PHY 103L: Waves, Oscillations and Optics Lab (III)

1 credits | Prerequisites: PHY 101L

Course rationale

This is a fundamental lab course associated with the theory course PHY 103. It is a mandatory course for students who want to graduate in physics. The lab emphasizes psychomotor skills in collecting physical data and cognitive skills in analyzing the data to get meaningful answers. Following the theory course, the lab offers experiments in optics (O), waves, and oscillations (W).This course is mandatory for the students who wish to have a minor in physics. Mathematics is ubiquitous in physics. Therefore, to understand physics properly it is imperative to have a good mastery in mathematics. This course is designed to abridge any gap in mathematics to understand physics.

Course content

O1: Power of a convex lens: determining the focal length and hence the power of a convex lens by displacement method with the help of an optical bench. O2: Refractive index: measuring the refractive index of a liquid by pin method using a plane mirror and a convex lens. O3: Spectrometer: determining the angle of a prism (by rotation of the telescope). O4: Newton’s rings: Calculate the wavelength of monochromatic light by Newton’s rings. O5: Polarimeter: calibrating a polarimeter and hence determining the specific rotation of a sugar solution by means of a polarimeter. O6: Fresnel’s bi-prism experiment: Evaluating the interference fringe in monochromatic light and determining the wavelength. O7: Diffraction gratings: investigating the influence of the grating constant on three diffraction images and also determining the wavelength of monochromatic light. W1: Frequencies of standing cord waves: observing standing waves on a rubber cord as a function of the excitation frequency and computing the phase velocity of the wave. W2: Sonometer: verifying the laws of transverse vibration of a stretched string by a sonometer.

Course objectives

  1. Use physical apparatus to measure the properties of waves and light.
  2. Apply the elementary laws of optics to determine the refractive index by using a prism.
  3. Demonstrate the properties of waves using a wave generator and a sonometer.
  4. Comprehend the laws of light (like reflection, interference, diffraction, etc.) by various equipment such as spectrometer, Newton’s ring, Polarimeter, and Diffraction gratings.
  5. Create teams and work together to perform measurements in physics and engineering.



  1. Physics Laboratory Manual for PHY 101 (to be provided in class).
  2. Practical Physics for Hons & Degree students by Prof. Giasuddin Ahmad & Md. Shahabuddin
  3. University Physics (ed. 15) by Hugh Young and Robert Freedman.