9780521779401

Practical Physics

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521779401

  • ISBN10:

    0521779405

  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/24/2001
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

This classic companion to undergraduate practical work in physics describes the purposeful, critical approach that should be made to all physics experiments. It covers the statistical treatment of data and experimental methods, and gives advice on keeping efficient records, calculations, and scientific writing. The new edition features treatment of the c2 distribution, a section on atomic clocks, worked examples based on spreadsheets, and additional exercises. Existing examples and references have been brought up to date. The text is liberally illustrated with examples and exercises, with solutions to the latter. Although intended for undergraduates, Practical Physics will be of interest to researchers, not only in physics, but in other sciences as well.

Author Biography

Gordon Squires has been a Lecturer in Physics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge since 1956

Table of Contents

Preface to the fourth edition ix
Preface to the first edition x
The object of practical physics
1(4)
PART 1 STATISTICAL TREATMENT OF DATA
Introduction to errors
5(4)
The importance of estimating errors
5(1)
Systematic and random errors
6(2)
Systematic errors
8(1)
Treatment of a single variable
9(18)
Introduction
9(1)
Set of measurements
10(1)
Distribution of measurements
10(4)
Estimation of σ and σm
14(4)
The Gaussian distribution
18(1)
The integral function
19(3)
The error in the error
22(1)
Discussion of the Gaussian distribution
22(5)
Summary of symbols, nomenclature, and important formulae
24(2)
Exercises
26(1)
Further topics in statistical theory
27(16)
The treatment of functions
27(3)
The straight line - method of least squares
30(6)
The straight line - points in pairs
36(1)
Weighting of results
37(6)
Summary of equations for the best straight line by the method of least squares
39(2)
Exercises
41(2)
Common sense in errors
43(12)
Error calculations in practice
43(3)
Complicated functions
46(2)
Errors and experimental procedure
48(7)
Summary of treatment of errors
50(1)
Exercises
51(4)
PART 2 EXPERIMENTAL METHODS
Some laboratory instruments and methods
55(18)
Introduction
55(1)
Metre rule
55(2)
Micrometer screw gauge
57(1)
Measurement of length - choice of method
58(3)
Measurement of length - temperature effect
61(1)
The beat method of measuring frequency
62(2)
Negative feedback amplifier
64(3)
Servo systems
67(2)
Natural limits of measurement
69(4)
Exercises
71(2)
Some experimental techniques
73(29)
Rayleigh refractometer
73(6)
Measurement of resistivity
79(7)
Absolute measurement of the acceleration due to the Earth's gravity
86(8)
Measurement of frequency and time
94(4)
The Global Positioning System
98(4)
Exercises
101(1)
Experimental logic
102(15)
Introduction
102(1)
Apparent symmetry in apparatus
102(1)
Sequence of measurements
103(1)
Intentional and unintentional changes
104(1)
Drift
105(1)
Systematic variations
106(3)
Calculated and empirical corrections
109(2)
Relative methods
111(2)
Null methods
113(1)
Why make precise measurements?
114(3)
Common sense in experiments
117(8)
Preliminary experiment
117(1)
Checking the obvious
118(1)
Personal errors
119(1)
Repetition of measurements
119(2)
Working out results
121(1)
Design of apparatus
122(3)
PART 3 RECORD AND CALCULATIONS
Record of the experiment
125(8)
Introduction
125(1)
Bound notebook versus loose-leaf
125(1)
Recording measurements
126(1)
Down with copying
126(1)
Diagrams
127(2)
Tables
129(1)
Aids to clarity
130(1)
Some common faults - ambiguity and vagueness
131(2)
Graphs
133(11)
The use of graphs
133(4)
Choice of ruling
137(1)
Scale
137(1)
Units
138(1)
Some hints on drawing graphs
138(3)
Indicating errors
141(1)
Sensitivity
142(2)
Arithmetic
144(8)
Arithmetic is important
144(1)
Computers
144(1)
Calculators
145(1)
Ways of reducing arithmetical mistakes
145(3)
Checking algebra
148(4)
Exercises
150(2)
Writing a paper
152(44)
Introduction
152(1)
Title
152(1)
Abstract
152(1)
Plan of paper
153(1)
Sections of paper
153(2)
Diagrams, graphs, and tables
155(1)
Instructions to authors
155(1)
Clarity
156(1)
Good English
156(2)
Conclusion
158(3)
Appendices
A Evaluation of some integrals connected with the Gaussian function
161(3)
B The variance of S2 for a Gaussian distribution
164(2)
C The straight line - the standard error in the slope and intercept
166(5)
Comment on the dependence of m, c, and b
170(1)
D The binomial and Poisson distributions
171(5)
Binomial distribution
171(2)
Poisson distribution
173(3)
E The X2 distribution - test of goodness of fit
176(12)
Introduction
176(1)
Derivation of X2 distribution
177(3)
The function Pn(X2)
180(1)
Degrees of freedom
181(1)
Test of goodnes of fit
182(2)
Worked examples
184(2)
Comments
186(2)
F SI units
188(4)
Names and symbols
189(1)
Decimal factors
190(1)
Relation to c.g.s. units
190(1)
Definitions of the SI base units
191(1)
G Values of physical constants
192(1)
H Mathematical tables
193(3)
Values of the Gaussian function and the Gaussian integral function
193(1)
Values of X2 for given v and P
194(2)
Solutions to exercises 196(10)
Some useful books 206(1)
References 207(2)
Index 209

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