Physical foundations of measurement techniques

Goal of this course is to give an insight into the principal physical measurement and data evaluation methods, taking into account general scientific applications. On the one hand simple measurement devices (like the vernier caliper) are presented, on the other hand more sophisticated measuring devices used on an everyday basis (up to the digital oscilloscope) are introduced. Therefore the course has been split into two sections, namely a lesson section and a practical, applicative section.

I) In the lesson section, standard measuring methods used to determine several physical quantities (e.g. voltage measurement, resistance measurement, temperature measurement etc.) are presented, together with the respective measuring devices. The possible sources of errors are mentioned. Some elementary notions on statistics and error propagation are introduced, being necessary for a quantitative evaluation of any experimental data set.

II) In the practical, applicative section, some simple measurements are accomplished in order to get acquainted with the instruments. Of particular relevance is the correct reading of a display or of a scale, and the consideration of instrumental errors and reading errors.