This tour of one or our modern, dedicated laboratories shows a typical range of lab equipment and facilities that you'll use on your Physics course.
You can also access an interactive version of the tour. Please note that the interactive tour is not suitable for use with assistive technologies.
Our lab technicians have set out some typical first and second year experiments.
- Rotational motion
- Plasma generation
- Ultrasound measurement using pulse-echo techniques
- Microwave physics
- Speed of light
- Magnetic field uniformity in a solenoid
- Biot savart
- The band gap of semiconductors
- Torque on magnetic dipoles
- Hall effect in p-type Ge
- Temperature variation of electrical resistance
- Charge decay from a capacitor
- Properties of liquid nitrogen
- Photoelectric effect
This core first-year experiment allows you to investigate core physics concepts such as rotational kinetic energy, angular momentum and moments of inertia. In Year 2 your understanding is extending to more advanced physics such as the torsion pendulum. This practical utilises computer-based data logging.
A second-year practical which utilises kV potentials to break down a variety of gases, creating plasma; the fourth state of matter. You will investigate the effect of pressure of the breakdown potential of the gas, as well as undertaking finite element modelling of the electrodes.
This second-year practical underpins the basic science of sound propagation by exploring the use of ultrasound for spatially mapping structure in solids. This technique has applications ranging from medical imaging to determination of structural integrity in engineering.
This second-year practical explores the transmission of microwave frequency signals along and between strip lines and antennae. This experiment is designed to support the second-year electromagnetism course by exploring real world applications such as mobile phone antenna design and operation.
A core first-year practical which allows you to measure one of nature's most fundamental constants, the speed of light, as well as exploring related concepts such as refractive index. This practical also explores practical skills involving advanced use of oscilloscopes which can be applied throughout the practical course.
This second-year practical allows you to measure and spatially map the magnetic field strength of a solenoid utilising a Hall effect sensor. You will learn to calibrate the sensor, and compare your measurements to simulations of an ideal solenoid using finite element magnetic simulations.
- Magnetic field uniformity in a solenoid
In this first-year practical you will use a computer interfaced Hall probe to measure magnetic field intensity generated by a long straight current carrying wire. You will be able to verify theoretical results from your electromagnetism module and determine a value for the permeability of free space.
This Year 2 practical explores the physics of semiconductors; the underpinning science of the 20th-century technological revolution. You will use computer controlled a monochromator to perform infrared spectroscopy on numerous materials in order to measure the 'band gap', a characteristic electronic property of semiconducting materials.
A second-year practical which investigates magnetic dipoles and their interaction with a uniform magnetic field. This macroscopic demonstration of electromagnetism offers insight into the microscopic mechanisms which occur regularly within atoms, affecting their electronic structure and spectroscopic signatures.
This first-year practical investigates the Hall effect. Materials carrying current whilst in a region of magnetic field will generate a 'Hall voltage' related to both the electrical carrier density and magnetic field strength. This effect can be used to investigate material properties, or, as is done elsewhere in the undergraduate laboratories, to measure magnetic fields.
A core second year practical which uses liquid nitrogen cooling to investigate the effects of cryogenic temperatures on electrical resistance. You will calibrate an 'industry standard' platinum resistance thermometer before investigating the onset of superconductivity and demonstrate magnetic levitation.
This first-year experiment uses a modern storage oscilloscope of monitor the voltage across a discharging capacitor. In doing so it will help demonstrate and solidify your understanding of your electromagnetism module, as well as training you in the use of modern oscilloscopes.
This first-year practical offers basic training in the use of cryogenic materials by asking you to determine the latent heat of vaporisation of liquid nitrogen. As with all of our practicals you will use scientific plotting software to analyse your data in real time, and learn to evaluate and mitigate against experimental errors.
A first year practical which allows you to investigate the physics which gained Einstein his Nobel prize, and kickstarted the quantum revolution; the photoelectric effect. You will investigate the work function of a UV irradiated photocathode and apply Einstein's theoretical insights to measure Planck's constant.