54798 - Lab-based Course on Electromagnetism and Optics (A-L)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Luca Pasquini (Modulo 1) Silvia Arcelli (Modulo 2) Silvia Arcelli (Modulo 3) Nicoletta Mauri (Modulo 4) Nicolò Jacazio (Modulo 5) Luca Clissa (Modulo 6)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo 3) Traditional lectures (Modulo 4) Traditional lectures (Modulo 5) Traditional lectures (Modulo 6)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Physics (cod. 9244)

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student possesses basic knowledge of DC circuits, RLC circuits in both transient and sinusoidal regimes, and the phenomena of light interference and diffraction. He/she knows the fundamentals of graphical programming in the LabVIEW environment and is able to develop simple data acquisition programs. With the use of ROOT, a framework for Object Oriented data lanalysis in C++, he learns the basics of Monte Carlo generation of physical distributions and data analysis in terms of their selection, representation and fitting to a hypothesis. Finally, through the performance of various laboratory experiences he develops basic skills in the area of electrical and optical measurements, data acquisition, analysis and simulation, and the ability to expound experimental results in written and oral form.

Course contents

The teaching is divided into modules that address, in an integrated approach, various aspects related to the acquisition, processing, and written and oral presentation of experimental data, with reference to topics covered in the second year of the physics degree program.

In the first semester, module 2-3, focusing on object-oriented programming with C++ and ROOT, and module 1, covering data acquisition devices, electrical circuits in steady and transient regimes, and the graphical programming language LabVIEW, are carried out. In the second semester, module 4 and 5 devoted to methods and instrumentation for experiments in electromagnetism, particularly electrical circuits in sinusoidal regime, and physical optics are carried out.

A detailed description of the modules, in the order in which they are delivered, follows.

Module 2-3 - Prof. Silvia Arcelli, 1st semester

Recall of the main concepts of Object Oriented Programming in C++ : coding conventions, classes, methods and attributes, encapsulation. Aggregation and inheritance. Polymorphism.

Applications of the ROOT framework in an object-oriented programming context aimed at simulation and data analysis, with examples focused on laboratory tests that will take place in the second semester.

Insights and exercises on histograms (THx), graphs (TGraph), functions (TFx), ROOT's persistence system (TFile). Fitting experimental data to a model with ROOT (linear and nonlinear fits).

Application of ROOT's Monte Carlo methods for generating physical distributions and parameterizing the effects of the measurement and detection apparatus (resolution, efficiency)

Advanced applications of ROOT: ROOT collection classes (TList) and n-tuple data structures (TTrees)

Module 1 - Prof. Luca Pasquini, 1st semester

The LabVIEW graphical programming language Introduction to LabVIEW: Virtual Instruments (VI) and the dataflow paradigm. Front panel, block diagram, controls, indicators, constants and functions. Numeric, Boolean, string data types; Arrays, Clusters and Type definitions. Loops: While loop, For loop, Tunnels and Shift Registers. Decision structures: Case Structure, Event Structure; Polling vs Event-driven programming. Modularity: the SubVIs. Reading and writing files in LabVIEW. Sequential programming. State machine. Use of local and global variables: race conditions. Data communication between parallel loops: queues and notifiers.

Data acquisition devices. General architecture of a data acquisition device (DAQ device). The measurement chain. Analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs). Communication buses. Modes of connecting signals to the device. Sampling: Nyquist theorem and aliasing. Buffered, circular and unbuffered data acquisition. Triggers. DAQ-mx library in LabVIEW.
Introduction to the Arduino Uno microcontroller: architecture and basic functionality. Programming of Arduino in native environment using C++ and in LabVIEW environment.

Module 4 - Prof. Nicoletta Mauri, 2nd semester.

Module 4 will illustrate the features of instruments such as function generators and oscilloscopes, with specific reference to laboratory exercises in the second semester. The methods and standards to be followed for writing laboratory reports and for the oral presentation of the results obtained will be explained, with reference to the customs of the international scientific community. Finally, some complements on electrical circuits in transient and sinusoidal regimes will be given that are useful for conducting laboratory exercises.

Characteristics of the instrumentation used in the laboratory. Function generators. Digital multimeters. Lasers. Radiation detectors. Photodiodes, their connection in open circuit and reverse polarization.

Laboratory reports. Methods and standards for writing a laboratory report and for oral presentation of results. Recalls on linear fits, nod to nonlinear fits.

The oscilloscope. Analog and digital oscilloscopes. Static and dynamic sensitivity, bandwidth. Vertical amplification. Horizontal deflection, sawtooth. Triggers. Digital oscilloscopes. Reference: Bava, Galzerano, Norgia, Ottoboni and Svelto.

Complements on circuits in transient and sinusoidal regimes. Capacitor and inductor, first-order circuits. Second-order circuits. RLC circuits in sinusoidal regime and the phasor method. Frequency response, high-pass, low-pass, band-pass and resonant circuits. Reference: Perfect: ch. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 13 (part).

