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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Physics Laboratory I
Module Code PS158
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Paul Swift
Semester 2: Paul Swift
Autumn: Paul Swift
Module TeachersPaul Swift
Paul Van Kampen
Eilish McLoughlin
Robert O'Connor
Jennifer Gaughran
Karsten Fleischer
Shane O'Sullivan
Samuel McKeague
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat the module

Year 1 semester 1 physics laboratories for PGE1. The purpose of this module is to ensure that first year physics students have basic laboratory and data analysis skills to equip them for subsequent laboratory courses. In the module, the students will also learn to relate the relevant theory to the experimental manifestation of the theory or principle. The students will participate in a variety of learning activities, for example dealing with error analysis, using instrumentation, constructing simple experiments, writing laboratory reports and oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Carry out basic experimental measurements with a Vernier callipers, micrometer screw gauge, electronic multimeter and other measurement devices
2. Apply appropriate safe laboratory practices
3. Identify connections between experiment and theory for key first year physics concepts in areas such as mechanics, optics and thermal physics
4. Plot and analyse straight line and parabolic graphs
5. Identify sources of error in an experiment and estimate the associated uncertainty in a measured quantity
6. Produce a written reports
7. Be aware of ethical issues in relation to plagiarism

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity22Pre-lab & Post-lab Quizzes
Laboratory36Three hours per week for 12 weeks of semester 1
Independent Study44Laboratory preparation and report writing
Total Workload: 102

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Weekly experiments
Perform and develop investigations in physics, .e.g. verification of relationships in mechanics, construction of simple optical instruments, e.g., microscopes and telescopes and construction of simple electrical circuits.

Learning activities
These will include attendance at laboratory sessions, working with a partner to set up equipment and carry out experiments, analysis of data, report writing, project planning and presentation.

Transition Skills
1. Active learning - note taking and reading; assignment writing; research skills and exam success (4 x 30 minute sections) 2. Digital skills - creating content, digital collaboration, searching the web, protecting your data 3. Mindset - growth mindset; managing feedback; dealing with set-backs and failure; managing change 4. Self-efficacy - learning through past experiences, through communication and feedback, through observing others and through modification of thoughts and feelings 5. Self-Management - Getting motivated, getting organised, managing stress and beating procrastination 6. Critical self-reflection - the learner context, the role of critical self-reflection; the student transformation journey, student outcomes

Experiment List
Error analysis, the simple pendulum; g by freefall; focal length of lenses, refractive index using Snell's law; elasticity; absorption of gamma-rays, rotational motion, friction.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Loop QuizPre-lab & post-lab quizzes10%Every Week
Report(s)Weekly reports on experiments90%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Hugh D. Young,Roger A. Freedman: 0, University Physics with Modern Physics in SI Units, 1-292-31473-7
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
PGEPhysics General Entry

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