Experimental Methods

Appreciate and learn the physical principles, techniques, and creativity that go in conducting experiments in physics.

Physics is an experimental science. Experiments in physics are performed to explore and understand the physical world or to test hypotheses derived from the knowledge acquired by these explorations. This standalone experimental course builds in the students the necessary skills to execute experiments. The essential skills to successfully perform an experiment are:

  • the design of the experiment 
  • the selection and assembly of apparatus
  • data collection
  • data analysis and 
  • the presentation of results. 

Students develop these skills when doing experiments that complement content learning in various subjects such as Mechanics, Wave Motion, etc. This course aims to aid the maturation of these skills. Students will perform experiments that integrate various subjects in physics, such as using optical methods to measure mechanical strain. The course develops proficiency in the use of various measurement tools, from mechanical to electronic, to different levels of sophistication determined by the precision and accuracy desired for the experiment. Emphasis is also given to basic experimental skills such as choice of apparatus/​components, calibration and troubleshooting common failures.