PHY1028 IT and Electronics Skills
: IT and Electronics Skills
: Dr F.Y. Ogrin
and Dr I.R. Summers
CATS Credit Value
ECTS Credit Value
: T1:01-11, T2:06-11
Total Student Study Time
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
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.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
- Module Specific Skills:
- use a numerical language (e.g. Octave) to manipulate data and solve equations using
- describe the operation of a range of digital-electronics circuits and of some basic
- 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.
Learning / Teaching Methods
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),
Assessment and Assignments
|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|
Syllabus Plan and Content
Part A: IT Skills
- 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.
- Using LaTeX to create a simple document
- Using a stylesheet to produce high-quality experiment reports
- Use of Octave with a template for plotting, linear regression analysis, statistical analysis, error bars
Range of applications, platform and implementation specific differences, relationship of Octave to MATLAB.
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
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.
Scripts and functions, creating and executing '*.m' files, basic programming: using 'for' and 'while' loops,
conditional statements 'if', 3-D graphics.
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.
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.
), Electronics: A Systems Approach
, ISBN 020117796x
(UL: 621.381 STO
), Introduction to Modern Electronics
, ISBN 0-471-62242-7
(UL: 621.381 FAI
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.