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A laboratory based course in experimental techniques, data acquisition and analysis, scientific writing and career skills for second-year physics/astronomy students.
A selection of laboratories covering a wide range of techniques in measurement and analysis relevant to physics and astronomy experiments. These include:• Design of experiments and experimental uncertainties. • Recording data and writing scientific reports. • Computerized data acquisition and data analysis. • Use of equipment such as oscilloscopes, Geiger-Muller counters, and various optical and electrical equipment. • Library database skills. • A variety of experiments relevant to physics in the field of optics, spectroscopy, mechanics, electrical circuits, radiation, and condensed matter.
The goals of this course are to develop the experimental, technical and analytical ability of second year physical science students. Students will have developed the skills to make measurements and acquire and analyse data using a variety of means, including computerized data acquisition and analysis. They will have developed an understanding of the methodology required to set up and perform physics experiments. The students have demonstrated an ability to condense their work into a scientific report.
(1) PHYS101; and (2) MATH102 or EMTH118; and (3) COSC131 or COSC121 or another approved course in computer programming. These prerequisites may be replaced by a high level of achievement in level 3 NCEA Physics and Mathematics with Calculus or other background approved by the Head of Department. RP: (1) PHYS102; and (2) MATH103 or EMTH119.
(1) PHYS102; and (2) MATH103 or EMTH119
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Preparation and attendance. Students are expected to attend all timetabled activities. For the regular 3-hour labs, they must (a) arrive at the lab at the start time and actively participate; and (b) show detailed preparation in their lab book for the experiment. Jupyter notebooks showing experimental analysis and results. For each experiment, your group will need to submit a jupyter notebook file and supporting data files. The notebook file must be well documented, and contain all the analysis code needed to reproduce your experimental results. Submissions are due at the start time of the following week's first lab session. They will be marked out of 5, and all group members will receive the same mark.Formal Reports - students are required to write formal lab reports for 4 of their experiments. These will be due on particular date to be advised. Each report will receive a mark out of 10, and will be worth progressively higher weights as the course progresses.
Course information and content (PDF 63KB)
General Course Information (PDF 163KB)
Domestic fee $951.00
International fee $4,750.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Physical & Chemical Sciences