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General Physics Lab 1

Semester 1

This course consists of hands-on and computer-aided laboratory exercises that explore topic areas from general physics. The theoretical concepts of quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, electromagnetism and optics are examined experimentally and used to investigate the properties of radioactive decay, potential wells, classical and quantum probability, electromagnetic devices, spectral lines, types of diffractions, and magnetic susceptibility. Comprehensive data gathering and analyses via appropriate statistical methods will be emphasized.


The course will consist of laboratory exercises covering the principles of modern physics, electromagnetism and optics. The topics covered in these exercises are:

  • Radioactive decay: Decay and counting statistics for dice.
  • Geiger counter and the absorption of gamma rays by matter
  • Wave behavior of electrons.
  • Energy levels in a quantum well
  • Classical and quantum probability
  • Electromagnetism and capacitors
  • Magnetic susceptibility
  • Fresnel diffraction
  • Resolution of spectral lines
  • Fraunhofer diffraction


PHYS2351 and PHYS2386

The course assessment will be conducted as follows:


One 2-hour in-course practical examination                   30%

Ten laboratory reports of equal weighting                       20%

Final Examination

One 4-hour final practical examination                          50%

Students will be expected to satisfy the examiners in both components.



Learning Objectives: 

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Explain how experimentation contributes to the growth and development of scientific theories in general physics
  • perform experiments to solve problems in modern physics, electromagnetism and optics
  • use appropriate software to simulate experiments in modern physics, electromagnetism and optics
  • perform appropriate statistical analysis on experimental data
  • apply computational visualization techniques to interpret complex data
  • write technical laboratory reports
PHYS1411 and PHYS1412 and PHYS1421 and PHYS1422


  • Laboratory manual for PHYS 2300 
  • Lyod, D. H., (2007): Physics Laboratory Manual, 3rd Edition, Thomson Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 978-0495114529.

Highly Recommended

  • Wilson. J. D. and Hernandez-Hall, C. A. (2009), Physics Laboratory Experiments, 7th Edition, Thomson/Brooks Cole.  ISBN: 978-0547227481

Internet Sources:


Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 2
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