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Professor Les Kirkup

Biography

Les Kirkup was born in the UK. He studied for degrees in England and Scotland before joining UTS in 1990. He is currently a professor in the School of Physics and Advanced Materials at UTS. He is committed to educational research and development as well as discipline-based research.

Les is particularly keen on cross-disciplinary collaboration. While at UTS he has collaborated with chemists, psychophysiologists, engineers, mathematicians, journalists and education researchers. One of his most well known collaborations involved the "Mind Switch" (a system for detecting and utilising the electrical activity of the brain).

He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and written four books for undergraduates. A second edition of the text: "Data Analysis for the Physical Sciences" was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.

Many of his educational development activities have focused on enhancing the student experience in laboratories. He also has a particular interest in developing activities to engage students required to study physics, but who do not intend to major in physics. His contributions to connecting undergraduates to research at UTS were recognised in 2012 by the award of the UTS Medal for Teaching and Research Integration. His contributions to teaching and learning were recognised nationally in 2007 with the award of a Carrick Associate Fellowship and again in 2011 with the award of an ALTC National Teaching Fellowship.

Professional

Les is a member of the Australian Institute of Physics and the Metrology Society of Australia. He continues to collaborate with the National Measurement Institute (NMI).

He also collaborates nationally with physics academics on teaching and learning issues (recently supported by national grants).

Those academics are drawn from many universities including Sydney University, Curtin University, ANU, QUT and Flinders University.

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Science
Associate Member, CHT - Centre for Health Technologies
BSc (Sheff), MSc (London), PhD (Paisley)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 2218

Research Interests

Les's interests span discipline based physics as well as research and development into teaching and learning. He has a history of instrument development and has collaborated widely in this area (for example with psychophysiologists).

He has also developed systems, for example, to study the degradation of laser diodes when they are subjected to current stressing. He has published in an eclectic range of journals including Journal of Chromatography A, Journal of Applied Physics, Metrologia, Review of Scientific Instruments and Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing.

He has also published extensively in physics education journals (such as the European Journal of Physics) and has presented his work both nationally and internationally and through invited seminars.

Les coordinates and teaches physics to students who are planning to major in the biological, medical or environmental sciences. Areas he has taught at senior levels to physics students include, electronics, advanced measurement and data analysis techniques, materials physics and vacuum physics.

Books

Kirkup, L. 2012, Data Analysis for Physical Scientists, 2nd, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
The ability to summarise data, compare models and apply computer-based analysis tool are vital skills necessary for studying and working in the physical sciences. This textbook supports undergrdauate students as they develop and enhance these skills.
Kirkup, L. 2012, Data analysis for physical scientists: Featuring excel.
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© L. Kirkup 2012. The ability to summarise data, compare models and apply computer-based analysis tools are vital skills necessary for studying and working in the physical sciences. This textbook supports undergraduate students as they develop and enhance these skills. Introducing data analysis techniques, this textbook pays particular attention to the internationally recognised guidelines for calculating and expressing measurement uncertainty. This new edition has been revised to incorporate Excel® 2010. It also provides a practical approach to fitting models to data using non-linear least squares, a powerful technique which can be applied to many types of model. Worked examples using actual experimental data help students understand how the calculations apply to real situations. Over 200 in-text exercises and end-of-chapter problems give students the opportunity to use the techniques themselves and gain confidence in applying them. Answers to the exercises and problems are given at the end of the book.
Kirkup, L. & Frenkel, R.B. 2006, An Introduction to Uncertainty in Measurement Using the GUM (Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Measurement shapes scientific theories, characterises imporvements in manufacturing processesandpromotes efficient commerce. Inherent in measurement is uncertainty, and studnets in science and engineering need to identify and quantify uncertainties in the measurements they make. This book introduces measurement and uncertainty to second-and their-year students of science and engineering. Its approach relies on the internationally recognised and recommended guidelines for calculating and expressing uncertainty (known by the acronym GUM). The statistics underpinning the methods are considered and worked examples and exercises are spread throughout the text. Detailed case studies based on typical undergraduate experiments are included to reinforce the principles described int he book. This nook is also useful to professionals in industry who are expetcted to know the contenporary methods in this increasingly important area.
Kirkup, L. 2002, Data Analysis with Excel, 1st, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Data analysis is of central importance in the education of scientists. This book offers a compact and readable introduction to techniques relevant to physical science students. The material is thoroughly integrated with the popular and powerful spreadsheet package Excel by Microsoft. Excel features of most relevance to the analysis of experimental data in the physical sciences are dealt with in some detail. Fully worked problems reinforce basic principles. Underlying assumptions and range of applicability of techniques are discussed, though detailed derivations of basic equations are mostly avoided or confined to the appendices.

