Física Laboratorial I - F+Q

Ano letivo: 2010-2011
Specification sheet

Specific details
course codecycle os studiesacademic semestercredits ECTSteaching language

Learning goals

Raise awareness of the processes of acquisition and development of physical reality knowledge through experiments (from experimental observation to physical concept or principle), recurring to some examples of basic concepts studied on the General Physics curricular units. On this curricular unit, emphasis will be put on the development of laboratorial competences and data analysis competences acquired on the Physical Laboratorial Techniques curricular unit. This emphasis will be complemented by the acquisition of new knowledge related to: Assembling experiences; Using measure instruments; Dimensionality of the physical quantities involved; Identification of systematic and random errors, and of the limitations that arise from the experimental processes applied; Classification of these errors and of the limitations they present to data analysis; Interpreting and modeling results. In this curricular unit, students will also develop the following secondary competences: Organization and methodology: program measures, data collection and data storage, and develop a logbook. Scientific communication, through the production of written reports of the presentation, discussion and interpretation of experimental results.


Performing a series of experimental works on Mechanics, Electricity, Optics and Wave phenomena, within the framework of the subject taught on the General Physics I and II curricular units. In each of the theme areas, 3 or 4 lab works will be performed, with an estimated maximum duration of 2 hours per work. The remaining lesson time (1 hour) will be dedicated to analyzing and discussing the results, with a view to elaborating a corresponding report afterwards.


General Physics I;

Simultaneous attendance of General Physics II.

Generic skills to reach
. Competence in analysis and synthesis;
. Critical thinking;
. Adaptability to new situations;
. Quality concerns;
. Research skills;
. Competence in organization and planning;
. Competence in oral and written communication;
. Competence to solve problems;
. Competence for working in group;
. Competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice;
(by decreasing order of importance)
Teaching hours per semester
laboratory classes45
total of teaching hours45

Laboratory or field work70 %
Other30 %
assessment implementation in 20102011
Reports: 30.0%
Lab work or field work : 70.0%

Bibliography of reference

ABREU, M.C.; MATIAS, L. e PERALTA, L.F. (1994). Física Experimental: Uma introdução. Lisboa: Editorial Presença

ALONSO, M. e FINN, E. (1999). Física. Iberoamericana: Addison-Wesley.

TIPLER, Paul (2000). Física. 4ª Edição. Editora Guanabara-Koogan.

COSTA, M.M.R.R. e ALMEIDA, M.J.B.M. de (1993). Fundamentos de Física. Coimbra: Livraria Almedina.

CAMPOS, N. Ayres de. Introdução à análise de dados. Departamento de Física, U.C.

Teaching method

Work groups formed by two students. Each of the groups will execute a number of practical works according to a rotational system that will be defined on the first lesson. The practical work will be previously prepared by students. That makes it possible for students to perform fact-finding visits to the lab, where the related experimental assembly will be made available. During the execution of the practical work (estimated duration of 2 hours), students will be advised to keep an individual or collective logbook, in which they should keep track of the particularities of the experimental execution that were not mentioned on the original script, possible mistakes or sources of mistake which are characteristic of the methodology and the experimental system used and all results obtained. The last hour of the class will be dedicated to analyzing and discussing the results obtained, with a view to checking their conclusion against the objectives proposed for this curricular unit. That includes weighting the sources of experimental error and performing calculus and designing graphics for aiding the discussion of the results between the professor and the elements of the group. Lastly, after the lesson, each of the groups should produce a report including the objective of the work, the presentation of the results in graphics and tables and the analysis and discussion of these results. The report must be delivered on the following lesson.

Resources used
. Equipamento laboratorial adequado aos trabalhos programados, em número suficiente para o funcionamento simultâneo e independente dos grupos de trabalho organizados.
. Guiões dos trabalhos práticos
. Notas de apoio e bibliografia específica de acordo com os conteúdos envolvidos em cada trabalho prático
. Caderno de notas (logbook)
. papel milimétrico
. máquina de calcular, régua, lápis, borracha e esferográfica.