Welcome to the Physics Practical course. The course is located on levels 1 & 2 of the Denys Wilkinson Building. The following information will be a brief guide throughout the different areas of the labs.
Foyer & Rest Area
The foyer offers an area where students can relax, have coffee, grab a snack and check notice boards of upcoming talks or opportunities. The practical course staff offices can also be found within this area.
"The optics lab provides students with the opportunity to explore for themselves many of the aspects of atomic and optical physics found in the first three years of the degree course. Students in their first year begin by examining effects of refraction, interference, diffraction, and dispersion. Aspects of atomic physics are explored in many of the experiments on the second and third year course. These provide first-hand experience of important atomic physics phenomena, including the Faraday and Zeeman effects, alkali spectra, and isotope shifts. The experiments also provide an opportunity to use optical instruments described in the second year Optics course, such as the Fabry-Perot etalon and the scanning Michelson interferometer. In the third year lab, Fourier optics is explored in an experiment on optical information processing. The physics of lasers is investigated in an experiment to build and study the operation of a helium-neon laser (from academic year 2011-12)." - Professor Simon Hooker, Head of Lab Optics.
Condensed Matter Physics
"This laboratory contains experiments that explore the rich variety of phenomena found in different solids. You can use X-ray diffraction to determine the structure of crystals, observe the extraordinary effects that occur when metals become superconductors, and measure the quantum Hall effect in two-dimensional semiconductor structures. You can see how magnetic resonance probes magnetism and chemical structure, and you can observe how magnetic fields quantise the motion of electrons. Many of the experiments use liquid nitrogen and helium to reach low temperatures, and use data acquisition software to control the measurements." - Professor Andrew Boothroyd, Head of Lab Condensed Matter Physics.