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Physics Experiments 2

Course 2018-2019

Admission Requirements

Optica, Klassieke Mechanica a, Analyse 3 (na), Physics Experiments 1


This course builds on the knowledge about signal processing that you gained from Physics Experiments 1 and extends it towards more complex systems that involve positive and negative feedback and various sources of noise. The ultimate goal is to prepare you to independently set up a complex experiment. This will be tested during Physics Experiments 3.

During the course we will analyze various sources of noise and interference and show you how to handle them. Furthermore we will discuss (positive and negative) feedback, Fourier and Laplace transforms and simple control theory.

To gain both the necessary theoretical background and direct practical experience this course consists of a combination of lectures, exercise classes, and practical work. Python is used in both the exercise classes and the practical work. Because of this structure, you will not only get to know a powerful theory that is applicable to many physical phenomena, but also be able to use that theory in practice.

This course treats the following subjects in a physically relevant context:
- 2D Fourier transform and Fourier optics
- Step and impulse response
- Laplace transform
- Feedback
- Noise
- OpAmp

Course objectives

After successful completion of this course you will be able to apply the following concepts in experiments involving various physical phenomena and to set up your own complex experiment.
More precisely you will be able to:
• Predict and measure transfer functions, complex impedances, Bode plots, and response functions for electronic and mechanical systems.
• Perform simple image processing using 2D Fourier transforms.
• Apply mathematical tools to signals. Those tools include convolution, modulation, the Wiener-Khinchin theorem.
• Name the basic time-domain / frequency-domain Fourier pairs.
• Describe the relation between operations in the time domain and in the frequency domain.
• Analyze linear time-invariant systems using the Laplace transform and the various Fourier transforms.
• Describe the cause, spectrum, and consequences of various sources of noise and propose solutions to reduce noise.
• Analyze the transfer function and stability of negative and positive feedback systems.
• Analyze simple electronic circuits containing an OpAmp.

Generic skills (soft skills)

The following skills will be trained during this course:
- Thinking in a different domain from the time domain.
- Applying theoretical knowledge while performing experiments.
- Attaining new Python skills that you can use again in all other courses.


Mode of instruction

Assessment method


Reading list


Contact data lecturers:
Prof.dr. M. Orrit (Michel) P. Logman (Paul)