Basic Laboratory Course in Physics - Part I in winter semester

  • Faculty in WiSe 2016/2017

    Sarinah Sutojo, Marijn van Dooren, Andre Fuchs, Michael Hölling, Michael Krüger, David Hülsmeier, Dörte Fischer, Nico Gößling, Martin Reck, Leonid Govor (from left to right). Not present on the picture: Kathleen Poland, Andreas Häussler, Tobias de Taillez, Mareike Buhl.
  • Tutors in WiSe 2016/2017

    Timo Hoffmann, Abhilash Javaji, Alexander Fricke, Björn Espenhahn, David Onnen, Felix Offner (from left to right). Not present on the picture: Wiebke Middelberg, Gilad Kaplan, Yik Long Li.

Title and table of contents


General notes for the laboratory course, on preparing and conducting experiments, the preparation of laboratory reports and the presentation of results, the usage of the lab computers, about setting up electrical circuits and information about mechanical measuring tools; introduction/tutorial for the programs MATLAB and ORIGIN.

Error theory and regression analysis

Keywords: Measurand, measured value, result of measurement, uncertainty, systematic and random errors, histogram, density function, gaussian distribution, probabilities, mean, standard deviation, variance, root mean square error, absolute and relative errors, maximum error, error propagation, accuracy, linear regression, linearization, correlation, errors of weighted means.

Oscilloscope and function generator

Keywords: Anode, cathode, cathode ray tube, electron deflection, deflector plates, trigger, AC/DC coupling, direct voltage, alternating voltage, frequency, radian frequency, period, amplitude, phase, phase difference, peak and effective value of alternating voltages, Lissajous figures, harmonic oscillation, peak and effective values of alternating voltage

Measurement of ohmic resistances, bridge circuits and internal resistances of voltage sources

Keywords: Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's laws, directions of currents and voltages, measurement of currents and voltages, bridge circuits, Wheatstone bridge, strain gauges, internal resistances of ideal and real voltage sources, internal resistances of measuring instruments, range selection for measuring instruments, current-, voltage- and power compensation, specific resistance of tap water.

Measurement of capacities, charging and discharging of capacitors

Keywords: Parallel-plate capacitor, charge and discharge curves, RC-elements, measurements of capacitance, capacity of parallel plate capacitor and coaxial cable, measurement of the relative permittivity of PVC, phase shifts, calculation using complex quantities.

Sensors for force, pressure, distance, angle, and light intensity

Keywords: Sensor, linearity, time constant, measurement range, resolution, noise, bending rod, strain gauge, force sensor, piezoresistive effect, pressure sensor, manometer, triangulation, laser distance sensor, Hall-effect, angle sensor, semiconductor, doping, pn-junction, barrier layer, fotodiode, spectral response. 

Force, momentum and impulse of force

Keywords: Force, resilience, Hooke’s law, Newton’s axioms, momentum, impulse of force, harmonic oscillation, distance law for forces

Data Acquisition and Processing with the PC

Keywords: Continuous and discrete signals, sampling, resolution, analog/digital conversion, dual numbers, bit, single-ended and differential signal coupling, multiplexing, MATLAB Data Acquisition Toolbox.

Characterization of a transmitter - receiver system

Keywords: Microwaves, analysis of a microwaves transmitter - receiver system, spherical wave, plane wave, dependence on distance, directional characteristic, damping, polar diagram, reflection, refraction, polarization.

Moment of inertia - Steiner's theorem

Keywords: Translational and rotational motion, principal axis, moment of inertia, frictional effects, coulomb friction, Steiner's theorem.

Conservation of momentum and energy / Law of collisions

Keywords: Conservation of momentum and energy, energy transfer in collisions, elastic, inelastic, and totally inelastic collisions, central and oblique collisions, scattering angle, laboratory- and centre-of-gravity system, vector algebra with MATLAB.

Forced mechanical oscillations

Keywords: Harmonic oscillator with and without damping, damping constants, eigenfrequencies, forced harmonic oscillations, resonance behaviour, amplitude- and phase measurements, amplitude-, energy- and phase resonance curves, calculation using complex quantities.

Fourier Analysis

Keywords: Linear systems, Fourier series and Fourier coefficients, amplitude transfer function, amplitude spectrum, frequency response, phase spectrum, sampling theorem, beat, amplitude modulation, Fourier analysis of square-, triangular-, and sawtooth signal, Gibbs phenomenon.

Surface tension, minimal surfaces, and coffee stains

Keywords: Breaking-off method, bubble pressure method, emergence and form of minimal surfaces, capillary flows, matter transport in fluids, interior pressure of gas bubbles, sensors for force and pressure.

Viscosity and Reynolds numbers

Keywords: Viscosity and kinematic viscosity, Stokes law, falling ball method, capillary viscosimeter, laminar and turbulent flow, pipe flow, Reynolds numbers, continuity equation, Bernoulli's law and Hagen-Poiseuille's law.