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Course Detail

Course Name Basic Experimental Techniques
Course Code 22PHY213
Semester 4
Credits 4


Unit 1

Error Analysis
Learning Objectives
Calculate statistical errors in a given set of data
Understand the concept of errors from the view point of probability and statistics through the introduction of random variables
Understand the difference between total error and statistical errors
Evaluate statistical parameters of a set of data such as mean, variance etc.
Understand how error propagates from one variable to another.

Introductory probability – Random experiment, discrete random variable, continuous random variable, probability distributions, Definition of mean, median, mode, standard deviation and standard error.
Definition of Errors: Random error and systematic error, Uncertainties, precision and accuracy, reporting errors (error bars). Error Propagation.

Unit 2

Data Analysis
Learning Objectives
Fit a straight line to a set of data (x,y) points
Know how to calculate the slope and intercepts in the fitted line and also to calculate the errors in them
Understand the concepts of regression and correlation
Evaluate goodness of the fitted line using statistical means

Curve fitting, Linear regression analysis, goodness of fits (χ2 test), correlation analysis (R2) – with relevance to simple physics experiments.

Unit 3

Extraction of Signal From Noise
Learning Objectives
Understand the types of electronic noise and distinguish their characteristics
Understand how to calculate the signal to noise ratio and their units

Signal to noise ratio, Types of noise, Hardware and software methods for noise reduction

Unit 4

Vacuum Physics
Learning Objectives
Understand the concept of pressure and its microscopic origins
Explain the different ranges of pressure
Know how to create vacuum using different pumps and their principles of operation

Definition of pressure – Kinetic theory of gases, average velocity, mean free path, impingement rate, creation of vacuum using different pumps.

Unit 5

Measurement of Temperature and Pressure
Learning Objectives
Understand different types of pressure gauges and their operating principles
Explain the microscopic origins of temperature and temperature scales
Understand the principle and operation of thermocouples for temperature measurement

Measurement of Vacuum- Gauges – All direct and indirect gauges, Thermometry: Scales of temperature, Temperature measurement, liquid, gas, vapour pressure, platinum resistance, Thermoelectric & radiation thermometer. Construction and calibration; Low temperature measurement creation of low temperature.

Objectives & Outcomes

Course Objectives: The objective of the course is to introduce the student to the concept of errors and propagation of errors; Plot linear data and do regression analysis including goodness of fits. It is also aimed at introducing the student to electronic noise and pressure and temperature measurements.

Course Outcomes
At the end of the course students will be able to:

CO1: Calculate errors in measurements
CO2: Understand error propagation
CO3 Plot a scatter graph, preferably of simple linear systems and fit a linear line and calculate the errors in the constants; Estimate the goodness of fits
CO4: Understand basic electronics instrumentation- pick out signal from noise, description of noise, optimizing and signal averaging
CO5: Understand pressure and temperature measurements, vacuum science and techniques

Skills: Problem solving skills in calculating errors and error propagation. Also, introductory-level analytical skills in statistical reasoning.

CO-PO Mapping

CO1 2 1
CO2 2 2
CO3 2 3 2
CO5 2


  1. Herbert Goldstein, John Safko Charles P. Poole, Classical Mechanics, Pearson, 3rd Ed, 2011.
  2. Landau, Lev D., and Evgenij M. Lifshitz. Mechanics: Course of Theoretical Physics. Vol. 1. Butterworth-Heinemann; 3rd Ed, 1982. ISBN 978-0750628969.
  3. John Taylor, Classical Mechanics, University Science Books, 1st Ed, 2004.
  4. S. T. Thomton and J B Marion, Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems, Brooks Cole, 1st Ed, 2009.
  5. Walter Greiner, Classical Mechanics: Point Particles and Relativity, Springer Verlag, 1st Ed, 2004.

Evaluation Pattern

CO-PO Mapping

Assessment Internal External Semester
Periodical 1 (P1) 15
Periodical 2 (P2) 15
*Continuous Assessment (CA) 20
End Semester 50

*CA – Can be Quizzes, Assignments, Projects, and Reports.

Justification for CO-PO Mapping

Mapping Justification Affinity level
CO1-CO 5 to PO2 and PSO 1 This is course with objective of building basic analytical skills to formulate problems and solve using techniques developed. There for it has highest affinity towards  PO2 and PSO 1. 3
CO1-CO5-PO3 and PSO2 This course develops problem solving skills and form a core course in Physics which will help student to formulate research problems – hence has strong affinity towards PO3 and PSO 2. 3

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