  • MatPlotLib - used with numpy, it's a python knock-off to matlab.

You can get away with using Excel here and there, but it's not ideally suited for many of the things you may want to do in your labs. Mathematica can also work fine as well, but again it's not really designed for doing data analysis.

Notes on Instrumentation

  • Handout on Lock-in Amplifiers PDF

Wiki Stuff

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.