Module Identifier PH24010  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Professor Geraint Vaughan  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr James Whiteway  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 1  
Course delivery Lecture   8 lectures (first half of semester)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 workshops  
  Laboratory   36 Hours 12 laboratory sessions (3 hours each)  
Assessment Course work   MathCad exercises   10%  
  Course work   Theory exercises   10%  
  Course work   Young's Modulus experiment   30%  
  Course work   Photometry experiment   30%  
  Exam   1 Hours End of Semester Examinations   20%  

Module description

This module is a laboratory-based course where the handling of data in selected experiments is treated in parallel with a course on the theory of measurement, the nature of experimental errors, random and systematic. The course provides an introduction to the basic statistics encountered in Physics, including the Binomial, Poisson and Normal distributions, and simple least-squares regression. The estimate of standard error, the combination of errors and the optimum design of experiments to reduce the final error in the most efficient way are covered, together with a demonstration of selection effects in compiling a data-base. Further instruction on the MathCad programming package will be given.

Learning outcomes

After taking this module student should be able to:

Additional learning activities

Use of STOMP CAL package.
Simple modelling using MathCad.

Outline syllabus

Use of Mathcad for statistical problems.

Theory of measurement (STOMP Measurement and Uncertainty package)

Random and systematic errors
Accuracy and precision
Mean and standard deviation
Gaussian, Poisson and Binomial distribtions
Combining uncertainties
The Least Squares Principle, graphing data and fitting a straight line to data.

1. Photometry experiment. Exercise in taking and transforming measurements.
2. Young's Modulus experiment.
Determination of Young's Modulus, with special care taken to estimate the random uncertainty
in the final result. Identification of the parameter contributing most to the final error.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Roger Barlow. Statistics. Wiley ISBN 0-471-92295-1
** Reference Text
R. Larsen. Introduction to Mathcad 2000. Prentice Hall ISBN 0-13-020007-7
P.M. Morse. Vibration and Sound.