During the Fall term (8.13), the first two sessions familiarize students with the lab and give everyone a common foundation in experimental techniques, data analysis, and computing tools. In the next 3 hour session, students conduct two short introductory experiments. Following this introductory period, students plan and execute four longer experiments. The first experiment is executed in five (3 hour) lab sessions, while the last three are done in four lab sessions each. The term culminates in a week-long series of public oral presentations given by students to peers, friends, and faculty.

During the Spring term (8.14), the first session is dedicated to selecting partners and brief introductory notes by section instructors. Students then select four different experiments, each of which will require five separate (3 hour) lab sessions.

Below are the experiments from which students can select for the Fall and Spring terms. The experiment "21 cm radio astrophysics" is offered during both terms.

Introductory experiments
Photoelectric effect
Poisson statistics
Electromagnetic pulses
Regular experiments
Compton scattering
The Franck-Hertz experiment
Relativistic dynamics
Pulsed NMR: spin echoes
The speed and mean life of Cosmic-Ray Muons
Rutherford scattering
Optical emission spectra of hydrogenic atoms
X-ray physics
Neutron physics
Johnson noise and shot noise
The quantum mechanics of alpha decay
21 cm radio astrophysics
Regular experiments
The Zeeman effect
Optical pumping of Rb vapor
Pulsed NMR: spin echoes
Mossbauer spectroscopy
21 cm radio astrophysics
Doppler-free laser spectroscopy
Quantum information processing