Module Description |
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150 hours, to include: 11×2-hour computer laboratory sessions (IT); 12×3-hour practical laboratory sessions (electronics); 27 hours of directed self-study; 65 hours of self-study.

Every physicist must be able to analyse data, evaluate theoretical models, and present their work in the form of a technical report. They must also be able to perform investigations, such as experiments, and solve the problems they encounter in a systematic and logical manner.

Students will start by learning to produce high-quality typeset reports using
LaTeX and a stylesheet.
The second part of the module, introduces the student to the
GNU Octave
numerical mathematics package. The Octave language is essentially the same as the
MATLAB™ language which is widely used in
commercial and research environments for numerical modelling.
The final part introduces the basic areas of digital
electronics, as they might be encountered in physics instrumentation, *etc.*,
and to provide the necessary theoretical background to carry out
experimental investigations. A small amount of analogue electronics is also
covered, this being included for the benefit of those students who will
choose to do no further electronics modules. The skills developed in this module
will be applied and developed throughout the programme.

Students will be able to:

**Module Specific Skills:**- use a numerical language (
*e.g.*Octave) to manipulate data and solve equations using matrix methods; - describe the operation of a range of digital-electronics circuits and of some basic analogue-electronics circuits.

- use a numerical language (
**Discipline Specific Skills:**- use LaTeX and a stylesheet to produce high-quality typeset reports containing mathematical equations, tables, graphs and diagrams;
- use appropriate techniques for measurement of circuit performance and techniques for fault-finding;
- build and test simple electronics circuits of the type used in physics instrumentation.

**Personal Transferable Skills:**- use a computer to solve problems and produce documents;
- solve problems logically.

This module is practically based. Comprehensive work sheets have been produced for each session and demonstrators are present to answer any queries that may arise during the organised sessions. Students are encouraged to work at their own speed depending on their previous experience. This means that students with no prior experience will need to spend more time than their more experienced counterparts outside the class sessions to complete the assignments contained in the work sheets.

E-Learning resources (ELE PHY1028),

Contribution | Assessment/Assignment | Size (duration/length) | When |
---|---|---|---|

10% | Mid-Term IT Skills Test 1 | 120 minutes | Week T1:05 |

10% | Mid-Term IT Skills Test 2 | 120 minutes | Week T1:11 |

30% | Class and homework IT Skills assignments | In class + 2 hours each | Weekly T1:01-11 |

30% | Written reports on electronics experiments | In class | Weekly T2:06-11 |

20% | Electronics Problems Sheets | 5×1hr | Weekly T2:06-10 |

**Part A: IT Skills**

**Introduction**- Use of the Exeter Learning Environment.
- The Apple Macintosh
- Graphical User Interface
- using the Mac OS X system

- Network home directories and the file-server
- understanding the local file-server.

**LaTex**- Using LaTeX to create a simple document
- Text
- Equations
- Tables
- Figures

- Using a stylesheet to produce high-quality experiment reports
- Use of Octave with a template for plotting, linear regression analysis, statistical analysis, error bars

- Using LaTeX to create a simple document
**Octave**- Introduction

Range of applications, platform and implementation specific differences, relationship of Octave to MATLAB. - Fundamentals

User interface, definitions, data structure, commands and functions, matrix operations, 'help' system. - Input/Output and analysis

Creating files and loading data, working with data, basic plotting, saving workspace ('*.mat' files). - Numerical integration

Using numerical methods for calculation of integrals - Fitting

The least-squares criterion, fitting polynomial and exponential functions, 'polyfit' and 'polyval', fitting data with a linear function, extracting polynomial coefficients, plotting the fitting function, errors. - Programming

Scripts and functions, creating and executing '*.m' files, basic programming: using 'for' and 'while' loops, conditional statements 'if', 3-D graphics.

- Introduction

**Part B: Electronics**

**Combinational Logic**

NAND and NOR gates; truth tables; combination of gates to implement logic functions.**Sequential Logic**

R-S flip-flops; J-K flip flops and simple control circuits; binary counters; shift registers.**Memory chips**

Input and output of data; use of addresses.**Microprocessors**

Basic operation; I/O and simple control situations; D/A and A/D on input/output data bus**D to A and A to D Conversion**

Operation of DAC; use of DAC to make ADC; sampling rates, conversion times, aliasing and the Nyquist Theorem**Analogue Electronics**- Simple amplifier circuits based on op-amps; gain, bandwidth, input impedance, output impedance, signal/noise ratio.
- Filters: description in terms of frequency response.
- Comparators.

Feedback occurs during the practical sessions *via* demonstrators and students
are able to monitor their own learning by attempting the assignments and
having them marked. Tests allow students to gauge
their level of progress.

The module will be evaluated using information gathered via the student representation mechanisms, the staff peer appraisal scheme, and measures of student attainment based on summative assessment.