Students are expected to acquire autonomy and ability to personal initiative in a Physics laboratory and be able to develop simple experimental projects from their elaboration to their implementation, analysis and discussion of results.
Especially, students are expected to master different experimental techniques;
Deepen the data analysis method and the comparison of results;
Develop critical sense and experimental logic;
Handle with rigour and caution the different measure instruments;
Use the computer for data acquisition, experiments control and analysis of the results;
Learn how to maintain a well-structured logbook;
Develop students’ abilities to communicate orally and in writing.
The curricular unit consists of a set of experiments whose objective is the demonstration of physical laws or the determination of essential physical constants. The experiments cover the following topics: Magnetic fields and forces; electric oscillations and resonance; electromagnetic waves, mechanical systems and Modern Physics.
- Ampere Balance: Calibration of a torsion balance; observation of the interaction forces between two currents; verification of Biot-Savart law; determination of the magnetic permeability constant; determination of the horizontal component of earth's magnetic field.
- e/m: observation of the flow of electrons in a magnetic field; verification of interdependence of the trajectory radius of electrons with their speed and intensity of the applied magnetic field; determination of the ratio between the charge values and the electron mass.
- Rotation Liquid: Observation of the surface of a rotation liquid; verification of the parabolic shape of this surface and its dependence with the rotational speed; determination of the value of acceleration of gravity.
- Microwaves: Building of a Michelson interferometer; observation of interference waves; determination of the wavelength of the studied microwaves; observation of the thin film interference of a wave; thin film thickness determination; observation of a frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR); determination of the index of refraction of a prism; determination of a tunnelling constant.
- Physical Pendulum (ruler): Observation of the dependence of the period of oscillation on the distance between the point of suspension and the centre of mass; determination of the moment of inertia of the ruler in relation to the axis passing through its centre of mass.
-Kater Pendulum: Observation of the oscillations in a reversible physical pendulum (Kater Pendulum); determination of the value of speed of gravity.
General Physics I and II.
Laboratory Physics I.
Laboratory Techniques in Physics.
Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis; . Competence in organization and planning; . Competence for working in group; . Critical thinking; . Adaptability to new situations; . Competence in oral and written communication; . Computer Skills for the scope of the study; . Competence in autonomous learning; . Initiative and entrepreneurial spirit; . Competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice; (by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
total of teaching hours
Laboratory or field work
assessment implementation in 20102011 Joaquim Marques Ferreira dos Santos
Bibliography of reference
ABREU, M.C.; MATIAS, L. & PERALTA, L. F. ed. (1994). Física Experimental, Uma Introdução. Presença.
SQUIRES, G. L. (2001). Practical Physics. Cambridge Press.
BEVINGTON, P. & ROBINSON, D. K. (2002).Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences. 3/e. McGraw Hill.
Classes for discussion and accomplishment of experimental assignments including individual mentoring. Classes for discussion and elaboration of written reports for each experiment.
Students should work preferably in groups of 2 during the implementation of practical assignments.
Laboratórios temáticos incluindo equipamento informático