MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Year 2 Lab Work (All Yr)

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHYS20180
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Second Year Laboratory (Core)


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Year 1 Lab Work (All Yr) PHYS10180 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Year 1 Lab Work (One Semester) PHYS10280 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


To be able to identify hazards associated with an experiment to minimise risks.

Demonstrate ability to think more widely than a given laboratory script, e.g., design an extension to an experiment in consultation with a demonstrator.

Demonstrate technical competence in adjustment, calibration and use of experimental apparatus.

Keep full and careful records of all measurements and analysis in a laboratory notebook.

Critically evaluate the results of an experiment.

Describe the sources of random and systematic error calculating their effects on the results

Make connections between fundamental principles and laws from across courses to explain experimental findings.

Describe experiments clearly and concisely in informal verbal presentations, defending procedures and analysis.

Describe experiments clearly and concisely in a formal written report using a ‘template’ that defines the Department’s preferred style.


Please also refer to the Lab Learning Outcomes in the handbook 

Amplifiers and Feedback:

To understand how analogue signals may be amplified, manipulated and generated in a controlled manner, and how they may be interfaced to digital systems for subsequent processing.

Learning outcomes



Amplifiers and Feedback:

On completion successful students will be able to:

1. To learn the behaviour of an ideal amplifier under negative feedback (positive) feedback.

2. To be able to apply this to simple amplifier, summer, integrator, phase shifters and oscillator.

3. To test the limitations of a real amplifier.

4. To describe basic methods of analogue-to-digital conversion (ADC)







Amplifiers and Feedback:

1. Elementary circuit theory – discrete components, Kirchoffs laws and complex analysis

2. Semiconductor amplifiers – real and ideal systems

3. Positive feedback, oscillators and control loops

4. Analogue-to-digital conversion

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Practical skills assessment 100%

Feedback methods


Lab: Students will be able to ask questions and will receive guidance (including an initial introduction) throughout the experiment.
During interviews, advice on how to improve the measurement, analysis and presentation of results will be given orally and also written on the assessment sheets, copies of which will be given to the student.
In written reports, detailed comments on how the report might be improved are written on the reports. More general comments are written on the marked sheets, copies of which are returned to the students along with the marked reports. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the markers, when any written comments can be elaborated upon.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment practical exam 6
Practical classes & workshops 126
Independent study hours
Independent study 68

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Walmsley Unit coordinator

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