University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 7793-7801
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1965
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
The introduction of the European Higher Education Area system (EHEA) increased the relevance of laboratory practices and practical learning in undergraduate studies. As a consequence, new subjects focused on practical learning were created in different degrees, and the existent subjects involving laboratory practices were reinforced or even extended.

However, the enhancement of practical learning should not be considered finished with the adaptation to the EHEA. This learning, and its related subjects, should keep evolving and improving their contents to ensure high-quality and up-to-date instruction to our undergraduate students. At the University of Valladolid (UVa, Spain), the students of the Physics degree must take various subjects mainly focused on laboratory practices, at least one by academic year. These subjects are aimed to complement the theoretical subjects teach each year, and therefore are expected to extend or deepen the contents of those subjects. In particular, one of the subjects covered during the laboratory practices of the last year of the Physics’ degree in Solid-State Physics.

Solid State Physics, as one of the latest subjects learn by the Physics’ students at UVa, merges most of the concepts studied along the degree to understand how matter works from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. Therefore, it offers a large number of possibilities to extend or test this knowledge by laboratory practices. Professors involved in this subject tried to renovate or improve some of the related laboratory practices every few years, trying to include more content related to the Solid-State Physics or enhance the existing contents. During the last course, some of these actions have taken place. On the one hand, the study of the anisotropy of matter, a concept introduced on the subject but scarcely explored, has been included as a new practice introducing simple crystallography concepts and characterization procedures. In particular, the students characterize the anisotropy of several crystals by studying their interaction with visible light, determining their optical indicatrix. On the other hand, a previous practice based on Raman spectroscopy has been improved, focusing on the understanding of the phonons dispersion relationships and how the structure of matter influences them.

Herein, the design and development of these new or modified Solid-State Physics laboratory practices are described, as well as the results of their implementation during the last course. Finally, the obtained feedback is taken into account to propose further improvements.
Raman spectroscopy, refraction index, materials science.