Physics Laboratory III

Physics Laboratory III (Thermodynamics, Waves, Optics)
(3rd semester course - 6 hours teaching weekly)

Course Outline:

  • Longitudinal and transverse waves: Study of transverse waves on a string and measurement of the speed of sound in air, employing different techniques.
  • Thermal properties of solids: Determination of the heat transfer coefficient of insulators and of the linear expansion coefficient of conductors.
  • Determination of the γ=Cp/Cv ratio by the Clements-Desormes and Ruchardt &Rinkel methodes: Determination of the ratio of the heat capacities Cp and Cv, and kinetic theory of gases.
  • Spectroscopy of visible light using a constant divergence spectrometer and an optical grating spectrometer: Calibration of the spectrometers using Hg and Na light sources, experimental study of atomic and molecular emission spectra and absorption spectra of color filters.
  • Spectroscopy of visible light employing digital spectrometer and respective software: Quantitative study of various emission and absorption spectra derived from light sources, colored liquids and transparent films. The spectrometer consists of a CCD detector plugged to a computer where respective software is installed.
  • Polarization phenomena: Experimentation on linearly and circularly polarized light. Optical Kerr effect and Chromatic Polarization.
  • Measurement of the focal length of a lens, Optical fibers, Light/Energy Sources: Measurement of the focal length of converging and diverging lenses. Transmission of light (from LEDs, lasers and modulated light) in optical fibers.
  • Electromagnetic waves, Michelson interferometer: reflection, polarization and diffraction of microwaves. Measurement of the wavelength of a radiation using a Michelson interferometer.


  • “University Physics”, H.D. Young
  • “Physics for Scientists and Engineers”, R.A. Serway
  • “Optics”, E. Hecht & A. Zajac
  • “Optics”, K.D. Alexopoulos
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