Course Title: Practical Physics 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Practical Physics 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

PHYS1066

City Campus

Undergraduate

135H Applied Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2016

PHYS1066

City Campus

Undergraduate

171H School of Science

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Johan du Plessis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2144

Course Coordinator Email: johan.duplessis@rmit.edu.au


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The course continues the development of your expertise in applying physical concepts to practical problems and in learning about experimental techniques and advanced equipment.

The experiments complement some of the material covered in the second year theory courses, but the course can be taken independently if required.

The prerequisites are the first year courses, PHYS2122 – Mechanics, PHYS2127 Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics and PHYS2123 – Modern Physics


Course Description

This laboratory based course provides you with a ’hands on’ experience in a number of experimental techniques, and develops competence in the instrumentation typically used in Physics.

The course also introduces you to MATLAB which will be used to analyse and plot data and LabVIEW for computer control of experiments.

The course assumes a familiarity with optics and electromagnetism, mechanics and waves and thermodynamics at first year level. After completing this course, you will be well prepared for the advanced laboratory and research programs in later years.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should demonstrate that you can:

  • Asses the possible hazards of conducting experiments and carry them out safely
  • Acquire the appropriate data accurately and keep systematic record of your laboratory activities
  • Interpret your findings using the correct physical scientific framework
  • Communicate the findings succinctly using formal reports
  • Use software packages to acquire, interpret and present experimental results


This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP229PHYS - Bachelor of Science (Physics)

PLO 1.1: You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.

PLO 3.3: You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.

PLO 3.5: You will possess an ability to accurately record, analyse, interpret and critically evaluate your research findings.

PLO 4.1: You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills

PLO 5.1: You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work.

PLO 5.2: You will work responsibly, safely, legally and ethically.

PLO 5.3: You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.

 

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP247ASCDD - Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology)/Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences)

PLO 1.1: You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.

PLO 3.3: You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.

PLO 3.4: You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively.

PLO 4.1: You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills

PLO 5.1: You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work.

PLO 5.2: You will work responsibly, safely, legally and ethically.

PLO 5.3: You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will occur through direct involvement and feedback on progress in:

  • introduction to safety issues;
  • working in small teams;
  • mini tutorials conducted by the demonstrator during the experiments.
  • gaining practical "hands on" experience of a number of widely used techniques.
  • use of equipment manuals;
  • development of interactive equipment skills;
  • data acquisition and analysis;
  • maintenance of a comprehensive laboratory journal;
  • individual or group report writing.

 

Total study hours

108 hours of study: Teacher-directed hours (36 hours) - laboratory and MATLAB sessions. Each week there will be either 3 hours of laboratory sessions or 3 hours of MATLAB tutorial sessions.
Student-directed hours (72 hours) - You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class mostly in researching and preparing your laboratory report submissions.


Overview of Learning Resources

The learning hub will be used as the repository for administrative documents such as Lab schedules, support materials and laboratory notes, and email will be the usual method of communication outside of scheduled class time.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks

The two main components of assessment are the laboratory work and MATLAB assignments

 

  1. Laboratory work: For each experiment the report will count 80% and participation and lab journal keeping will form the remaining 20%

 

In total there will be five (5) experiments of which the best four (4) grades will be taken into account for the final laboratory work grade.

 

  1. MATLAB sessions: There will be five (5) MATLAB assignments that are completed in class, the best four (4) grades will be taken into account in calculating the final MATLAB session grade.

 

The final grade will be a weighted average of the Laboratory work and the MATLAB sessions grades. The weights are:

 

Laboratory work: 65%

MATLAB sessions: 35%