A freshman physics laboratory is described which represents a marked departure from the pattern previously accepted in Australian universities. The student is encouraged to treat the experiments as small research projects rather than demonstrations of lecture material. This objective is achieved by the timing of the experiments and their duration, by the use of modern equipment, and by requiring end-of-term reports. The experiments have been grouped in three sets—dynamics, waves and oscillations, and quantum physics—one set being studied per term, such that each set of experiments presents a series of similar phenomena for investigation.

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