Experimental and Professional Physics I module (PH31006)

Build upon your learning in Level 2 and test theories of the physical world around us, from the sub-atomic structure to universe scale effects

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This module allows you to test theories of the physical world around us, from the sub-atomic structure to universe scale effects. You will learn by different methods, including lab work, critically reviewing academic work, and learning how to complete a competitive CV.

Building on the laboratories in PH21001 and PH22001, you will develop your measurement and data analysis skills by performing a range of advanced experiments.

This will prepare you for both your final year project and your future career as a professional physicist. A key factor is understanding the uncertainties and statistical meaning of a result.

Critical paper reading also forms a backbone of the professional physics content in this module. To be a good researcher you need to be able to understand research papers published by others.

You will also deliver presentations on experimental topics and have training on developing a competitive CV.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn how to assess the statistical significance of your results
  • perform risk assessments
  • undertake experiments in optics, thermodynamics, semiconductor physics, and nuclear and particle physics using diverse equipment and measurement techniques
  • learn how to identify and avoid 'pathological science'
  • develop skills on critically reading a diverse range of scientific literature

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • undertake complex experiments, understanding how to design and implement advanced data collection and analysis techniques
  • fit and analyse your data professionally, using Python and MATLAB
  • critically read a broad range of scientific literature
  • independently learn a new topic and present to your peers

Assignments / assessment

  • lab books completion (75%)
  • professional physics assignments (25%)
    • includes a presentation, CV, and critical paper review

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

You will learn by taking a hands-on approach. This will involve taking part in tutorials and practical sessions. Each week you should expect six hours of lab sessions and an hour of a Professional Physics workshop.

Learning material is provided through videos, review notes, examples, and tutorial questions.


This module is available on following courses: