Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course is planned to give basic knowledge and practical expertise essential to project and realize simple experimental setup to measure and to condition a physical quantity. The student will be always help during the planning stage and he should get use to handle laboratory instrumentation and signal acquisition and analysis.
Good knowledge of measure methodology and error theory presented in the course of Laboratory of Physics I. The student has to be familiar with algebra, differential and integral calculus, algebra in complex field.
Course contents summary
The course is made up of some lectures (28 hours for 4 CFU) and practical activities (24 hours for 2 CFU). Lectures concern some topics of Experimental Physics and its aim is to train the students to design and realize a simple setup to measure and control one or more physical quantities. Matter of lessons are basics of electronics, acquisition/conditioning/ analysis of signals, selected physical instrumentations and its principle of working (excitation sources, sensors, oscilloscope, etc.). In the practical project students will be led to acquire experience with instrumentation commonly used in a teaching laboratory of physics, but also helpful in a research laboratory or in a R&D company laboratory. The use of the open-source Arduino card is proposed to easy control input from a variety of sensors and to drive lights, motors, and other actuators.
Basic of electronics
The p-n junction, the diode and the transistor
The diode as a circuit element, pnp and npn transistor, operation modes of the transistor, use of the transistor, common-emitter, common-collector and common-base configurations, MOSFET transistors, small signal model, common-source amplifier, Common-Drain amplifier (Source Follower), notes on the JFET transistor.
General characteristics, operational amplifiers, applications, active filters, low pass and high-pass filter, band-pass filter.
Measurements in complex systems
General concepts, measurements of physical quantities:
Measurements of voltage, current, resistance, (analog and digital multimeters), analysis in the time domain, frequency domain analysis, signal-to-noise ratio, Lock-in amplifier.
Thermocouples, sensors, photoelectric and photovoltaic, piezoelectric sensors, Hall effect sensors.
Thermometers, strain and pressure gauges, capacitive and inductive sensors.
Structure of a measuring system: transducers and signal conditioning
Amplification and attenuation, filtering, sum and difference with the reference signal, integration and linearization, conversion of a voltage / current signal into a voltage / current signal, converting a frequency into a voltage signal.
Acquisition and control:
analog control system: the PID controller: proportional, integrative and derivative action
A/D converters: sampling, digitization, data acquisition and signal processing.
D/A Converters: alteration of analog signals, control of the measuring system.
G.V. Pallottino, “Appunti di elettronica”
P. Horowitz, W. Hill "The Art of Electronics", Cambridge University Press, 2011
A. S. Sedra, K. C. Smith, “Circuiti per la Microelettronica”, EdiSES, Napoli, 2005
R.C. Jaeger, “Microelettronica”, Mc Graw-Hill, 2013
M. Banzi, "Arduino: La guida ufficiale", Tecniche Nuove, 2009
Lecture notes, paper and electronic material provided from teacher.
Manuals and reference material for instrumentation for the practical project are available in teaching and research laboratories of Department.
Lectures (28 hours; 4 CFU) are useful to show and discuss the main topics concerning the achievement of an experiment and to introduce the features and the issues of the most used experimental devices. The practical activity (24 hours; 2 CFU) will carry out by working group composed by 2-3 students. At the end of laboratory activity, each group will write a report about the project.
Assessment methods and criteria
Each student will be evaluated by an oral exam in which he will discuss about matter of lessons and the project report. The report must feature:
• the goal of the experimental project;
• planning stage and block diagram;
• instrumentation and its specifications;
• data acquisition;
• graphs and tables with results and measurement errors;
• result discussion;
• troubles with the project;
The student should show to get used to the laboratory instrumentation and to the main techniques of measure. The overall rating will take into account the individual contribution within the working group.
Additional topics could be proposed according to the specific students's needs.