Skip to main content Skip to navigation

PX428 Physics Laboratory

Organiser: Andy Howes
Weighting: 15 CATS

This module is available only to MPhys students.

To develop the experimental skills acquired over the first two years. The experiments are less structured than in earlier years, more open ended and performed in groups. This is to encourage students to take responsibility for the planning and direction of experiments and prepare them for independent research within a team.

In addition to the specific objectives of the individual experiments, at the end of the module you should have:

  • experienced progressing, and reporting on, an experimental study in a collaborative manner
  • further developed your experimental skills in preparation for project work next year
  • gained experience of computer controlled data acquisition and processing
  • used models and simulations to represent complex physical systems


  • There are 10 scheduled sessions from 11am to 5pm. However, many of the experiments require data collection over an extended period of time, so some work outside the scheduled times is expected.
  • Students will normally work in groups of three.
  • You will perform 3 experiments, one of which will be a computer simulation.
  • The laboratory is staffed by members of academic staff and postgraduate demonstrators. There is a constant interaction between staff and students throughout the operation of the laboratory, and also outside formally timetabled hours.
  • Where possible, variations in the experiments to form them into mini projects are encouraged to add a degree of novelty to the work.
  • A joint report, in the form of a publication, will be submitted from each group for each of the 3 experiments, one week after completing the experiment.
  • The first two reports will normally be returned and feedback given during the laboratory session one or two weeks after submission. Feedback will be available for the third report by arrangement with the markers.

Assessment:100% assessed

This module has a home page where there are details of the experiments, copies of some of the module documentation and copies of the assessment forms.

Leads from: PX271 Physics Skills

Leads to: PX402 Physics Project