What are some Key Parts of a Setup Diagram?
Your setup diagram should include some key parts. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Equipment and Their Labels
A good diagram labels the equipment used and gives an idea how different parts of the equipment are located relative to each other.
Make sure to label each piece of equipment with a word or two. Include arrows when they will help with the clarity of the diagram.
Try to draw things at least approximately to scale. You can use simple shapes for each component.
Use different line thicknesses and color to help ad clarity to your diagram.
After you’ve drawn in your equipment, add a bit more information.
Lengths and Distances
Include important lengths or distances denoted by their variables. These can be denoted by a specific number and unit (1.0 meter) and/or a variable.
For example, if you are measuring the stretch of a spring, you would show where that stretch is measured to and from. For a measurement that is changing, use a variable. In this diagram, I denoted the stretch by Δy For fixed lengths, put in the value along with its unit.
In addition to lengths, you should also mark out important positions. Notice that y₀ and y are two “fixed’ points, as opposed to the stretch itself, Δy.
Note that the diagram in your report should have both the equipment and the key distances in the same picture.
If your experiment has multiple parts, be sure to include a separate setup diagram for each configuration of your experimental equipment.