Stockholm university
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Physical Measuring Techniques

How do we noise make a successful measurement of an important property noise of a physical system? What do we need noise to do to ensure that the measurement is fair and unbiased? How noise do we stop a good experiment going bad? How do we deal with noise, which gets everywhere?

The course deals with problems and questions related to measurement of physical parameters: The measurement process from an historical and a statistical perspective.  Noise and uncertainties in measurement are discussed from a statistical perspective. Transform methods are used to analyse dynamical processes. The Fourier transform is used to discuss system properties, the Laplace transform to describe control systems and stability, and the Z-transform to describe digital signal processing. Parallels with image processing are discussed using the 2-D Fourier transform. The course deal with different issues such as: signals, noise, data acquisition, data reduction, triggering, control systems, pulse electronics, transmission lines, grounding, sensors, transducers, measuring modules, measuring systems and software for measurement control.

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime. This course can also be taken as a third cycle course.


    This course consists of two parts:

    Concepts:  In this part of the course, the concepts behind the process of making a measurement from an epistemological and statistical perspective will be discussed. The role of control systems in the measuring process will be investigated, and critical aspects of measurements, such as how signals and noise are transported and analysed and how noise arises in different detectors, sensors, modules and connections will be covered comprehensively.

    Experiment: In this part of the course, you will implement and use the various tools available for designing, making, and controlling experiments, taking measurements, and processing data.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of seminars, group education, and obligatory laboratory exercises.


    The course is examined by a final written examination, and through written laboratory reports.


    Richard Thomas

    Phone: +468 5537 8784


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    “The Fourier Transform and Its Applications” by R. Bracewell, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0073039381

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordiantor:
    Richard Thomas, phone: +468 5537 8784, e-mail:

    Laboratory supervisor:
    Mathias Poline, e-mail:


    Academic Advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: