PHYSICS 7028 - Experimental Physics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course involves teaching sessions that may be attended by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. This is a laboratory based course in selected areas including atomic and nuclear physics, optics, astrophysics and electromagnetism, plus a practical analogue electronics course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSICS 7028
    Course Experimental Physics
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Sufficient Physics and Mathematics knowledge equivalent to 'Assumed Knowledge'
    Incompatible PHYSICS 3002
    Assumed Knowledge PHYSICS 2510, PHYSICS 2520 and/or PHYSICS 2534, MATHS 2101 or MATHS 2201, MATHS 2102 or MATHS 2202 or equivalent
    Assessment Practical work, assignments, reports, tests
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Ross Young

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On completion of this course, students should be able to:

    1. use transistors, operational amplifiers and phase sensitive detection;
    2. describe at least two of the following effects:
      • Fourier methods in optics
      • thermal diffusivity
      • reflection from terminated or unterminated transmission lines
      • alpha radiation
      • gamma radiation
      • electron spin resonance;
    3. connect a digital oscilloscope to a computer and record a signal with an appropriate sampling rate;
    4. generate and interpret the power spectrum of the recorded data,
    5. use the tools, methodologies, language and conventions of physics to test and communicate ideas and explanations
    6. demonstrate advanced communication skills in the context of Physics.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. Required Resources

    -          Practical bench-notes and equipment.

    Online Learning

    It is important that all students maintain active communication channels with the Physics Discipline throughout the year. The primary communication channels from the Discipline to students are MyUNI and Email.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Students are introduced to course content through lecture and independent reading. They develop their understanding through discussion, independent and group problem solving and completing assignments.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A full-time student should expect to spend, on average, a total of 48 hours per week on their studies. This includes the formal contact time required for the course (e.g. lectures: 3 hours/week, tutorials: 1 hour/week, practicals: 3 hours/fortnight), as well as non-contact time (e.g. reading and revision). For a 3-unit course, the expected workload would be, on average, 12 hours per week.

    To complete their studies successfully, students are expected to attend all scheduled lectures, tutorials and compulsory practical classes, as well as commit additional time to individual study, group study and the completion of assessment tasks. For a student to satisfactorily complete the academic requirements of a typical 3-unit course, a minimum TOTAL time commitment of 12 hours per week is expected (i.e. contact PLUS non-contact time). In addition, students should expect to study for one week of the two-week mid-semester break, as well as during swot week and the examination period.

    Students who wish to excel and students whose background preparation for a course is poor should expect to commit additional time to that described above.

    Learning Activities Summary

    The course content will include a selection from the following experiments:       

    -          Computers interfacing and the Fast Fourier transform

    -          Fourier Optics

    -          Fourier Transform Spectroscopy

    -          Nuclear Physics – gamma rays

    -          Nuclear Physics – alpha rays

    -          Experimental Statistics and Atomic time

    -          Electron g-Factor

    -          Diode pumped Solid State Laser

    -          Electro-Optic Effect

    -          Transmission Lines

    -          Supersonic Sound

    -          Geometric Phase

    All students do the computer interfacing experiment.

    All students also do Analogue Electronics practical exercises, including the following topics:

    -          single transistor amplifier

    -          differential amplifier

    -          operational amplifier

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment task

    Type of assessment

    Percentage of total   assessment



    Yes or No #

    Outcomes being assessed   / achieved


    Formative & Summative



    2, 3, 4

    Report 1

    Formative & Summative



    2, 5, 6

    Report 2

    Formative & Summative



    2, 5, 6

    Practical work

    Formative & Summative



    1, 5





    1 – 5

    Assessment Detail

    Description of Assessment:

    Assignments and Reports (35% of the total course grade)

    Assignments and reports will be used during the semester to address understanding of and ability to use the material and to provide students a benchmark for the progress in the course.

    Practical work (15% of the total course grade)

    Students work on experiments individually or in pairs and maintain a log book recording their progress, results and discussions. Demonstrators provide formative assessment as the students are doing each experiment. Assessment of this component of the course is based on the quality of the laboratory log book.

    Tests (50% of the total course grade)

    One 60-minute analogue electronics and one 120-minute experimental open book tests will be used to assess the understanding of and ability to use the material.

    Submission of Assigned Work

    Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUNI. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks

    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a replacement examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from:

    Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

    Assessment tasks must be submitted by the stated deadlines. There will be a penalty for late submission of assessment tasks: the submitted work will be marked ‘without prejudice’ and 10% of the obtained mark will be deducted for each working day (or part of a day) that an assessment task is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the mark attained. An examiner may elect not to accept any assessment task that a student wants to submit after that task has been marked and feedback provided to the rest of the class. This procedure does not apply to the MyUNI quizzes which must be completed before the deadlines.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.