Chapters

Kirkup, L. 2015, 'Changing practice towards inquiry-oriented learning in Transforming Institutions: Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century' in Weaver, G.C., Burgess, W.D., Childress, A.L. & Slakey, L. (eds), Transforming Institutions Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century, Purdue University Press, USA, pp. 208-219.
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Transforming Institutions brings together chapters from the scholars and leaders who were part of the 2011 and 2014 conferences.
Kirkup, L. 2015, 'Two decades of inquiry-oriented learning in first year undergraduate physics laboratories: an Australian Experience' in Inquiry-Based Learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Programs A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators, Emerald Group Publishing, pp. 41-58.
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This way learning occurs across all learning domains. This volume covers many issues and concepts of how IBL can be applied to STEM programs.

Conferences

Kirkup, L., Varadharajan, M., Braun, M., Buffler, A. & Lubben, F. 2014, 'Matching the background of demonstrators with those of their students: does it make a difference?', http://www.unistars.org/papers/STARS2015/13F.pdf, Students Transitions Achievement Retention and Success STARS 2015, Melbourne.
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Waite, K., Pizzica, J. & Kirkup, L. 2010, 'More than the sum of the parts: Counterintuitive implications from a collaboration between academic developers and physicists', Proceedings of the Annual HERDSA Conference 2010: Reshaping Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc. (HERDSA), Melbourne, NSW, Australia.
Wilson, A., Akerlind, G., Francis, P., Kirkup, L., McKenzie, J.A., Pearce, D. & Sharma, M. 2010, 'Measurement uncertainty as a threshold concept in Physics', Proceedings of the 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference, 2010, Uniserve Science Annual Conference, Uniserve Science, Sydney, pp. 98-103.
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We report on the initial findings of a study aimed at developing ways to address threshold concepts in the design of undergraduate curricula, involving academics in two disciplines (physics and law) from four Australian universities The present paper compares two different processes by which physics academics identified and characterised a candidate threshold concept, measurement uncertainty, using student interviews and their own experiences as teachers.
Kirkup, L., Pizzica, J., Waite, K. & Srinivasan, L. 2010, 'Revitalising a physics laboratory program for non-physics majors - developing a framework emphasising disciplinary relevance', ISSOTL, Liverpool.
Conference Presentation
Bonfiglioli, C., Kirkup, L. & Woolf, I. 2009, 'The research-teaching nexus as a driver for science communication skills enhancement', UniServe Science Conference, Motivating Science Undergraduates: Ideas and Interventions, UniServe Science Conference, Motivating Science Undergraduates: Ideas and, The University of Sydney, The University of Sydney, pp. 146-151.
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Scientists- ability to communicate effectively is vital to their employment prospects, their contribution to society and to societys reception of science. Our goals were to develop students communication skills and to enhance the teaching-research nexus. An engaging communication activity was introduced to a large enrolment first year physics service subject for science students. Audio and video `trigger material, created as stimuli for the students and based on original research occurring at our university, was a key innovation of the activity. Students submitted a short but structured written response to these triggers in which they gave their own perspective on the research thus enhancing the teaching-research nexus. The activity was piloted with senior students, revised for delivery to the target students and evaluated via a student experience survey. Students reported that they valued the communication assignment for allowing them to learn more about scientific research at their university, to express their opinion of the research, and to practise communication skills. Students indicated that the triggers gave them insight into future career paths. The qualitative findings were reinforced by quantitative survey data which revealed strong support for including the activity in a physics subject. This study shows that a communication assignment builds bridges between undergraduates and researchers, thus enhancing the research-teaching nexus, and indicates that students find the assignment engaging and rewarding. While we are encouraged that students find the communication assignment a positive learning experience, the extent to which it enhances students science communication skills has yet to be established.
