Physics in Practice (F3229)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This module covers:

  • Dimensions and units
  • Estimation of uncertainties: significant figures and decimal places; reading Vernier scales
  • Introduction to spreadsheets
  • Mean, standard deviation and standard error: weighted averages, and the uncertainty thereon
  • Error propagation: simple formulae covering addition, multiplication and powers; general formula for small error propagation
  • Histograms, and manipulation of distributions
  • The Gaussian distribution
  • Chi squared, and (straight) line fitting
  • Identifying and dealing with systematics
  • Assessing data quality
  • Circuit simulation
  • DC circuits: introduction, Ohm's Law, Non-Linear circuit elements, oscilloscopes
  • Capacitors: RC circuits, differentiator, integrator, low pass filter, high pass filter


50%: Lecture
50%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Presentation, Project, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 48 hours of contact time and 102 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.