The laboratory experience will consist of designing a circuit on an ELVIS breadboard or a physical optics measurement, writing an acquisition program in the LabVIEW environment, performing the measurements, and analyzing and discussing the data.


Module 2-3 (Prof. S. Arcelli)

All teaching materials are available on Virtuale:

Official ROOT materials (User guide, Reference guide) from http://root.cern.ch [http://root.cern.ch/];

The ROOT primer: https://root.cern.ch/root/htmldoc/guides/primer/ROOTPrimer.html

Lecture slides and examples of ROOT code performed in class

Module 1 (Prof. L. Pasquini)

All lecture materials are available on Virtuale, and include:

Lecture slides from the lectures (LabVIEW and Devices)

Guide for installing LabVIEW and drivers
Guide for conducting lab tests and diagrams for writing reports

Module 4 (Prof. N. Mauri)

Renzo Perfetti, Electrical Circuits, Zanichelli, 2013.

Copy of slides used in lectures, available on Virtuale

R. Bartiromo and M. De Vincenzi, Electrical Measurements in the Laboratory Practice, Springer

Elio Bava, Gianluca Galzerano, Michele Norgia, Roberto Ottoboni and Cesare Svelto, Electronic Laboratory Measurements, Pitagora Editrice, 2005.

The course includes lectures, classroom and laboratory exercises. Attendance at the laboratory is mandatory. Details on laboratory exercises are provided for each module.

Teaching methods

Module 2-3 (Prof. S. Arcelli)

Three lab tests will be conducted during which students, in groups of <=4 students (groups to be defined near the beginning of the lab tests), will implement a C++ simulation and data analysis program, using object-oriented programming and ROOT's Monte Carlo simulation and data analysis functions. They are asked to complete the program and make a group report, which is due by the date indicated during the first introductory lecture for the course, a date that will be prior to the winter appeals. The format is strictly PDF, by sending to mailbox, following a template provided by the lecturer and including the C++/ROOT code listing.

Module 1 (Prof. L. Pasquini)

Three laboratory tests will be conducted during which circuits are to be built on an ELVIS II board and data acquired and analyzed using a program developed in LabVIEW. The acquisition and analysis program is typically developed through independent work prior to lab attendance. The topics of the three tests are 1) Measurement of ELVIS II device code width and noise, buffered acquisition, Nyquist sampling theorem; 2) Ohm's law and DC resistive circuits; and 3) transient regimes in RC circuits. The first two tests will be done in pairs, the third individually.

Module 4 (Prof. N. Mauri)

Each student/student will carry out a lab experience that will involve attending the lab for 3 shifts. The performance is in pairs; a written report is required according to a standard outline, to be delivered by each student in PDF format by sending to dedicated institutional email box. The exercise will also be the subject of an individual presentation via PC and projector.

Assessment methods

The final grade reflects an overall assessment related to the teaching topics and is the weighted average of the grades achieved in the various modules.

The examination related to the second semester modules can be taken only after the first semester modules have been passed.

For all modules, attendance at laboratory exercises is compulsory.

Module 2-3 (Prof. S. Arcelli)

Papers (which will be the outcome of work done collaboratively by groups of <=4 students and thus correspond to a single paper) are given a grade A from 0 to 5. The final verification consists of a written test (in this case individual) composed of 3 questions and in which the student is asked to write on paper parts of code that use the ROOT features explained during the module. The written test gives a maximum grade B of 26. The final grade for the module is given by C = A+B. The exam is passed if C>=18. C>30 is required for honors.

The written test and lab report aim to test the acquired knowledge of the C++ language and ROOT software with particular application to fitting functions to experimental data and simple Monte Carlo generation techniques.

Module 1 (Prof. L. Pasquini)

During the laboratory tests, the student must write a report, following an outline provided by the instructor, in which the code of the developed program, the experimental results and their analysis are reported. The reports are to be handed in in PDF format at the end of the tests. The third test, which will be taken individually, will be given a score from A to E that will contribute to the grade obtained in the final oral examination. In scoring, the ability to develop a personal computer-based data acquisition program, apply it to the measurement of electrical phenomena and analyze the experimental data collected will be evaluated.

Module 4 (Prof. N. Mauri)

The joint grade on Modules 4 and 5 (i.e., second semester), takes into account two assessments related to:

A) Written report on the laboratory experience.

B) Oral presentation with the aid of PC and projector of the laboratory experience (maximum duration of 10 minutes) and subsequent discussion with lecturers. Registration for the examination list is done through AlmaEsams.

In all assessments, great importance is placed on students' independent judgment, critical thinking and communication skills (written and oral).

Teaching tools

Computer, optical and electronics laboratories.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Pasquini

See the website of Silvia Arcelli

See the website of Silvia Arcelli

See the website of Nicoletta Mauri

See the website of Nicolò Jacazio

See the website of Luca Clissa