Module Identifier 
PH24010 
Module Title 
DATA HANDLING AND STATISTICS 
Academic Year 
2006/2007 
Coordinator 
Dr Daniel Brown 
Semester 
Semester 1 
Other staff 
Dr David P Langstaff 
PreRequisite 
Core Physics Modules at Level 1 
Course delivery 
Lecture  8 lectures (first half of semester) 

Practical  36 Hours. Laboratory. 12 laboratory sessions (3 hours each) 
Assessment 
Assessment Type  Assessment Length/Details  Proportion 
Semester Assessment  Course Work: MathCad exercises  20% 
Semester Assessment  Course Work: Theory exercises  20% 
Semester Assessment  Course Work: Young's Modulus experiment  30% 
Semester Assessment  Course Work: Photometry experiment  30% 
Supplementary Assessment  As determined by Departmental Examination Board  100% 

Learning outcomes
After taking this module student should be able to:

explain the nature of random error in experimental data

use the Gaussian distribution and appreciate why it applies in so many cases

calculate the mean and standard deviation of data following a simple, unbiased Gaussian

recognise the effect of interdependence of measurements and extreme values on data sets

combine several different errors to derive a final error

identify the most important source of error in an experiment and concentrate on reducing that error

fit a straight line to experimental data and evaluate the standard error in the slope and intercept.

write a simple MathCad program to model a physical system.
Brief description
This module is a laboratorybased 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 leastsquares 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. Applications of these concepts will be made through practical work and computational work using MathCad.
Content
Use of Mathcad for statistical problems.
Theory of measurement
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.
Experiments
1. Photometry experiment. Determine the temperature of an incandescent filament by optical 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.
Transferable skills
Applying basic statistical principles.
Simple modelling using MathCad.
Writing lab reports.
Reading Lists
Books
** Recommended Text
Roger Barlow Statistics
Wiley 0471922951
** Reference Text
P.M. Morse Vibration and Sound
R. Larsen Introduction to Mathcad 2000
Prentice Hall 0130200077
Notes
This module is at CQFW Level 5