LABORATORY FOR EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the scientific method and in particular the concept of measurement and evaluation of its reliability. Statistical analysis of experimental data and their correspondence to theoretical prediction will be used to create the correct basis of scientific method.
Course contents summary
The first group of experiments will be predominantly method-oriented, aimed at processing experimental data and evaluation of uncertainty connected with measurement; the second group will acquaint students with electronic and optical tools and devices preparatory to the study of experimental research techniques utilised in cultural heritage preservation. Depending on the overall number, students will work in small groups and perform experiments personally. Introduction to the concept of measurement. Tools and error theory. General introduction to measurement. Principal characteristic of measurement tools (sensitivity, capacity, precision, response). Error in experimental observation, law of propagation, processing of experimental data, frequency distributions and histograms. Limit distributions and propositions of the law of large numbers. Normal or Gaussian distribution, weighted average. Linear regression: method of squared minimums.
Determining the density of solids. Study of the fall of a heavy body in viscous fluids. Study of harmonic oscillations of a spring and determining the elastic constant.
Determining the specific heat of solids through mixture calorimeter.
Direct current electrical circuits: experimental verification of Ohm’s laws and Kirchhoff’s law. Alternating current: RLC circuits. Electromagnetic mutual induction between solenoids.
Geometric optics: measurement of the refraction index of solids through refraction and limit angle. Lensmaker’s equation (relationship between n, curve radius and focal distance). Image formation
J. R. Taylor, Introduzione all'analisi degli errori, Zanichelli