NFYB18001U Experimental Physics (EF)

Volume 2021/2022

BSc Programme in Physics


This course is a deep dive into experimental physics where students spend the vast majority of their course time in the lab. Students will have individual control and set up of a small number of experiments during the course. The course is designed to offer students the opportunity to take experimental equipment, construct an investigation with that equipment and report the results. The expectation is that the students will have sole, individual responsibility for each experiment, while being able to interact with their peers. Students will:

  • Devise a suitable experiment from theory and available resources
  • Determine strategies to improve experimental results and minimize systematic and statistical uncertainties
  • Analyse their data and write up their scientific results
Learning Outcome

A student will

  • become intimately familiar with the parts of an experiment: measurement set-up, including detector, sample, and control of the environment
  • know and be able to choose between different methods for data collection
  • know about typical laboratory set-ups and larger scale experiments
  • know and be able to explain the connection between theory and experiment in the scientific method and in physics in particular

After completion of the course the student should, primarily, be able to set up and perform different types of experiments independently. They should also be able to:

  • Identify and mitigate sources of systematic and statistical noise;
  • Plan and perform longer experiments, handle time-management of an experiment, keep a record (logbook);
  • Model an experiment and apply nonlinear statistical data analysis using Python or similar software;
  • Visualize data and design plots and figures of scientific quality using adequate software;
  • Draw conclusions from experimental data;
  • Report in writing on experiments using LaTeX at a level adequate for scientific work, e.g. BSc. or MSc. project or manuscripts for peer-reviewed international scientific journals;


Students will acquire the ability to both design and perform experiments independently, do numerical analysis of data and uncertainties and report on the results.

See Absalon for final course literature.

Literature supplemented by notes and online material published on the course homepage.

Solid knowledge of mechanics, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics corresponding to the first 21 months of physics studies at a university. Basic laboratory skills.
The main learning method on this course is hands-on, experimental experience. Students on this course will each individually have their own experiments and are expected to work on each experiment until they have adequate results. The lab will be open and available to the students as much as is practicable, with brief group instruction, light touch oversight, and as much independence as possible. Peer cross-instruction between students and independent investigation are central tenets of the course.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 77,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 120
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Feedback will be given continuously during the course - as a dialogue about suggested and conducted experiments and about the resulting products (report/scientific manuscript).

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Oral examination, approximately 25 minutes
Continuous assessment based on experiment reports: 60% of the total assessment;
Number and weight of reports are published on the course homepage;
The oral exam is 40% of the total assessment.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same format as the regular exam. Reports not accepted/approved should be submitted at least one week prior to the oral re-exam. 

Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome