Professional Physics module (PH11002)

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In this module, you will develop the practical skills needed as a physics student and professional physicist. You will gain experience in what it means to be a scientist, and what physics careers you might follow. You will have several opportunities to pursue your interests in physics, be they in astronomy, particle physics, medical physics, or any other topic. 

You will gain an insight into cutting-edge research problems and the industrial value of physics. You will learn "what is physics?" and what makes science distinct from opinion. You will learn problem-solving techniques, understand the role of errors and uncertainties in experiments, and learn how to handle them. You will learn how to plan, carry out, and report on experiments using appropriate methodology. Other skills you will learn include writing a professional report on an experimental study and giving technical, oral presentations individually and in groups. 

Topics include: 

  • Laboratory work: use of standard lab methods and experiments such as measuring the speed of light by melting chocolate! 

  • Experimental and error analysis (random uncertainties, systematic errors, error propagation, least squares fitting, and data visualisation).  

  • Develop skills in technical writing, including professional report writing.  

  • Introduction to Fermi (back of the envelope) problems and estimation. 

  • Individual and group presentation projects on topical areas of physics research. 

  • Range of talks from Dundee researchers and invited speakers. 

  • Introduction to intellectual property, quality assurance, and risk management. 

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the scientific method.  

  • Understand ethical behaviour, what science should be done, and how we should do it.