Module Information

Module Identifier
PH25520
Module Title
Experimental Physics
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Pre-Requisite
PH15720 or FG15720; or PH15510 or FG15510
External Examiners
  • Professor Pete Vukusic (Professor - Exeter University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 1 Hour Lecture
Practical 44 x 2 Hour Practicals
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Individual report  60%
Semester Assessment Presentation  20%
Semester Assessment Literature review  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed component  100%

Learning Outcomes

After taking this module students should:

  • Be able to search for papers and articles on topics related to experimental work and present a bibliography using Endnote or similar software.
  • Be able to plan, perform and report on an experiment with minimal input from teaching staff, utilising skills developed in previous modules.

Aims


This module aims to develop the analytical and experimental skills necessary to perform advanced level physics experiments. Specifically students will develop an understanding of instrumentation, data analysis and computational modelling as well as communication and critical evaluation of the experimental results.

Brief description


Students will be required to perform two experiments over the course of the semester. For each experiment, students will work in groups of four or five and will be required to research the background to the experiment, examine the equipment available and then develop an experimental strategy and analyse the results. Each experiment will be assessed in three ways; firstly the group will produce a literature review showing evidence of independent research into topics related to the experiment, secondly the group will make a presentation of the experiment, thirdly there will be a formal experimental report written. The report will be an individual submission.





Content


The students will gain familiarity with instrumentation and data collected from ongoing experiments. This module is focused on developing the skill set necessary for experimental physics. Students will be expected to research the background to the experiments, the context of the experiments and to be aware of the most recent literature related to the experiments. In contrast to the first year these experiments are more complicated and represent the bridge between part one and final year research-led projects. There are no easy solutions to the experiments - the groups must investigate, design and execute the experiments and communicate the outcomes. Students will be expected to research the background to experiments using the internet and library searches. Modelling of data and electronic control of instrumentation are a central part of this module. Physics graduates are expected to have developed problem solving skills and experimental techniques. This module focuses on developing this skill set. It is a prelude to the final year projects and will give students experience of the environment of experimental physics and problem solving. It is an essential part of the student's career development.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will keep laboratory diaries and write reports on experiments. An important component is the group presentation of experimental results to an audience of their peers. These will develop oral as well as written communication skills.
Information Technology Students will be expected to research the background to experiments using the internet and library searches. The results of the information searches will be presented in a literature review using Endnote or similar bibliographic software.
Personal Development and Career planning Physics graduates are expected to have developed problem solving skills and experimental techniques. This module focuses on developing this skill set. It is a prelude to the final year projects and will give students experience of the environment of experimental physics and problem solving. It is an essential part of the student's career development.
Problem solving In contrast to the first year these experiments are more complicated and represent the bridge between part one and final year research-led projects. There are no easy solutions to the experiments - the groups must investigate, design and execute the experiments and communicate the outcomes.
Research skills Students will be expected to research the background to the experiments, the context of the experiments and to be aware of the most recent literature related to the experiments.
Subject Specific Skills They will gain familiarity with instrumentation and data collected from ongoing experiments. This module is focused on developing the skill set necessary for experimental physics.
Team work Students will work in groups of 4 to 5. Students are expected to research and undertake experiments with assistance from staff. The incentive is however for students to direct the experiments and perform as a team.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5