Hege Library & Learning Technologies

PHYS 232 - Formal Experiment Proposal

A guide to help you develop a proposal for measuring an interesting constant.

In or Out?

The worst timeline you can write is to simply make a list of the course deadlines.  That's not what this is about. 

The purpose of a timeline is two-fold: to make you think about what you will have to do, and to help you see if you are staying on track as the semester goes on.  This section will consist of two parts: a list of dates and milestones, and a narrative that justifies why you think you will make these deadlines.  You should be as specific as possible, so that you can show you have met your deadline.  "Feb 26 - Finish Analysis" is a poor example.  What does "Finish Analysis" even mean?  A good example would be "Feb 2 - Detect laser in oscilloscope".  If I come by your experiment on Feb 2, you can show me that you have detected your laser in your oscilloscope (or not).  It's unambiguous.  Your timeline should not look like anyone else's time line.

In the narrative, you should explain why you think it will take you the times you've set for yourself.  This should be two or three paragraphs.  Which milestones do you think will be difficult?  Which will be easy?  Which bits need to be done sequentially, and which can be moved forward concurrently? 

Your list can either be in the form of bullet points, using the \begin{enumerate} environment, or you can make a table.  Don't set yourself more than one deadline per week, but it's a good idea to try to have something concrete in mind for each week.  Once reality hits, these goals will likely slide, but you should have goals.