Welcome to the home page for Physics 407 Senior Laboratory in Modern Physics offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

In this course students perform experiments in modern physics involving advanced techniques in electronics, optics, nuclear and solid state physics. This course meets the writing-intensive requirement. As with all George Mason courses the honor code is in effect. Students should be particularly beware of plagarism in their laboratory write-ups.

The objective of this course is, through the process of performing experiments, to have students think through the scientific method from theory, to prediction, to instrumentation, to data analysis and interpretation.

Prerequisite: 21 credits of physics courses, including PHYS 305 and 308.

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Office of Disability Resources at 703/993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.

Instructor: Dr. Karen Sauer
Office: Science and Tech I, Rm 217
Phone: 3-1281
email: ksauer1@gmu.edu
Office Hours: by appointment

Text Books:

Experiments in Modern Physics Second Edition
A Melissinos and J Napolitano (Academic Press, 2003)
Supplemental Books (on reserve at the Johnson Center):
The Art of Experimental Physics DW Preston and ER Dietz (John Wiley, 1991)

An introduction to error analysis : the study of uncertainties in physical measurements JR Taylor(University Science Books, 1997 )

Chaotic dynamics : an introduction GL Baker and JP Gollub (Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Lecture Place:Science and Technology I, Room 310
Lecture Time: Monday/Wednesday 12:30-1:00

Lab Place:Science and Technology I, Room 236
Lab Time: Monday/Wednesday 1:00-4:00


  • Experiments
    (4 completed, with write up) - 70%
  • Tests (2) - 15%
  • Radiation Safety - 5%
  • Homework - 10%
All homework and reports are to be given in hardcopy. Electronic copies will not be accepted.

Experiment Requirements:

Special Dates:


Other Topics:

What's new?
Please check here for latest announcements...

Last Modified: Saturday, November 22, 2009