Academic Year 2019/2020 - 1° Year
Teaching Staff: Cristina Natalina TUVÈ
Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: FIS/01 - Experimental physics
Taught classes: 42 hours
Laboratories: 90 hours
Term / Semester: One-year

Learning Objectives

The course gives the background of Laboratory of Physics and Statistics.

The students teach the experimental method and the experimental data analysis techniques.

The number of hours the student attends the laboratory is 90 hours. During the experimental work the students are followed by the teacher and a tutor. There is, also, the presence of the lab technician.

At the end of the course the student will have:

  • Ability of inductive and deductive reasoning
  • Ability to assemble and fine-tune some basic experimental configurations, and to use scientific instruments for thermomechanical measurements
  • Ability to perform a statistical analysis of experimental data.

Furthermore, in reference to Dublin Descriptors, this course helps to acquire the following transversal skills:

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Ability of inductive and deductive reasoning.
  • Ability to describe a physical phenomenon in terms of scalar and vector fields.
  • Ability to describe a problem in terms of suitable (algebraic, integral, or differential) relations among physical magnitudes through analytical or numerical methods
  • Ability to assemble and fine-tune some basic experimental configurations, and to use scientific instruments for thermomechanical measurements
  • Ability to perform a statistical analysis of experimental data

Applying knowledge and understanding

  • Ability to apply one's knowledge to describe physical phenomena using scientific methods rigorously.
  • Ability to plan or devise simple experiments and to perform a statistical analysis of the experimental data thereby obtained in all areas of interest of physics, including those with technological applications.

Making judgements

  • Ability of critical reasoning
  • Ability to select the most suitable methods to critically analyze, interpret, and describe experimental data.
  • Ability to identify the predictions of a theory or of a model.
  • Ability to estimate the accuracy of measurements, the linear character of an instrument's feedback, sensitivity and selectivity of the techniques under use.

Communication skills

  • Ability to orally present scientific topics, with a suitable vocabulary and sufficient rigour, with attention to motivations and results.
  • Ability to present scientific topics, in a written form, with a suitable vocabulary and sufficient rigour, with attention to motivations and results.

Course Structure

The teaching is divided into lectures, that will be held in the first part of the course, and experiments to do in the laboratory in the second part.
The frontal hours are dedicated to the measurement method, data analysis and statistical elements. Are provided exercises during head-hours in order to prepare students to perform correctly laboratory experiences that they will do in the second part of the teaching.
6 credits (corresponding to 7 hours each) are dedicated to lessons in the classroom, for a total of 42 hours, and 6 ECTS (corresponding to 15 hours each) are dedicated to laboratory exercises, for a total of 90 hours. The course, of 12 CFU, thus includes a total of 132 hours of teaching activities.

During periods of classroom lessons, laboratory exercises are NOT held. During the exercise periods in the laboratory you can do some lessons in the classroom.

During the course, guided tours will be scheduled to the National Laboratories of the South and to the Research Institutes working at the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Detailed Course Content

The course is 12 CFU. 132 hours including classroom lessons and laboratory exercises.

In particular, 42 hours of classroom instruction and 90 hours of guided laboratory exercises are planned include both the description of the different experiments in the laboratory and the taking and analysis of the data

Analysis of the experimental data (22 hours):

- The Scientific Method
- The measurement of physical quantities. Definition (operational) of physical quantities and its measurement. Fundamental and derived quantities. Units of measurement and units of measurement systems: The International System.
- Presentation of the measures and significant digits. Read a formula and verify its correctness (dimensional analysis)
- Features of a measuring instrument
- Errors and / or uncertainties. Systematic and random errors.
- The total error in measurements, relative error, degree of precision.
- Measures single and / or multiple. The best estimate of the error (mode, median and mean)
- Standard deviation, population standard deviation, and sample average.
- Error propagation.
- Representation of data: tables, diagrams and graphs.
- Histograms: discreetly to limit distribution.
- The distribution of Gaussian distribution as a limit for measures affected by random errors.
- The measure of a physical quantity influenced by random events and estimate of the expected value.
- Size in probabilistic terms.
- Elements of probability theory.
- The criterion of maximum likelihood.
- Probability distributions: Gaussian, Binomial, Poisson.
- Test of chi-square.
- Graphic and functional relationships

Description of laboratory experiences (12h)

Statistics (20h)

- Random events, aleatorie- variables classical definition, relative frequency and axiomatic probability - Total probability, conditional probability, likely composed- Bayes Theorem -Convergence statistics - statistics and covariance independence - Statistical population - sampling - law of large numbers - mathematical expectation for discrete and continuous random variables - probability density - moments - moment generating functions and characteristic function • Bernoulli distribution • Poisson distribution • Gaussian distribution • • χ2-distribution distribution • central limit theorem • statistical indices and their sample estimates

Laboratory experiments (78 hours ):

Measures of lengths: Caliper, palmer • Inclined plane • • Fletcher and Atwood Machine Device • Simple pendulum • Physic Pendulum• Kater reversible pendulum • Pendulum ball, spherometer • Pendulum on bow • Torsion Pendulum • Needle Maxwell • Springs • moment of inertia of a flywheel • rotational kinetic energy.

Pycnometer • Mohr-Westphal balance • viscometer Ostwald • Tension • Venturi tube • Sedimentation.
Calorimeter mixtures of Regnault • Heat propagation in a homogeneous beam • -Equazione perfect gas state of Desormes • Experience and Clement • Kundt Tube • Galton Quinconce

Textbook Information

  1. J.R. Taylor: Introduzione all'analisi degli errori. Lo studio delle incertezze nelle misure fisiche, Zanichelli
  2. M. Loreti: Teoria degli Errori e Fondamenti di Statistica, Decibel, Padova
  3. R. Bevington: Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences
  4. R. Ricamo: Guida alle Esperimentazioni di Fisica, Ed. Ambrosiana, Milano
  5. E. Perucca: Fisica Generale e Sperimentale, UTET, Torino
  6. F.Tyler: A Laboratory Manual of Physics E.Arnould, London
  7. lecture slides