PHYSICS 3537 - Experimental Physics III (Laser Physics & Tech)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

Laboratory experiments in selected areas with an emphasis on atomic spectroscopy, modern optics and electromagnetism, and a practical analogue electronics course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSICS 3537
    Course Experimental Physics III (Laser Physics & Tech)
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PHYSICS 2510, PHYSICS 2525 and/or PHYSICS 2534, MATHS 2101 or MATHS 2201, MATHS 2102 or MATHS 2202 - other student may apply to the Head of Physics for exemption
    Incompatible PHYSICS 3002
    Restrictions Available to BSc(Laser Physics & Technology) students only
    Course Description Laboratory experiments in selected areas with an emphasis on atomic spectroscopy, modern optics and electromagnetism, and a practical analogue electronics course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor David Ottaway

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. use transistors, operational amplifiers and phase sensitive detection;
    2. describe at least two of the following effects:
      • mode phenomena in lasers
      • optical nonlinearity
      • electro-optic effect
      • geometric phase
      • reflection from terminated or unterminated transmission lines
      • gamma or alpha 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
    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

    Practical bench-notes and equipment.

    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course will be delivered by the following means:

    • Practicals 24 x 5-hour sessions with two sessions per week (students attend 8 hours per week)

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

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary

    The course content will include a selection of 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
    • Lock-in amplifier

    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 taskType of assessmentPercentage of total assessment for grading purposesHurdle (Yes/No)Outcomes being assessed
    Assignments Formative & Summative 10% No 2, 3, 4
    Report Formative 15% No 1, 5
    Practical Work Formative & Summative 15% No 1, 5
    Tests Summative 60% No 1 – 5
    Assessment Detail

    Assignments & Report (25% of the total course grade)
    Assignments and a report will be used during the semester to address understanding of and ability to use the material and to provide students a benchmark for their 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 (60% 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: 

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.

    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.

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