Module Code: PHY1011 
Module Title: EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS MULTIPLE MODULE 

Module Provider: Physics

Short Name: PH1MEXPP

Level: HE1

Module Coordinator: HOSEA TJ Dr (Physics)

Number of credits: 30

Number of ECTS credits: 15




Module Availability 
Semester 1 and Semester 2. 


Assessment Pattern 
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)

Semester 1 Laboratory Coursework

33%

Semester 2 Laboratory Coursework

33%

Fortran Coursework

26%

Data Handling Coursework

8%

Qualifying Condition(s):
University general regulations refer.

Assessment Schedule
Semester 1 Coursework:
Laboratory diary aggregate mark (17%)
Laboratory written report (8%)
Laboratory class test (8%)
Semester 2 Coursework:
Laboratory diary aggregate mark (17%)
Laboratory written report (8%)
Laboratory poster presentation (8%)
Computational Coursework:
Data analysis (8%)
Fortran assignments (18%)
Fortran class test (8%)
Note: the weight of each Coursework element to the total module mark is indicated.




Module Overview 
Practical 1:
A series of experiments of varying length designed to provide a common set of laboratory skills for students arriving from various backgrounds.
Practical 2:
A series of twoweek experiments designed to allow students to continue developing their laboratory skills. The experiments will include at least one on a subject related to each student's chosen degree programme.
Computational Laboratory:
The processing of experimental data and the evaluation of uncertainties and errors are developed in Excel. Numerical methods and their implementation in the Fortran 95 programming language are introduced. The visualisation and presentation of results using graphics packages within both windows and Xwindows environment is introduced.




Prerequisites/Corequisites 
Practical 1, Practical 2 and Computational Laboratory:
Preuniversity education to Advanced Level standard.




Module Aims 
Practical 1:
To provide an appropriate introduction and lay a secure foundation for the development of the skills of an experimental physicist. To provide an opportunity to become familiar with:
 Standard laboratory equipment
 Data and error analysis methods
 Good laboratory practice
 Presentation of scientific results
Practical 2:
To provide an opportunity for students to continue to develop a range of practical skills in the use of scientific apparatus, data analysis, and scientific communication (written and verbal).
Computational Laboratory:
To know the basic elements of probability distributions and to be able to undertake simple statistical and error analysis. To be able to use a computer spreadsheet to do such analysis, plot graphs and perform curve fitting. To introduce editors and scientific programming constructs. To introduce and, through sample programs and practical classes, to teach the use of those Fortran 95 language elements necessary to write, compile and run computer programs for simple data manipulations. To develop and enhance a student’s Fortran 95 programming skills and to introduce a number of practical numerical and simulation methods applicable to physical problems.




Learning Outcomes 
Practical 1:
By the end of this component, the student should be able to (i) follow detailed instructions in order to carry out simple experiments which demonstrate physical principles (ii) analyse the results of said experiments and in particular provide a detailed error analysis (iii) fully and accurately record the experiment (iv) write a detailed account of the experiment following standard scientific writing and reporting methods.
Practical 2:
By the end of this component, the student should be able to (i) follow experimental procedures and develop their own strategies for acquiring data in order to investigate a range of physical phenomena; (ii) analyse the results of experiments and, in particular, provide a detailed error analysis; (iii) fully and accurately record the experiment; (iv) write a detailed account of the experiment following standard scientific writing and reporting method; and (v) present the results of an experiment in the form of a poster.
Computational Laboratory:
At the end of this component students should have developed good programming practice in Fortran 95 and be able to apply their knowledge to solve a number of physical problems numerically. Students should be able to analyse and present reduced experimental and probabilistic results of the multiple measurements of physical observables. Specifically they should be able to quote averages and errors of such variables. They should be able to fit theoretical predictions to graphs where one independent observable is changing using the method of least squares, and find the errors in the fitting parameter(s). Students should be able to use simple error theory to find the errors of quantities dependent on (combinations of) the observables. They should be able to use simply probability distributions to predict the outcome of experiments.




Module Content 
Practical 1:
For the first three weeks, students undertake a series of short experiments lasting typically one hour which covers areas such as errors, electrical measurement, waves, simple optics, Fourier synthesis and resonance. These are followed by a set of oneweek experiments related to the core physics modules and or to the specialist physics courses.
Practical 2:
A series of twoweek experiments (eight hours each) covering areas related to the core physics modules, including electronics. At least one experiment will be offered in an area relevant to each student’s particular degree specialisation (e.g. nuclear physics).
Computational Laboratory:
Probability: Discrete and continuous distributions, expectation values. Binomial, Gaussian and Poisson distributions. The Central Limit Theorem.
Statistics: Mean, standard deviation, standard error in mean.
Data Handling: Propagation of errors, leastsquares fitting, X^{2} distribution.
Spreadsheets: Excel spreadsheets including calculations and graphs.
Units, Matrices, Computer Algebra: Introduction to some features of MathCad.
Introduction to the Fortran 95 Language: Constant and variable types and their declaration, parameters, arithmetic operators and expressions, arithmetic assignments, intrinsic functions, simple input/output, relational expressions, logical expressions, the forms of the IF statement, subprograms, DO loops, arrays and their use for subscripted variables, general input/output, the format statement.
Introductory Programming Exercises: Averages, running sums/products, function evaluation, iteration, simple simulation, use of input and output, integers and reals, random number simulations, use of arrays.
Five Computing Assignments Covering: 1) Roots of equations (NewtonRaphson); 2) numerical differentiation; 3) numerical integration; 4) random number simulations and 5) linear algebra.




Methods of Teaching/Learning 
Practical 1:
Twelve halfdays (48 hours) of laboratory classes.
Practical 2:
Twelve halfdays (48 hours) of laboratory classes.
Computational Laboratory:
Semester 1: CPTL: 13 twohour computing laboratory sessions.
DH: onehour lecture followed by onehour tutorial session in a computing laboratory, weekly for six weeks.
PC: 2 hours introductory lectures during week 3.
Semester 2: CPTL: 12 twohour computing laboratory sessions.




Selected Texts/Journals 
Practical 1 and Practical 2:
Required
Reading
:
i. Dr D Lancefield, Physics Laboratory Handbook: Level 1, Physics Department (a copy will be given to all students).
Recommended
Reading
:
i. L Kirkup, Experimental Methods: An introduction to the analysis and presentation of data, John Wiley and Sons,
New York
, 1994.
ii. R J Barlow, Statistics,
Manchester
Physics Series, Wiley, IBSN 0471922951.
iii. P R Bevington and D K Robinson, Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences, [Second Edition], McGraw Hill, 1992. The first edition with only Bevington as the author is in the Library: 519.286 BEV
iv. J R
Taylor
, An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements, [Second Edition], Scinu Books, 1997.
Computational Laboratory:
i. T M R
Elis
, I R Philips and T M Lahey, Fortran 90 Programming, AddisonWesley.
ii. Metcalf and Reid, Fortram 90/95 explained, Oxford University Press,
Oxford
, 1996.
iii. FORTRAN 95 programming on the Departmental Intranet, http://web.ph.surrey.ac.uk/fortweb/
iv. Dr D Lancefield, Physics Laboratory Handbook: Level 1, Physics Department (given to all students in Practical I).
v. R J Barlow, Statistics,
Manchester
Physics Series, J Wiley, ISBN 0471922951.




Last Updated 
August 2010. 


