Welcome to The Laboratory! Science is different than other subjects. It is not just the subject of science that is different; the entire process of doing science is different. The means by which knowledge is acquired is different in science than it is in history or mathematics or poetry or ... . Science is different because the answers to scientific questions are not found in a textbook or through pondering high and lofty thoughts. Indeed, scientists ponder and hopefully think high and lofty thoughts; and indeed students in science class will find answers in a textbook. But the basis of what scientists believe and why they believe it is not the result of mere thinking or reading in a textbook. The basis of what scientists believe is the result of the careful collection and analysis of laboratory evidence. In any physics class, the differentness of science will be most evident when it comes time for lab. In physics class, lab is central. Integral. Sacred. More than a mere place in the back of the classroom, the laboratory is the place where physics students do physics. It is in the laboratory that physics students learn to practice the activities of scientists - asking questions, performing procedures, collecting data, analyzing data, answering questions, and thinking of new questions to explore. The lab ideas and associated pages in The Laboratory section of this web site are designed to help teachers improve their lab programs by adopting labs with a purpose. There are over 150 lab ideas presented here - but their presentation is much different than the traditional presentation of a lab. The traditional lab comes with a lengthy procedure which dominates the landscape - both the landscape of the distributed paper as well as the landscape of the student mind. The Laboratory attempts to change all this by presenting students with a Purpose, and primarily a Purpose. In the pages at The Laboratory, you will find labs with a purpose. The lab description pages which are linked to below describe the Question and the Purpose of each lab and provide a short description of what should be included in the student lab report. You will hardly ever find a procedure, and very few data tables. The multitude of other pages found at The Laboratory are designed to help teachers use this section of the website (or at least parts of it) effectively in their classroom. Teachers will find prescribed methods of use, a short philosophical background, extensive teacher guides for every lab, grading rubrics, auxiliary items which can be provided to assist students in the completing of their lab work, and information about using lab notebooks. And to make it as easy as possible to use the labs in the classroom, much of the information is provided to teachers as PDF and Microsoft Word downloads. Once downloaded, the information can be edited, altered, augmented and customized to reflect the teacher's personal style and the unique needs of the students in their classrooms.