Best Pages & Numbers themes for a physics experiment?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MasterHowl, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. MasterHowl macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    North of England
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm conducting a two week long Physics experiment next, and I'm writing up/logging results in iWork.

    What would be the best themes to use in both applications? I want them to look nice together, since I'll be putting graphs from Numbers into Pages, and I'd like the font to be nice.

    I know this a weird question, but please don't flame me.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. MrFusion, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    MrFusion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    West-Europe
    #2
    During your experiments, you take notes in a real (log)book. Real world logbooks can not be corrupted or be easily altered after the events. This can also be important later on if you need real proof that you did these experiments on or before a certain date.
    Excel and Numbers are nice for two things in a physics lab: 1) simple calculations and 2) quick and dirty, on the go graphs while running your experiments. It doesn't matter which themes you use, they still look bad. For decent looking graphs, you should use a professional software package like origin (via VMWare).

    For small reports, word or pages would be fine I guess. LaTeX is recommend for larger reports, articles, thesis, etc. I know nobody who switched from latex to Word. I know plenty of people who switched from Word to LaTeX. Whichever you pick, you will still end up shooting at your computer. LaTeX produces a nicer looking document, though.

    And yes, I work in a physics lab.

    Edit: If you want to know how a decent graph looks like, then download a physics paper.
    http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v109/i1/p013911_s1?bypassSSO=1 (note, I am not affiliated with this paper)
    Fig 1 is unfortunately not the best example (the ticks are pointing outwards), but the others are fine.
    Don't put too many zeros in your axis values. That is why there are SI prefixes.
    Don't use too small font sizes.
    Play with symbols (round, square, triangle) and dashes (full, dash, dash-dot-dash). Make sure they still looks nice in black and white.
    I might see the colors on screen but I am not going to waste color ink on your paper while printing.
    Don't mix red and green. ~10% is colourblind
    Don't use yellow in a presentation (projection screen).
    The graphs and captions should tell the story. The text adds context to the report.
    Not every report/paper is read by a native English speaker. So write clearly and objectively. Don't use fancy words or clever phrases.
    It is about communicating your idea's, not showing of your mastery of the English language.
    And the best looking graphs and fonts mean nothing if the content is crap or the experiments were badly conducted.
     
  3. MasterHowl thread starter macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    North of England
    #3
    Thanks for the reply :)

    I'll definitely take what you said into consideration! I'll log my results in a log book, but I'll still use iWork to draw up my graphs and present my data since I don't have money to spend on other software (poor student...).

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated
     
  4. MasterHowl thread starter macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    North of England
    #4
    Thank you! I'll have a good look through that some time! I'm only an A-Level student, so it won't look anything like that! But I'll definitely try make it look professional.
     
  5. MrFusion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    West-Europe
    #5
    That is a nobel endeavour. But remember, the most important thing with these entry physics labs is that you understand what you are doing and that you get some experimental experience.

    Rather than worrying how your report will look like, you better read all the material you received about your experiments. Most students don't bother doing anything beforehand. Don't make that mistake. Be prepared and you will learn a lot more during your lab classes.
     
  6. iDisk macrumors 6502a

    iDisk

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Menlo Park, CA
    #6
    Look at the attached

    Hope this helps...
     

    Attached Files:

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