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Undergraduate Mini-thesis Topic(s)

  1. Jul 3, 2013 #1
    Undergraduate "Mini-thesis" (project-level) Topic(s)

    Hi. Just to give you some background, I am in my third year in college and am currently taking up Fundamentals of Physics III (which is primarily about relativity, quantum mechanics, wave nature of particles, wave mechanics, and statistical mechanics--but please note that we have not discussed any of these yet since our semester has just got started). I've previously taken Fundamentals of Physics I and II (which are only about Newtonian Mechanics, Waves, and Thermodynamics; Electromagnetism and Optics)--basically only two-thirds of the topics in University Physics.

    Awhile ago, our laboratory instructor in the said course announced our project for the semester and it would be by group--that is, to conduct a 'mini-thesis' (it's actually a thesis, but he said he'd call it "mini-thesis" because it would be done by group), which is due three months from now. In addition, he asked us to submit three topic proposals on or before the day after tomorrow, so I just quite couldn't think of a good one without getting any help. It could be in relation to any of the concepts included in University Physics (introductory physics, I guess). It just needs to be experimental rather than theoretical. An example he gave earlier is re: the dependence of temperature on water depth [up to 5 meters].

    P.S. What makes it more difficult for me to think of a topic is the sad fact that we couldn't afford to use expensive equipment like electron accelerators and such (since I only study in a state university in the Philippines), which, in turn, substantially limits the range of topics that our group could use for our 'mini-thesis'. The common apparatuses that we've only used so far were motion detectors, frictionless air tracks, oscilloscopes, resistors, multimeters, and the like.

    I would really appreciate your help. Thank you very much.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2013 #2
    Good day,

    Are you required to perform the actual measuring like the one your lab instructor suggested?
  4. Jul 3, 2013 #3
    Yes, we are required to do so (thanks, btw, for responding :) ).
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  5. Jul 3, 2013 #4
    Of all the physics you studied, which things did you like best?
  6. Jul 3, 2013 #5


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    Not Good.
    Your instructor should have a long list of topics or activities for your mini-thesis. The activities to be picked and practiced must be performable using the department's current equipment.
  7. Jul 3, 2013 #6
    I guess I liked Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics the best.
  8. Jul 4, 2013 #7


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    One of the points behinds exercises like this is to help you to develop some independent thinking skills.

    One thing that can help you is to look at what projects have been done in previous years and perhaps to take note of which ones were the most successful, and then build on those - try to come up with some kind of a unique twist.
  9. Jul 4, 2013 #8
    But it's already due tomorrow and our instructor hasn't approved a single topic yet :(
  10. Jul 4, 2013 #9
    Could you maybe expand on one of these experiments from "Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics", Plumb and Marshall.
  11. Jul 4, 2013 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    OK, so it was "asked a while ago", due tomorrow, and you asked us yesterday. Is it our fault that you're short on time?
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