Academic Year 2021/2022 - 2° Year
Teaching Staff: Domenico LO PRESTI
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: FIS/01 - Experimental physics
Taught classes: 42 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The cut of this course is experimental and applicative.

The specific training objectives of this course are:

  • Understanding the electrical, magnetic and optical phenomena underlying the operation of sensors in an experimental, practical and operational manner.
  • Being able to create electrical circuits and electrical, magnetic and optical devices and to carry out measurements of physical properties and technical characteristics.
  • Acquire basic knowledge on the operating principles of the equipment, general methods, and mental aptitudes useful for investigating electromagnetic and optical phenomena also different from those already proposed in the course.
  • Acquire basic knowledge and useful skills for the design of new devices in the same field.
  • Acquire basic knowledge and useful skills for programming simple data acquisition systems.
  • To acquire the ability to correctly analyze experimental data and to produce a scientific report describing the experiment performed, reporting its results produced by this analysis and knowing how to interpret them.
  • To acquire the ability to communicate the results of an experiment and / or a scientific measure in a correct, exhaustive, clear and effective manner.

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

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Capacity of inductive and deductive reasoning.
  • Ability to schematize a natural phenomenon in terms of scalar and vector physical quantities.
  • Ability to set a problem using appropriate relationships between physical quantities (of algebraic, integral or differential type) and to solve it with analytical or numerical methods.
  • Ability to assemble and develop simple experimental configurations, and to use scientific instrumentation for thermomechanical and electromagnetic measurements.
  • Ability to perform statistical data analysis.

Ability to apply knowledge:

  • Ability to apply the acquired knowledge for the description of physical phenomena using the scientific method with rigor.
  • Ability to design simple experiments and perform the analysis of experimental data obtained in all areas of interest of physics, including those with technological implications.

Autonomy of judgment:

  • Ability to critical reasoning.
  • Ability to identify the most appropriate methods to critically analyze, interpret and process experimental data.
  • Ability to identify the predictions of a theory or a model.
  • Ability to evaluate the accuracy of the measurements, the linearity of the instrumental responses, the sensitivity and selectivity of the techniques used.

Communication skills:

  • Ability to present a scientific topic orally, with properties of language and terminological rigor, illustrating the reasons and results.
  • Ability to describe in writing, with properties of language and terminological rigor, a scientific topic, illustrating the reasons and results.

Course Structure

The first cycle of lectures in the classroom will demonstrate the physical principles underlying the functioning of different types of sensors, simple data acquisition systems and data analysis strategies.

The final part of the course includes cycles of practical exercises and the construction of selected measurement systems, the characterization of the sensors used through the acquisition of measurement sets and data analysis.

During the cycles of practical exercises in the Laboratory the students practically carry out the experiments and actually carry out the measurements, previously introduced in the Chamber.

The course, of 6 credits, therefore includes a total of 42 hours of teaching activities.

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Detailed Course Content

During the first cycle of lectures different types of sensors will be introduced, explaining the physical principle underlying the operation and the methods of use in a sensor measurement. The concepts underlying the reading electronics of a sensor, the digitization of signals and their subsequent storage and processing will be introduced.

In the second cycle, the student will be guided in the use of a measurement system composed of a sensor, an acquisition system and data analysis examples for the purpose of characterizing the sensor used.

Attendance both to classroom lessons and to laboratory sessions is mandatory.
Attendance signatures are collected during lessons and laboratory practice.
Classroom lessons are normally held twice a week, 2 hours each lesson.

Textbook Information

The teacher does not follow any particular text, but uses material from different texts. The slides of the lessons are usually sufficient to pass the exam.

The experiences in the laboratory are accompanied by exhaustive instruction sheets also available on the course website: Schede.

For in-depth information in which the student wanted to engage, the following is a selection of texts that can be consulted as they describe the methods of data analysis, some of the electrical and optical tools used in the course and the related measurement procedures.

1) Handbook of modern sensors: physics, designs and applications - Jacob Fraden, Springer edition

2) Robot sensors and transducers - S. R. Ruocco - HALSTED PRESS, John Wiley & Sons, New York - Toronto and OPEN UNIVERSITY PRESS, Milton Keynes