Introduction to Laboratory Physics

These are course notes and resources for Physics 67, Introduction to Laboratory Physics

Course Descriptions

Welcome to Physics 67. The goal of this course is to give you practical knowledge of basic tools that you will need to do research in physics and/or astronomy.

In particular we will be focusing on why we use data analysis methods and techniques that you will be learning. All of the instructors of the course had the experience that we never really understood many of the data analysis and statistical methods we learned as undergraduates until we had to use them in our own research.

We believe an active learning approach, where we spend more time understanding and discussing the problems that these methods are intended to solve will help you to a deeper understanding of both the tools, and why we use them for data analysis.

Course Objectives

Top level goals – you will learn how to:

  1. use python and jupyter notebooks to do simple data analysis and make plots
  2. assign an error (uncertainty) to an experimental measurement
  3. have a defensible result from an experiment
  4. identify and quantify statistical and systematic errors in an experimental measurement

Techniques to learn that will help reach the goal:

  1. finding mean, variance, standard deviation of discrete and continuous data sets
  2. error propagation
  3. least squares curve fitting
  4. use distributions to predict statistical spreads in data (in this class, primarily Gaussian and Poisson distributions)

Course Contents

Start by looking at the materials under the “Getting Started” bullet point to understand how this course works, and get up and running with the software tools that you will be using in the course.

The course content can be browsed here. This is sufficient for the notes, but to do the tutorials you will need to download them in Jupyter notebook format from the GitHub repository.

All materials Copyright 2021 Eric Charles, Ryan Linehan and Benjamin Navid Safvati and distributed for copying and extension under the GPLv3 License, unless otherwise noted.

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