Laboratory Physics II

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

General Physics I and II, Laboratory Physics I, Laboratory Techniques in Physics.

Teaching Methods

Classes for discussion and execution of experimental assignments, including individual mentoring.
Classes for discussion and elaboration of a written report for each experiment.
Students should work preferably in groups of two during the implementation of practical assignments.

Learning Outcomes

The student is expected to acquire autonomy, capability and personal initiative in a physics laboratory, and be able to develop simple experimental projects, from their design to their implementation, analysis and discussion of results.
In particular, the student is expected to:
Master different experimental techniques;
Deepen the data analysis methodology and the comparison of results;
Develop critical thinking and experimental logic;
Handle with rigor and caution the different instruments;
Use the computer for data acquisition, control and analysis of the results;
Learn how to maintain a well-structured logbook;
Develop student's abilities to communicate orally and in writing.

Generic competences in:
Analysis and summary;
Organization and planing;
Oral and written communication;
Group work;
Critical thinking;
Autonomous learning;
Knowledge of informatics applied to field of study;
Adaptability to new situations;
Apply the theoretical knowledge to practice.

Work Placement(s)



The curricular unit consists of a set of experiments whose objective is the demonstration of physical laws or the determination of fundamental physical constants.
The experiments cover the following topics: magnetic fields and forces, electric oscillations and resonance, electromagnetic waves, mechanical systems and modern physics.
- Ampère balance: torsion balance calibration, study of the interactions between electric currents;
-  Measurement of the charge/mass ratio of the electron: magnetic bottle, electron motion under magnetic fields;
- Observation of the surface of a rotating liquid: determination of gravity acceleration;
- Microwaves: Michelson interferometer, determination of wavelength, thin film thickness and refraction index of a prism;
- Physical pendulum: determination of the inertia moment of the ruler relative to the main axis;
- Kater pendulum: determination of the gravity acceleration;
- Determination of the earth magnetic field.

Head Lecturer(s)

Manuela Ramos Marques da Silva

Assessment Methods

Logbook presentation: 10.0%
Laboratory work or Field work: 10.0%
Written reports: 80.0%


MC Abreu, L Matias, LF Peralta, Física Experimental, uma introdução. Presença, 1994.
GL Squires, Practical physics, Cambridge Press, 2001.
P Bevington and DK Robinson, Data reduction and error analysis for the physical sciences, McGraw Hill, 2002.