This course focuses on experimental skills and techniques in physics. The overall goal of the course is to provide a foundation in laboratory methods, including experimental design, modern measurement techniques, and data analysis. Students perform experiments that explore key principles in physics relating to both natural phenomena and modern technology. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics and lasers, thermal processes, and atomic physics.
The course consists of 8 lectures and 11 laboratory sessions. For each experiment, students complete a pre-lab homework assignment, and then work on their lab note book during the lab session. For three of the experiments, students are required to write a full written report, in addition to the lab note book.
Dr Mikkel Andersen
|Introducton to Matlab|
|Error analysis and uncertainties; Propagation of uncertainties; Curve fitting; Statistical analysis of random uncertainties|
|Basic measurement techniques|
Experiments: mechanical equivalent of heat; Adiabatic gas processes; Coulomb’s law; Force on a current-carrying conductor; Properties of a helium-neon laser; Speed of light and single-photon interference; Polarization of light; Franck-Hertz experiment
Textbook: An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements, J.R.Taylor.1997
Formal University Information
The following information is from the University’s corporate web site.
Students will perform experiments that explore key principles in physics relating to both natural phenomena and modern technology. Provides a foundation in laboratory methods, including experimental design, modern measurement techniques, and data analysis.
This paper focuses on experimental skills and techniques in physics. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics and lasers, thermal processes and atomic physics.
|Paper title||Experimental Physics I|
|Teaching period||Semester 1 (On campus)|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$1,110.75|
|International Tuition Fees||Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.|
- One of PHSI 131, PHSI 132 or PHSI 191
- Pre or Corequisite
- MATH 130
- Schedule C
- More information link
- View more information about PHSI 282
- Teaching staff
Required: Ifan G. Huges and Thomas P. A. Hase. (2010). Measurements and their Uncertainties: A Practical Guide to Modern Error Analysis. Oxford UP.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship,
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation,
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- After completing this paper students will be able to:
- Design an experiment to test a hypothesis or to measure physical quantities
- Use a range of modern techniques and apparatus for making physical measurements
- Use Matlab for basic data analysis
- Record experimental work carefully and accurately in a lab notebook
- Understand the importance of errors in measurement and be able to estimate and combine these errors