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PHY291 Proseminar in Experimental Physics

Thursdays, 10:15 - 12:00, UZH Y36K08  - Irchel Campus - online
2 ETCS points (60 h)

Language: English
Attendance: mandatory, at least 80% of presentations
Grading: failed/passed

General information

With a focus on the experimental aspect, we will cover Nobelprizes (NP) in Physics and Chemistry, where the Noble lecture shall be the starting point for the 25 minutes presentations.

The students may pick their coaches and the NP suggested by these coaches in a random order which will be determined during the first proseminar. From the coaches' list of suggested NP, the student picks one. 

The format attempts to simulate a conference environment in which you present your findings to a peer audience, which is composed of your fellow students. 

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the proseminar, the student will have learned:

1. to use the basic methods of literature retrieval

2. to condense the knowledge from scientific sources into a presentation

3. to obtain good presentation skills

4. details about the experimental aspects and methods of research 

5. how to connect with and get support from their coach

6. to answer to questions/comments to their presentation

Additional information

The talks should take 25 minutes, additional 15 minutes are reserved for questions and discussion.

Evaluation criteria:

1. structure and organization of the talk

2. presentation of basic knowledge

3. presentation of advanced aspects

4. quality and relevance of presented formulae and figures

5. the clarity of the presentation

6. the ability to present the topic with excitement and enthusiasm

7. time keeping

8. the ability to answer questions and comments

9. quality of questions from the audience

10. use of scientific references and correct citation

11. the participation on your colleagues' presentations


The grade (fail/pass) is composed of your own presentation, your replies to the comments/questions to your presentation, and your participation in the presentation of your colleagues (commenting/question on at least 80% of the presentations mandatory). 

You are selecting the 3 best comments/questions for your talk, which serves as the basis for selecting the student with the best participation. 

The presentations are ranked by the coaches and the best will receive an award. 



Before Thursday:  (1) A Youtube link to the recorded talk (or the video file) is sent to coordinator (Johan Chang). 

Thursday morning:  The coordinator sends the link to all people involved. 

The next Tuesday evening:  Questions are closed.

The next Wednesday evening:  Answers from the presenter are closed.

The next Thursday:  Coordinator receives feedbacks from the coach and referees.


Documents (sharepoint)

Handout Introduction to Literature Research: link


Examples of talks

Below are three examples of previous proseminar talks

Topic: The development of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy
Speaker: Mischa Stifter

Topic: Néel antiferromagnetism
Speaker: Christopher Binz

Topic: Discovery of fullerenes
Speaker: Stefanie Jucker


Proseminar in Experimental Physics: Program

pan# date speaker topic coach referees



Johan Chang

Brigitte Decrausaz


Johan's Slides (PDF, 4 MB)

Brigitte's Slides (PDF, 6 MB)

  02.03.2023 Anna Veron Literature research    
  09.03.2023 Anna Veron Literature research    
  16.03.2023   Preparation week    
1 23.03.2023 Corina Spreiter

Invention of the Bubble Chamber

Physics NP 1960

Patrick Owen Lea Caminada
2 23.03.2023 Gabriel Cuénod

Higgs Boson Discovery

Physics NP 2013

Lea Caminada Patrick Owen
3 30.03.2023 Elisabeth Fitze

Neutron Scattering and Spectroscopy

Physics NP 1994

Marc Janoschek Jan Unkelbach
4 30.03.2023 Ahmed El Akhrass

Computer Assisted Tomography

Medicine NP 1979

Jan Unkelbach Marc Janoschek
5 06.04.2023 Tenzin Peldon Lhasam


Physics NP 2010

Tatiana Latychevskaia Johan Chang
6 06.04.2023 Kaya Vogler

Quasi Crystals

Chemistry NP 2011

Johan Chang Tatiana Latychevskaia
7 13.04.2023 Nina-Michelle Baumberger

Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy

Physics NP 1986

Fabian Natterer Andreas Schilling
9 13.04.2023 James O'Leary

Blue LED Light

Physics NP 2014

Thomas Greber Fabian Natterer
10 20.04.2023 Banurega Shanmuganathan

Neutrino Oscillations

Physics NP 2015

Laura Baudis

Ben Kilminster

11 20.04.2023 Esteban Tapia Peñas

Discovery of Lepton Tau and Neutrino Detection

Physics NP 1995

Ben Kilminster

Laura Baudis
12 27.04.2023 Pedro Miguel Marques Maia Anti-Proton
Physics NP 1957

Florencia Canelli


Patrick Owen
13 27.04.2023 Thomas Maher CP Violations
Physics NP 1980
Patrick Owen Ben Kilminster
14 27.04.2023 Martin Lais CCD sensor
Physics NP 2009
Ben Kilminster Florencia Canelli
15 04.05.2023 Erisa Ismaili Giant Magnetoresistance
Physics NP 2007
Fabian Natterer Tatiana Latychevskaia
16 04.05.2023 Thamayanth Kanagalingam Optical Tweezers
Physics NP 2018
Christof Aegerter Fabian Natterer
17 11.05.2023 Dominik Flückiger Gravitational Waves
Physics NP 2017
Philippe Jetzer Laura Baudis
18 11.05.2023 Mirco Bussmann Exoplanet
Physics NP 2019
Julian Adamek Philippe Jetzer
19 11.05.2023 Jasmin Kobel Cosmic Microwave Background
Physics NP 2006
Laura Baudis Julian Adamek
20 18.05.2023 Thomas Vollrath Discovery of weak neutral currents Physics NP 1979 Patrick Owen Johan Chang
21 18.05.2023 Severin Flückiger DNA Structure
Medicine NP 1962
Johan Chang Patrick Owen
22 25.05.2023 Maryna Mesiura Accelerating Universe
Physics NP 2011
Julian Adamek Christof Aegerter
23 25.05.2023 Adel Abdulsater Climate Change & Complex Systems
Physics NP 2021
Christof Aegerter Julian Adamek
  01.06.2023   Summary & Award    

Literature Coach