# Instructions

## First step - Read the instructions!

Before you go to your first lab in PHY 124, make sure you read all the web pages on this lab course wiki, your “home base”. Follow all the links! We strongly urge you to do this, particularly the first time, on a computer that has a normal-size monitor screen. Please do NOT that first time use a cell/smartphone. Reason: the small screen will likely prevent you from understanding how the wiki is organized. “You can't get a big picture through a small window!”

In order that you can get the most from your lab sessions we believe that you need to come to class prepared. So the first thing you should do a few days before your lab is read through the instructions for that lab and watch the video(s). When you've done this you should be ready to do the lab preparation exercise.

## Lab Preparation Exercise

Each week before your lab you must complete a lab preparation exercise that you will find on Blackboard under assignments. Note that the assignment will only be available up until the beginning of the lab section, even though its says that the deadline is unlimited on Blackboard. If you don't do it before your lab then you won't get the 35% of the credit for the lab that these exercises are worth! These assignments use Maple TA. There is a little bit of syntax you'll need to enter formulas. This syntax is similar to what you would use on a scientific calculator or other programs like Microsoft Excel. Here are some examples:

Use the * operator between all multiplied factors! E.g: $2x(y+z)$ = 2*x*(y+z)

To put a to the power of b: $a^b$=a^b

Square Root: $\sqrt{x}$=sqrt(x)

Exponential: $\exp{x}$=exp(x)

Absolute Value: $|x|$=abs(x)

Scientific Notation: $1.2\times 10^{6}$=1.2E6

Lower indices: $x_{1}$=x_1

Greek symbols:

$\alpha$=alpha

$\delta$=delta

$\Delta$=Delta

$\eta$=eta

$\theta$=theta

$\kappa$=kappa

$\lambda$=lambda

$\mu$=mu

$\pi$=pi

$\rho$=rho

$\sigma$=sigma

$\tau$=tau

$\phi$=phi

$\omega$=omega

$\Omega$=Omega

() i.e., parentheses: Don't be afraid to put (nested) parentheses around factors in any algebraic expression you may be asked to enter. They may (or may not) help solve “problems” you're having!

Numbers and units:

The figure shows a screenshot of an answer box for a number and and an answer box for units from a MapleTA-served problem. You need to know how to enter quantities into both of them. Notice next to the number box is a a blue underlined Num. If you click on it from inside a MapleTA online session, a window will open that tells how to make numeric entries in several different styles. You don't enter the number in that window. Return to the window with the number box and enter the numeric value in the number box in MapleTA-approved syntax. Next to the units box is a a blue underlined Units. If you click on it from inside a MapleTA online session, a window will open that tells how to enter units. The second column gives the definition of each unit the MapleTA syntax can handle, and the third column gives its name. The first column gives what you must type on the keyboard to enter a given unit. Notice that the syntax for the units is case sensitive. For example, N (upper-case) is what you type for the force unit newton. If you type it in lower-case, it will not be accepted as correct. You don't enter the units in that window. Return to the window with the units box and enter the units in the units box in MapleTA-approved syntax.

## In the lab 