Kirkup, L., Pizzica, J., Waite, K. & Srinivasan, L. 2008, 'A Framework for Developing Enquiry-Oriented Experiments for Non-Physics Majors', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, pp. 135-138.
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Kirkup, L., Mendez, A., Sharma, M. & O'Byrne, J. 2008, 'One semester of physics: What difference does it make to non-physics majors?', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 131-134.
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How does a semester of physics impact on students who will go on to major in disciplines other than physics, and to what extent do their experiences depend, if at all, on whether the subject has been designed specifically for nonphysics majors? In this national study, supported by funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), we have surveyed students about their expectations and experiences in 35 subjects taught to non-physics majors from 22 Australian universities. Over 7000 completed surveys were returned for analysis. The surveys were carried out at the beginning and end of one semester and sought student views on matters including whether they expected links to be made between the physics subject and their major area of study, and whether they found the laboratories a positive learning experience. Here we report preliminary qualitative and quantitative findings from this study which suggests that student experiences of the subject cannot be related directly to whether the subject has been specifically designed for non-physics majors. The laboratory experience of non-physics majors is revealed as a matter deserving of attention, as 15% of all comments made to an open-ended question referred negatively to the laboratory experience compared to 4% describing positive experiences.
Wilson, K., Mendez, A., Mills, D., Sharma, M. & Kirkup, L. 2008, 'Improving Undergraduate Laboratory Work in Physics.: Outcomes of the 'Forging New Direction in Physics Education in Australian Universities' Project', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 155-158.
Kirkup, L. & Srinivasan, L. 2008, 'Evaluating enquiry-oriented experiments in a service subject', Visualisation & Concept Development, Uniserv Science, Sydney, Australia, pp. 177-181.
Kirkup, L., Mendez, A., Scott, D., Sharma, M., O'Byrne, J., Quinton, J., Pollard, J., Petelina, S., Creagh, C., Keleher, P. & Bhathal, R. 2008, 'Do Students' experiences of a service subject correspond to their expectations?', UniServe Science Symposium Proceedings, Uniserve Science Symposium, UniServe Science, The University of Sydney, pp. 35-40.
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What impact does a single semester of physics have on students destined to major in disciplines other than physics? As part of a national study, supported by funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), we have trialled an instrument designed to uncover expectations and experiences of non-physics majors enrolled in a first year physics subject. The trial surveyed bio/medical science majors at a large metropolitan university. We were particularly interested in student views of the value of physics to their major area of study and whether those views were transformed over the course of the semester. Analysis of data obtained indicates that student perceptions of the value of physics are positive and change little over the semester in which they do the subject. However some experiences, such as the laboratory work they undertake, elicited some robust responses from students. The paper discusses the findings of the trial survey, which are related to a broader study on indicators of good practice on the teaching of physics to non-physics majors. The broadening of this study to include physics subjects in which non-physics majors are enrolled at 22 Australian universities is briefly described.
Wilson, K., Mills, D., Sharma, M., Kirkup, L., Mendez, A. & Scott, D. 2008, 'ACELL for Physics?', UniServe Science Symposium Proceedings, UniServe Science Symposium, UniServe Science, Unversity of Sydney, pp. 133-138.
This paper considers the use of the chemistry laboratory work evaluation process ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory) as a tool for evaluating and improving physics laboratory work. In November 2007 an ACELL-style workshop for physics was run at the University of Technology Sydney as part of the Forging new directions in physics education in Australian universities project, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). One stream of this project is looking at undergraduate laboratory work in physics, and the ACELL process is a means of evaluating laboratory work developed by the chemistry eduction research community, hence it may be of great value in physics also. The purpose of this workshop was to consider the ACELL evaluation process as a model for evaluating undergraduate laboratory exercises in physics. The workshop was attended by more than 50 delegates, from 19 universities, and eight physics experiments were presented for evaluation using ACELL templates. The delegates were surveyed during and after the event on how appropriate they found the ACELL evaluation process for physics experiments, and what modifications would be needed to implement such a process for physics. The results of these surveys are presented with recommendations for modifying the ACELL process for application to physics experiments.
