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DURHAM PHYSICS LABORATORY GUIDE

Welcome to the web-site for the undergraduate laboratories in the Physics Department at Durham University. Click on the images below or use the drop-down menu above to learn more about the undergraduate laboratory experience at Durham Physics.

Performing an experiment
Level 1 laboratory work in Durham

LEVEL 1 LABORATORY

Mastering the basics. Students work in pairs on an activity which lasts one 3-hour session. The image shows the first practical of the year where students learn about using meters, constructing electrical circuits, plotting graphs, keeping a laboratory notebook and propagating uncertainties.

LEVEL 2 LABORATORY

Putting it all together. Students work in pairs or for Skills in groups of 4. More advanced techniques are introduced, and students can practice these in a 6-week Research Led Investigation. The image shows a Skills session where the safe handling of cryogenic gases is introduced, and computer control of equipment is used to construct a rudimentary cryostat.
Performing an experiment
Level 2 laboratory work in Durham
Performing an experiment
Level 3 laboratory work in Durham

LEVEL 3 EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT

Taking charge. Students work in pairs for a whole term on one topic using specialist techniques and equipment. The image shows a state-of-the-art laser spectroscopy experiment used to cool atoms to a millionth of a degree above absolute zero.

LEVEL 3 TEAM PROJECT

Group industrial projects. A group of 4-6 students work with a client for a term to solve real-world problem. The image shows a group of students working with PII Pipeline Solutions.
Team work
A team project
Team work
Work published by IOP

LEVEL 4 PROJECT

Individual reseach projects. These can be theoretical, experimental, data analysis or combinations of the above. Many students get the research from their project published. The Institute of Physics diary cover (seen right) for 2007-08 has an image from a paper with two Durham physics undergraduate co-authors.