Module Overview

Physics Laboratory Stage I

This module aims to teach the student basic laboratory skills needed to work effectively and safely in a physics laboratory. It also aims to teach the students the scientific method.

Module Code

PHYS 1012

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

A typical laboratory programme may include experiments taken from the list below or equivalent experiments may be used.

Vernier callipers

Micrometer screw gauge

Vernier scale,

Hooke’s Law

Simple pendulum

Conservation of energy

Newton’s 2nd Law


Terminal velocity

Surface tension


Experimentally determine the mass of the Earth

Investigate the relationship between the frictional force and the mass, and then determine the coefficient of friction of various materials

Experimentally measure the elasticity of elastic bands.

Reading a vernier scale

build a simple projector

find the emission spectrum of a light source and the absorption spectrum of a material.

Find the focal length of a lens and mirror

Determine the refractive index of a material using a travelling microscope

Ray tracing and prisms

Resonance tubes

Standing waves

The spectrometer

find the s.h.c. of brass and a piece of stone

find the efficiency of a kettle using a thermocouple

Investigate resistivity

Build a parallel plate capacitor with a capacitance and determine the dielectric constant of paper

Investigate of the applicability of Ohm's law for various devices

Investigate electromagnetic induction, investigate Faraday's law, design and build a transformer

Surface Tension and Surface Energy



Capillary tubes

Attenuation of nuclear particles

Inverse square law

The photoelectric effect

This is a practical hands-on module where the student will be expected to perform the experiments (usually in pairs) following the instructions laboratory manual. The manual is designed so that as the student progress through the module less instruction is given, and the students must think more for themselves. The lab tutor’s role is the guide the students through Socratic dialogue and to give direction when necessary.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100