O'Byrne, J., Mendez, A., Sharma, M., Kirkup, L. & Scott, D. 2008, 'Physics Graduates in the Workforce: Does Physics Education Help?', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, pp. 143-146.
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In the first half of 2008 a survey was distributed to a sample of Australian physics graduates. The main purpose was to provide a realistic and up-to date view of where a Physics degree can lead, based on the experiences and perspectives of physics graduates in the workforce. The survey was the product of the Working Party on Physics Graduates in the Workforce, part of a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). Responses were received from 171 graduates of physics or physics-related COurses (i.e. degree programs), both undergraduate and postgraduate. A small number of employers also responded to a version of the survey. A clear majority of graduates recommended a major in Physics as good preparation for their career, but they also highlighted aspects where physics education could be improved. Employers were less convinced of the unique qualities of physics courses. Both graduates and employers agreed that, while undergraduate physics clearly develops problem solving skills, communication and planning skills and awareness of ethical and social issues are given low priority at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Kirkup, L., Scott, D. & Sharma, M. 2007, 'Teaching Physics to non-physics majors: models extant in Australian Universities', Uniserve Science: Science teaching and learning research, including threshold concepts, Science teaching and learning research, including threshold concepts, Uniserve Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 46-51.
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A key goal of the study entitled "Forging new directions in physcis education at Australian universities' granted funding bnu the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is t review service teaching being carried out nationally in Australian universities and to articulate what constitutes excellence in physics service teaching or, more generally, physics tacught to non-physics majors. The project is national in its scope and involves physcis academics from 22 Australian universities. This paper discusses the background to the study, possible drivers for change in teaching to non-physics majors, and proposes useful organisational models by which physcis subjects may be categorised in which non-physics majors within Australian universities are enrolled. We also outline the directions of our future studies whose intentions include elaborating student expectations and experiences of physics subjects designed for non-physics majors.
Foley, M., Ton-That, C. & Kirkup, L. 2007, 'Electrical Properties of Pure and Oxygen-Intercalated Fullerene Films', Proceedings of the 31st Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting, Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting, Australian National University, Wagga Wagga, Australia, pp. 1-3.
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The conductivity of polycrystalline fullerene films as a function of oxygen concentration was investigated and found to be affected significantly by changes in oxygen partial pressure. The conductivity of the film was fitted to an Arrhenius curve. Analysis of the data indicated that a change of 0.11eV in activation energy occurred as the oxygen pressure was varied over two orders of magnitude.
Jurnrusprasert, P., Smith, G. & Kirkup, L. 2007, 'Comparing the efficiency of fixed solar cell panels in a tropical location', PROCEEDINGS OF ISES SOLAR WORLD CONGRESS 2007: SOLAR ENERGY AND HUMAN SETTLEMENT, VOLS I-V, pp. 1478-1483.
Ford, M., Kirkup, L., Gentle, A.R., Zareie, H.M. & Cortie, M.B. 2005, 'How reliable are scanning tunneling microscopy measurements of electron transport in molecules? - art. no. 603604', Biomems And Nanotechnology Ii, Conference on BioMEMS and Nanotechnology II, Spie-Int Society Optical Engineering, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA, pp. 3604-3604.
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Scanning tunneling microscopy measurements of tunneling through molecules adsorbed on a surface have been simulated using a standard empirical model based upon the Wentzel-Kramer-Brillouin method applied to tunneling through a barrier. The Gaussian noise
