Physics 1XX Labs: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the 1XX Labs

General Information

Make-up Labs


Online Homework

General Information ^

How do I get into a lab section that is full?

Please refer to the Overload Instructions located here:

I need to change my section. What do I do?

The instructors for the 1xx series of courses do not handle registration issues. For that we use a professional: Please contact our Program Coordinator Susan Miller,, in the Physics/Astronomy Bldg, Rm. C-136, phone 206-543-4982, for section changes, add codes, overload requests or other registration matters.

Who is my T.A. And what is his/her email address?

Please refer to the Lab Section/T.A. Info section of your course web page:

PHYS 117:
PHYS 118:
PHYS 119:
PHYS 121:
PHYS 122:
PHYS 123:

If you cannot find your TAs email address on the associated TA Info page for your section, you should be able to find it on the Physics Department's website. Look for the appropriate quarter and course number.

When does my section meet and where is my lab room?

Please see your MyUW time schedule to find when and where your section meets. You may also use the following link to the registrar's time schedule:

Time Schedule, Physics 118

Here is a link to a map highlighting where to find PHYS 1xx classrooms:

I have lost something in a lab. Who do I talk to about lost and found?

First talk to your T.A. If your T.A. does not have it and has not turned it in somewhere, talk to the T.A. immediately AFTER the section you attended. Next, talk to Jack Olsen ( Finally, talk to the Physics Front Office located in room C-121 of the Physics/Astronomy Building.

What do I need to bring to the lab?

You should bring the following items with you to every class meeting:

Learn to use your scientific calculator, especially how to use logarithms, roots and powers, and most important, the statistical functions of finding the mean and sample standard deviation of a set of numbers.

Do I need protective clothing (lab coat, goggles, etc.) for the labs?

No, you do not need protective clothing for the 1xx physics labs. It is rare for hazardous material or procedures to be used in physics labs, and on those rare occasions when you would need protective wear, it will be provided.

Make-Up Labs ^

What do I do if I miss a lab?

If you miss your lab session, please try to attend a different section in the same week. You need to obtain permission from the TA of that section and inform him/her of your regular section. It is your responsibility to let your regular TA know that you attended a different section in order for you to get credit for attending the lab. It is better to complete a lab the same week that it is scheduled rather than in the makeup week because subsequent labs may build on it. Also, the number of labs you may make up during the last week is very limited (no more than 2). And, of course, the last week of classes tends to be very busy with finals preparation.

Please note: You may not regularly attend a lab section (or any UW class) that you are not registered for. If you are unable to attend the section you are registered for on a regular basis, you should request a section change.

What happens with the Post-Lab if I miss a lab session? Will I lose points on it too?

If you miss an In-Class session, you may work on the Post-Lab assignment, however, it is recommended that you wait until you complete the In-Class session. If you make-up the In-Class session during the week that the lab is offered, by attending another session, you can complete the post-lab by the usual due date. If, however, you make-up the lab during the make-up week, the due-date for the Post-Lab will be reset to a new date, as long as it has not already been completed.

I missed the lab session. Can I still do the post-lab?

Yes, but it is not recommended unless you have no alternative. Because the Post-Lab draws on what you do in the In-Class session, some questions may use data or concepts that would be covered during the session.

I attended a different lab section than the one I am registered for. Can I email my TA so that I get credit for the in-class part?

No, you must obtain both the TA's initials whose class you attended and the initials of your regular TA in orer to verify your attendance. Anyone could email their TA claiming that they went to another section.

I have a low or a zero score on a Post-Lab. Can I make the whole lab up, and redo the Post-lab?

I missed a Post-Lab, but I did the In-Class session. Can I make-up just the Post-Lab?

No. There are no make-ups on Post-Labs past the 1 week make-up window. The reason that the Post-Lab due date is reset when you make-up the In-Class session during make-up week is because you really should do the In-Class session before attempting the Post-Lab. If you already did the In-Class session, you had enough information to do a good job on the Post-Lab.

The score for the Post-Lab may be excused if you have a valid reason for missing it, but there are no make-ups on Post-Labs alone (past the usual window).

When is the make-up week? When and where can I sign up for the make-up?

A lab make-up sign-up will be made available during the last weeks of the quarter. It may be a web-based or paper-based sign up, depending on the particular lab instructor's practice. Paper sign-up sheets are usually posted in the lab room if these are being used.

The make-up week itself occurs during the last full week of classes.

How many make-up sessions are there? Will there be a make-up session during my regular time?

The number of make-up sessions depends on the number of people needing to make-up a lab, and thus there will not be as many make-up sessions as there are regular section meetings during the make-up week. Usually there are somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the usual meeting times made available for make-ups. These make-up sessions are run during time periods allotted for the usual sections, so you may have one during your usual time, but this is not guaranteed.

Where are the make-up labs held?

The make-up labs are held in the same group of rooms used for the regular lab meeetings, however, the meeting for a particular experment may not be in the same room that your section met in. You should go to your usual lab room, look for the TA, and ask him or her where your make-up experiment is set-up. The reason for the ambiguity is that we do not know how many of each experiment will be needed until the make-up sessions start.

Grades ^

Who should I contact if I have a missing grade on my transcript (an X instead of a number grade)?

You should contact your T.A. and the lab professor for that series. The lab professor will then need to complete a "change of grade" form and submit it to the Registrar.

If you have a question about the online homework grading system specifically, see above for a link to the separate FAQs page.

I missed a lot of questions on the last assignment. How much will this affect my grade?

Probably not much. Any individual assignment does not affect the overall lab grade very much. The most important thing is to keep up with the course overall. If you have been "in the pack" with regard to your lab grades, you will be OK there.

If you are taking a 11X lab (117, 118 or 119), the lab grade is credit/no-credit, and if you have the necessary points to achieve credit, a poor assignment may make no difference in your final grade at all.

If you are taking a 12X lab (121, 122, or 123), the lab grade is used to calculate your final overall course grade, and is given a 11% weight to that grade. Any given assignment can only amount to one-eighth of that (at most), so it can only affect your final grade by less than 2%. For 12X, your grade depends much more strongly on your exam scores than on the lab, as long as you are passing the lab component.