UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy


Laboratory Skills: Year One

PHAS0007, PHAS0008

Prospective postgraduate demonstrators will need to have a desire to teach, and will be willing to help new undergraduates to excel. This will require a good background knowledge of general and practical physics, including mechanics for PHAS0007 and thermodynamics (and some electronics) for PHAS0008. New demonstrators will be give opportunities to gain experience of the experimental systems prior to teaching on the course. However, the focus of the course is to show students how to think differently about practical physics and teach them how to conduct themselves in a laboratory.

The postgraduate demonstrators will need to interact, proactively, with the students. They will undertake assessments of students via 'micro vivas'. Consequently, they will need to be good communicators. 

PHAS0007 “Practical Physics and Computing 1”: In this term 1 course students will conduct an initial (unassessed) experiment that is guided by a demonstrator. This is undertaken so that students can become familiar with the process of conducting experiments. Students will conduct two ‘main’ experiments that will challenge how they see experimental physics at university level, when compared to what they have done before at ‘A’ Level (or equivalent). They will also conduct ‘Skill of Hand’ tasks that will introduce them to skills they will need in later courses. This work will be assessed by ongoing oral assessments and Moodle Quizzes. In particular, a ‘Data Retrieval Test’ Moodle Quiz will form the bulk of this experimental mark.
Contact: Dr Paul Bartlett

PHAS0008 “Practical Skills 1P”: In this term 2 course, students work typically in pairs following scripts for the experiments. The experiments are of the same standard as those in the prerequisite course, PHAS0007. Great emphasis is placed on the formation of good habits in the keeping of a laboratory notebook for which the students are given detailed advice.
Contact: Dr Paul Bartlett