Planning in Lab Work


  1. Research Problem
  2. Define the problem or research question this should describe the investigation in a simple and preliminary way.

    Eg "What is the relationship between the centripetal force and radius in circular motion?" Do not restate the instructions in the hand out.

  3. Hypothesis
  4. This is a quantitative prediction about the expected connection between the variables under consideration. Make sure you indicate what variables are being held constant when you define the relationship.

    Eg "In circular motion the centripetal force is proportional to the radius" is not sufficient. It would be better to say. "When the angular velocity and the mass of a body are kept constant the centripetal force is directly proportional to the radius"

    You should also indicate an explanation for your predication. This may be a derivation based on the theory you have covered or a well reasoned discussion based on the physics that you know.

  5. Relevant variables

Try to identify all the relevant variables and indicate why they are relevant. It is not necessary to investigate all the variables, but you must state which are being controlled and which are being varied and why.



  1. Apparatus
  2. Make sure you clearly refer to all the major pieces of apparatus you use.

  3. Method

Design a method that allows you to collect enough useful and relevant data and controls the variable you are not investigating. You should indicate which of the variables is the independent one, which are the variables that are kept constant. Make it clear how the measurements are made and on what basis you choose the range of the variables to be measured. A simple diagram should be included and any assumptions you have made should be stated with reasons.