First year lab projects
Structure of first year lab
Opt./Elec. Demonstration Computing
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Monday 14.00 - 17.00 Thursdays 09.00 - 12.00
Tuesday 09.00 - 12.00 Fridays 14.00 - 17.00
a b c x y z
O/E D C O/E D C
C O/E D C O/E D
D C O/E D C O/E
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Maths analysis Second Term
Open Days Third Term
Projects: Timetable in term 3
Week 2 Time Mon 3 Tues 4 Wed 5 Thur 6 Fri 7
03-May 09-10 P P
10-11 BANK P P SoM
11-12 P P QP
First meeting with
2-3 SoM P
3-4 HOLIDAY SoM Cl P
4-5 MA P
Week 5 Time Mon 24 Tues 25 Wed 26 Thur 27 Fri 28
24-May 09-10 P Elec P
10-11 QP P QP P
Per Tut 11-12
QP Cl P P
Schedule is mostly free
in weeks 2 to 7
4-5 P E&M P
Mon 14 Tues 15 Wed 16 Thur 17 Fri 18
10-11 PROJECT DISPLAY
11-12 DISPLAY PREPARATION DAYS
2-3 Dept Schools
3-4 views view
4-5 projects projects
• write two project proposals, due March 3
• procure/prepare any hard to find equipment, software etc.
• meet with each pair of students (1 hour/project/week)
• attend department open day June 17
• complete continuous assessment form by June 18
• Projects can be experimental or
• Look over scripts for short experiments to
see what level students are used to. (Short
experiments are 6 hours)
• Check previous years projects for ideas,
• Too ambitious? You should be able to
complete the project in less than 10 hours.
What is physics? Mathematical description of the
natural world, starting from basic physical laws.
An ideal project will have something to calculate and
something to measure. This is not always possible.
• Illustrate basic physics in a interesting way, or
• Involve important/useful experimental, computational
or theoretical techniques
Students need to be able to present their project results
on a poster at the open days
Bat box (experimental)
Build an ultrasonic receiver to mix bat chirps down to audio range.
•Physics: heterodyne measurements (okay)
•Techniques: electronics (okay)
•Presentation: Excellent, easy to make an interesting poster w/ audio
Counting without counting (theory/ experiment)
Measure electron charge by statistics of small current fluctuations.
Mechanical analogy could be dropping ball bearings on scale.
•Physics: counting statistics, fluctuations (excellent)
•Techniques: Monte Carlo? Data acquisition? (good)
•Presentation: Very good, easy to make an interesting poster.
Helmholtz coils (theory/computing/experiment)
Calculate/measure field from Helmholtz pair.
•Physics: Electromagnetism, elliptic functions (excellent)
•Techniques: Hall probe (fair)
•Presentation: Difficult to make interesting (fair)
Rubber band heat engine: Physics: excellent, Tech: good, Pres: good
Phase locking: Physics: excellent, Tech: fair, Pres: fair/good
Electronic fireflies- self organized criticality:
Physics: excellent, Tech: good, Pres: excellent
Metal detector: Physics: fair, Tech: v. good, Pres: good
CD/DVDs and diffraction: Physics: good, Tech: fair, Pres: good
Robots?: Physics: none?, Tech: electronics?, Pres: good
• Web-based project? Video?
• Group projects: supervise 4 students doing
one project, rather than 2 individual
FIRST YEAR PROJECTS: CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT
Name Mark (out of 60)
Assessment Partner’s Name Project Code
B. Sc. B.Sc. +YiE M. Sci. M. Sci. + YiE
Please circle the appropriate mark in each category:
Enthusiasm/Initiative           
Comprehension           
Programming Ability           
Analysis/Interpretation           
Lab Book/Recordkeeping           
Poster Display      
Communication Skills      
Fractional Attendance (see notes 2 and 3):
Product of total mark and fractional attendance:
Discretionary Mark (see note 4d, use sparingly):
Write the product of the total mark and fractional attendance (plus any discretionary mark) in the box at the
top of the page.
80-100%: OUTSTANDING. Exceptional, independent work which shows thorough
understanding and excellent technique together with substantial initiative.
70-80%: FIRST CLASS. Excellent work: shows very good understanding and originality or
correct method and clear reporting together with significant initiative.
60-70%: UPPER SECOND. Good work: shows some initiative without being brilliant.
50-60%: LOWER SECOND. Below average work or generally competent work but
containing a few shortcomings such as poor data, some incomplete interpretation, etc.
40-50%: THIRD. Well below average in all respects or containing substantial flaws or
0-40%: FAIL. Unsatisfactory work: poor in all aspects or containing major mistakes in
interpretation and analysis.