National Laboratory Immersion Programme Concludes
The Physics Lab at the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering (SSE), LUMS organised the National Laboratory Immersion Programme from June 1 to 3, 2012. This three-day training and orientation programme was targeted at post-graduate students, researchers and teachers who are involved in the field of physics education and experimental physical sciences.
The purpose was to engage post-graduate students, researches, and teachers and to provide them with knowledge-based, hands-on, modern and invigorating exposure to the various aspects of laboratory programme development, teaching, implementation and assessment. With over 150 applications received, the organisers finalised a list of 50 candidates most suited to attend the Workshop; the selected participants were teachers from 23 Universities and Colleges from all across Pakistan – Khairpur, Sukkur, Karachi, Jhelum, Peshawar, Bahawalpur, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujjar Khan, Sara-e-Alamgir, Kasur and Lahore.
The Workshop included inspiring lectures and engaging demonstrations by Dr. Sabieh Anwar (SSE LUMS), Dr. Asad Abidi (UCLA, United States), Muhammad Wasif (SSE, LUMS), Junaid Alam (SSE, LUMS) and Amrozia Shaheen (SSE, LUMS). The lectures comprised demonstrations, tours of the laboratory facilities, data processing workshops, laboratory demonstrations and real practical training.
The participants were exposed to the newly devised standards for best measurement practice, and formalisms for quantifying and expressing so-called uncertainties revealing the statistical nature of measurement. It was emphasised that a set of readings must be critically transformed into a measurement, identifying a suitable probability distribution function and quantifying its parameters.
The interactive laboratory sessions demonstrated to the participants a complete cycle of generating and recording physical data by data acquisition hardware, including the cheap sound card that could transform the laboratory experience in developing countries like Pakistan, understanding, organising, processing and analysing physics data.
An important highlight was Dr. Asad Abidi's guest lecture on the ‘The Greatest Experiments in Science’, a two-hour, inspirational encounter that mesmerised the audience with a gripping account of Cavendish's year-long, meticulous experiment on literally weighing the earth. His experiment based on a torsional pendulum demonstrates the apex of human ingenuity, experimental adroitness, vocational skill, care for sources of error and above all deep foundational scientific knowledge.
The closing ceremony was conducted by Dr. Khalil Qureshi (H.I., S.I.). In his closing remarks he praised the theme of the workshop and emphasised the need of literally immersing into scientific creativity and ingenuity. Volunteers from the participants also expressed their candid views and called the programme “a life-changer.” Gauging the response of the participants, it was decided that this programme should be organised annually at various universities and colleges across the country.