Prospectus

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Experimental Projects

Course 2018-2019

Admission Requirements

All parts of the bachelor.
Enthusiasm for experimental research.

Description

During the optional course Experimental Projects you will learn how to independently conduct scientific research (from generating the first idea until presenting and reporting the final results) for a period of 140 hours. This means the course is not about just a small experiment but has to encompass a real project of an appropriate size that requires planning and management. Enrolling in this course will prepare you extra for an experimental Bachelor Project.

The research will be conducted as a team that you can construct yourselves. It will not be conducted in one of the LION research groups but you will be given a lot of freedom to, for example, have parts of your setup made at the precision mechanical service (FMD) or electronic service (ELD). A small budget is available for purchasing small items. One of the goals of this course is that it will help you to know what to do in the event of setbacks and deal with them or know what to do when you do not know anymore what to do (the so called “do something” method). This, in turn, will help you to make a more realistic planning for future projects such as your Bachelor Project and to become a better physicist.

At certain intervals you will present or report your intermediary results to the lecturer and your colleague teams. The course will be finalized by a presentation and a written report. The team’s grade will be assessed using similar rubrics as will be used in the Bachelor Project.

To give you an idea of an appropriate size for a project you can look at the following example:
Build your own radar station: https://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-ll-003-build-a-small-radar-system-capable-of-sensing-range-doppler-and-synthetic-aperture-radar-imaging-january-iap-2011/

Course objectives

After completion of the project you will be able to conduct scientific research in physics from the first conception of a research subject up to reporting and presenting the conclusions drawn from the research.

This means you will be able to
- Formulate relevant scientific questions, based on prior research results or literature study;
- Write a proposal, which describes the measurement technique, the data analysis, the expected results, and their relation to the research question(s);
- Independently obtain reliable results from the experiments;
- Critically and correctly analyze the results of the experiment;
- Produce as many results as could be expected from the original plans or more;
- Prioritize your actions, by focusing on the relevant scientific questions.

Generic skills (soft skills)

More generally you will be able to
- Professionally respond to feedback: incorporate the feedback into the research by adapting your practices;
- Collaborate as a proactive team player;
- Plan your research activities realistically and deliver expected products before the deadlines;
- Communicate the conclusions of your research in an engaging and structured way, both verbally and orally;
- Work in a (large, up to 10 people) team;
- Hold effective meetings;
- Make minutes (and how to stick to them);
- Set a timetable with deadlines;
- Negotiate with people from electronics and machine shop.

Timetable

Mode of instruction

Assessment method

Blackboard

Reading list

Contact

Contact details lecturer: Dr. Peter Gast