The University of Southampton
Courses

OPTO6023 Photonics Laboratory and Study Skills

Module Overview

The course is devoted to carrying out a series of experiments from the area of photonics and related technologies. The experiments selected underpin and illustrate some fundamental concepts in laser science and offer an opportunity to develop correct use of key experimental techniques. After the lab part of the course is completed, a conference will be held where the students will give presentations on one of the experiments carried out.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this course is to provide further training and encourage independent work in research labs environment, teach essential skills in carrying out experiments, recording of results, discussing and presenting them in a scientific conference format. In particular, it will embed lab skills and techniques related to practical applications of lasers, fibres and advanced materials.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The understanding of the underlying, physical effects behind the results
  • Ability to extrapolate and link the observed effects to other, relevant areas of physics
  • Knowledge of advanced functionality such as real time control and advanced mathematical processing
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Clear delivery of an oral conference presentation of a standard expected at scientific conferences and actively participate in related discussions.
  • Ability to manipulate extracted data; display in a useful manner and export to file
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Correct planning and executing experiments accompanied by recording of laboratory work and relevant observations in lab books together with computer based data acquisition
  • Precision and correct handling of experimental data sets, their plotting and curve-fitting as well as the estimation of uncertainties
  • Ability to discuss, analyse and interpret the results, both in writing and verbally
  • Clear, concise and informative writing up an experiment as a preparation for summarising results for a scientific paper
  • Understanding of basic programming using a graphical programming language
  • Ability to write software that will control and interrogate external equipment via different interface buses

Syllabus

The course will consist of Laboratory, Conference and Transferable Skills sections. In the Laboratory part students will carry out a selection of experiments from the list below and make a short presentation on one of the experiments. - Fibre optics and optical waveguiding - Semiconductor pn junctions - Experimental Neodymium YAG Laser - Electro-Optic Effect and Modulation of Laser Light - Optical spectroscopy - Laser modes and speed of light - Fluorescence of laser glasses - Diode Lasers

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students prepare for the labs and this prelim preparation is assessed at the beginning of each lab session. During the main lab sessions students will work on their own, but will be supervised by demonstrators. It is expected that students engage in discussions with demonstrators and are ready to answer their questions regarding technical and physics related aspects of an experiment. A series of laboratory experiments will be carried out and written manuals will be available for help and guidance. Marking and feedback from demonstrators will be provided via individual vivas on each experiment.

TypeHours
Independent Study78
Teaching72
Total study time150

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Students have to prepare for the labs. During the main lab sessions students will work on their own, but will be supervised by demonstrators. It is expected that students engage in discussions with demonstrators and are ready to answer their questions regarding technical and physics related aspects of an experiment. A series of laboratory experiments will be carried out and written manuals will be available for help and guidance. Marking and feedback from demonstrators will be provided via individual vivas on each experiment. Laboratory: performance on each experiment will be assessed, first, on the quality of preparation (prelim) and the secondly on the quality of experimental work. The mark for preparation will take into account answers to any set prelim questions, knowledge of the experiment to be carried out and the understanding of the relevant, background physics. It will count for 20% of the final mark for the practical. The remaining 80% of the mark will come from the assessment of the quality of work, data presentation and analysis. For both marks, both written and verbal contributions are expected. Conference: the talks will be assessed by a team of markers, consisting of demonstrators. They will be marked for their scientific content (50%), presentation (40%) and the answers to the questions from the audience (fellow students) and from the markers.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Conference presentation 12%
Laboratory 88%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Laboratory 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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