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PH10102: Experimental physics and computing 1

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 9
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: PR 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Practical (PR 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Coursework reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: While taking this module you must take PH10003
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The primary aims of this unit are to give the student confidence and competence in basic laboratory and information processing skills, and to introduce laboratory project work. Further aims are to encourage the application of basic principles to unfamiliar areas of physics, and to reinforce other course material through self-paced laboratory demonstrations. Two additional aims are to introduce the use of computer software to simulate electrical circuits, to introduce computer programming, and to give students experience of presenting their work in the form of a poster.

Learning Outcomes:
While taking this unit the student should be able to:
* demonstrate the correct use of common laboratory equipment;
* set up and carry out experimental demonstrations related to level 1 physics units;
* use a scientific log book for recording details of experimental procedure, experimental results and data analysis;
* use a computer software package to simulate the operation of passive electronic networks and compare the results with the measured behaviour;
* plan, design and carry out two physics projects consisting of small-scale experimental investigations;
* analyse experimental and observational data, and write formal scientific project reports;
* design and make a poster based on a physics project, and present this at an open poster presentation.

Written Communication T/F A, Spoken Communication T/F A, Numeracy T/F A, Data Acquisition, Handling, and Analysis T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A, Working as part of a group T/F, Practical laboratory skills T/F A, Project planning/management T/F A.

Scientific report writing skills: Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the constituent parts of a scientific report: abstract, introduction, method, discussion, conclusion and referencing.
Techniques of measurement: Examples include use of oscilloscope, light sources and detectors, operational amplifiers, geometrical optics, introduction to computer data acquisition.
Demonstrations: Examples include statistics of radiation counting, astrophysical data analysis, elastic properties, spectrum of atomic hydrogen, ultrasonic waves in air, the Michelson interferometer, heat engines, and photoelectric determination of Planck's constant.
Electronics: Passive dc circuits on protoboard. Resonant ac circuits. Filters. Operational amplifiers.
Project: Two independent projects to simulate the processes of researching, planning, performing, analysing and reporting a small-scale experimental investigation. The topics are chosen from a wide range of physics and astrophysics topics appropriate to first-year students, including hypothesis testing, design of apparatus and investigating novel phenomena.
PC laboratory sessions: The use of spreadsheets, such as EXCEL and Matlab, to perform statistical operations and data analysis. The use of word processors, such as WORD, to produce technical reports. The use of computers for scientific purposes, including analysis of astrophysical data. Computer packages for circuit simulation: standard computer software is used to simulate the behaviour of simple, passive, electrical circuits, and the simulation is tested against measured behaviour. Introduction to programming in C.
Poster presentation: The students' second project is presented in the form of a poster, in a style similar to that of conference posters. This will be judged by staff and students at an open presentation.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH10102 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 1)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.