Experimental Physics

Course Code: B21006Y-01

Course Name: Experimental Physics

Credits: 2.0

Level: Undergraduate   

Lecture Time: 32 sessions, 2 hours/session

Course Description

1. Objective

Upholding the principle of ‘Integration of research and education’, this course aims to cultivate students' scientific research style of combining theory with practice, and seeking truth from facts. A general process of scientific research, especially physical research, consists of observation, analysis, induction, summary and experimental verification. The basic physics experiment course will be combined with the general physics theory course: on one hand, to deepen students' understanding of the basic concepts and laws of physics, on the other hand, to let students improve the ability of experiment in practice. We hope students can master some methods of data processing, improve the ability of analyzing problems, form the thoughts of physical experiment, and establish the attitude of earnest, preciseness, and respecting empirical evidence.

2. Requirement
  2.1 Preview the contents of the experiment before class, complete experiment independently in class, and analyze the experimental results and write the canonical experimental report after class;

  2.2 Be familiar with the basic physical experiment methods, master some measurement methods of some physical quantities, and learn the common data processing, analysis methods;

  2.3 Improve the hands-on ability, explore capabilities of design, analysis, judgment, summarize (should this be “summary”?) and logical presentation, etc. Make enough preparation for the follow-up research practice;

  2.4 Through practice, deepen the understanding of the basic concepts, laws and common physical phenomena;

  2.5 Understand the difference and complementarity between theoretical physics and experimental physics, and establish the basic thoughts of experimental physics;

  2.6 Obey the academic ethics, develop meticulous experimental habits, and adhere to the scientific style of seeking truth from facts.

Topics and Schedule
1. Experimental Tasks and Skills that should be mastered

Basic physics experiment course includes 25 experiments consisting of fields such as mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, etc. and the allocation of class hours is as follows:

  1.1. Introduction of basic physics experiment (1 hr)
  1.2. The use of Oscilloscope and signal generator (3 hrs)
  1.3. The basic operation of electrocircuit experiment (5 hrs)
  1.4. Basic operation of laser and optical experiments (4 hrs)

1.5 Measurement of cosmic ray, signal transmission delay and reflection, single photon detection by oscilloscope (1 hr)
  1.6 Determination of Young's modulus of metal
CCD Stretching method, Hall position sensor bending method(5 hrs)
  1.7 The harmonic vibration of spring oscillator on the air track
Velocity and acceleration measurements(5 hrs)
  1.8 Standing wave experiment on string (sound velocity measurement) (5 hrs)
  1.9 Determination of thermal conductivity of good conductor by dynamic method (Temperature measurement (thermal resistance thermocouple temperature measurement)) (5 hrs)
  1.10 The application of virtual instrument in physics experiment(5 hrs)
  1.11 Resonant of RLC circuit (transient process of RLC circuit) (5 hrs)
  1.12 Use the Hall effect to measure the magnetic field, and the induction method to measure the magnetic field. (5 hrs)
  1.13 Observation of dynamic hysteresis loop with an oscilloscope (magnetization process of static material) (5 hrs)
  1.14 Microwave Michelson interferometer (Bragg diffraction of crystal lattice) (5 class hours)
  1.15 Grating spectrometer (probe light spectrum by Multi channel analyzer) (5 class hours)
  1.16 Independent design experiment (Select to do)

Time Allocation

Finish the above experiments in 64 class hours (Credits 4.0). 

5 class hours (from 1:00 to 5:10 every afternoon) for every experiment, and the course lasts a total of 13 weeks.

Teaching Arrangement and Method

334 people, divided into 4 classes, each class is generally 9 groups (For the first three experiments, each class is 4 groups).

According to the course selection, a group formed by 10 students does the same subject experiment. One student uses one set of equipment. On the basis of preview before class, carry out experiment independently after listening to the instructors’ experimental explanation. Instructors should earnestly observe the experimental situation of each student, and give timely guidance and evaluation. The original experimental data obtained by the students needs to be confirmed by the instructors, and they should finish the experiment reports on time after class.


1. The total score of students in the experimental class is 100 percent, and the final grade will be determined according to the results of each experiment.

2. The assessment of each experiment is divided into the following four aspects.
(1) Preview (5%)

According to the preview reports and the discussion at beginning of class, inspect whether students have read the experiment notes, and understand the principle and content of the experiment.

(2) Experimental operation (45%)

Whether comply with classroom discipline and experimental procedures; whether have clear idea of the experiment; whether have independent analysis and problem-solving skills; whether have rigorous experimental attitude; whether obtain reliable and reasonable measurement results, etc. (perhaps instead of several “whether” clauses, maybe should be a sentence with a list, like “Whether students comply with classroom discipline and experimental procedures, have clear idea of the experiment, have independent analysis and problem-solving skills, have rigorous experimental attitude, and obtain reliable and reasonable measurement results, etc.)

(3) Experiment report (45%)

Whether the report is standard and completed or not; whether they can use their own language to concisely describe the experimental principle; whether description of the experimental procedure is consistent with the practice. Whether the data processing is correct, the chart is standard, there is the discussion of the experimental results, and the teacher's requirement problems are done and so on.

(4) Experiment discussion (5%)

Encourage students to independently solve unexpected problems encountered in the process of the experiment or deeply discuss one or two issues in the report.