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PHY1030 : Laboratory Physics 1

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Noel Healy
  • Lecturer: Dr Angela Dyson, Dr George Stagg
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce and enhance the practical skills required for experimental physics. To develop an understanding of error propagation. To introduce the Python programming language as a tool for data presentation and analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

Use of Python for numerical computing. Getting started, input and output, data types, plotting and simple calculations, control statements, functions, random variables.
• Practical experience with concepts presented in lectures
• Physical measurement equipment
• Presentation of data and results in a clear and logical manner
• Analysis of data
• Error propagation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Computing Lecture – Synchronous On-Line
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion731:0073:00Preparation of in course assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical61:006:00Computing Practical – Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical163:0048:00Laboratory – Present in Person/Remote
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study671:0067:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Information is provided through the use of laboratory sheets and lecture based instruction for key principles. Students self learn through the practical exercises to achieve the specific learning outcomes for that activity. Peer learning and group work is an important contributor during the practical lab sessions to achieving the intended learning outcomes. The computing sessions provide the opportunity for students to understand the syntax and structure of computer code to enable this to support their studies in the future.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M25ICA
Portfolio1M20Portfolio comprising 3 out of 4 of the remote laboratory sessions
Practical/lab report2M20Write-up of a completed experiment as a formal report
Practical/lab report2M20Write-up of a completed experiment as a formal report
Computer assessment2M15Numbas test on uncertainties & error propagation.
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
PerformanceMAttendance of a minimum of 50% of lab sessions required to pass the module
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The laboratory session provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of laboratory physics. A portion of the lab report mark goes to good record keeping and preparation for the experiment. Lab write-ups test the student’s understanding of the results, their ability to communicate their results and their skills with the introduced programming languages.

Reading Lists