Mendez, Villanueva, A., Sharma, M., James, B., Pollard, J., Kirkup, L., Livett, M., Newbury, R., Zadnik, M. & Prosser, M. 2004, 'AUTC Physics Project: learning outcomes and curriculum development', Proceedings of Scholarly Inquiry into Science Teaching and Learning, Scholarly Insuity into Science Teaching and Learning Symposium, Uniserve Science, Sydney, Australia, pp. 24-29.
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The Australian Universities Teaching Committee is funding a project to investigate the learning outcomes and curriculum development in physics at Australian universities. The project aims to map current practices and future directions in the broad areas of curriculum relating to service/multidisciplinary teaching and majors, employer satisfaction and industry involvement, and student satsifaction. A queationnaire has been administered with 85% return to date from the 34 physics departments or groups in Australian universities. In this paper wer present the study design and initial results which include consideration of challenges faced by departments with respect to teaching and learning departmental strengths and the development of new ocurses.
Kirkup, L. 2004, 'Reforming the Teaching of uncertainty to undergraduate science and engineering students', MSA 2004 Valuing Metrology, MSA Conference, Metrology Society of Australia, Moorabin, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 21-25.
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Kirkup, L., Wood, L.N., Mather, G. & Logan, P.F. 2003, 'Teaching mathematics and physics for engineers: refections from the chalk face', EMAC 2003 proceedings, Enfineering Mathematics and Applications Conference, Engineering Mathemactis Groups ANZIAM. Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 97-102.
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Kirkup, L., Mather, G., Wood, L.N. & Logan, P.F. 2003, 'Are you being serviced? promoting quality service teaching', Proceedings of Improving Learning Outcomes Through Flexible Science Teaching, Uniserve Science Symposium, Uniserve Science, Sydney, Australia, pp. 37-42.
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Wood, L.N., Mather, G., Kirkup, L. & Logan, P.F. 2003, 'Cross-disciplinary teaching of mathematics', Remarkable Delta '03 Communications, Southern Hemisphere Symposium on Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning, International Delta Steering Committee, Queenstown, New Zealand, pp. 282-288.
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Wood, L.N., Mather, G., Logan, P.F. & Kirkup, L. 2003, 'Teaching mathematics and physics to engineers : reflections from the back row', EMAC 2003 Proceedings, Engineering Mathematics and Applications Conference, Engineering Mathematics Group ANZIAM Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 295-301.
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Maher, A., Swift, P.D., Kirkup, L. & Martin, D.K. 2001, 'The effect of high luminence levels on the EEG alpha wave for assistance technlogy applications', IFMBE proceedings of Medicon 2001, IX Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, Medicon 2001, IX Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Pula, Croatia, pp. 704-707.
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Craig, A., Kirkup, L., McIsaac, P. & Searle, A. 1997, 'The mind as a reliable switch: Challenges of rapidly controlling devices without prior learning', HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT '97, pp. 4-10.
BELL, J., GREEN, D., PATTERSON, A., SMITH, G., MACDONALD, K., LEE, K., KIRKUP, L., CULLEN, J., WEST, B., SPICCIA, L., KENNY, M. & WIELUNSKI, L. 1991, 'STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF ELECTROCHROMIC WO3 PRODUCED BY SOL-GEL METHODS', OPTICAL MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION X, pp. 29-36.
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KIRKUP, L. & PLACIDO, F. 1990, 'INVESTIGATION OF THE TEMPERATURE AND SMALL FIELD-DEPENDENCE OF THE IV CURVES OF THE HIGH-TC SUPERCONDUCTOR YBA2CU3O7-SIGMA', PHYSICS AND MATERIALS SCIENCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS, pp. 445-456.

Journal articles

Braun, M. & Kirkup, L. 2016, 'Non-physics peer demonstrators in undergraduate laboratories: A study of students' perceptions', European Journal of Physics, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
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© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. Laboratory demonstrators play a crucial role in facilitating students' learning in physics subjects. Inspired by the success of peer-led activities, we introduced peer demonstrators to support student learning in first-year physics subjects that enrol students not intending to major in physics. Surveys were administered to 1700 students over 4 years in four subjects to examine student perceptions of how demonstrators assisted them in the laboratory. Scores awarded to peer demonstrators by students were no lower than those awarded to demonstrators traditionally employed in the first year physics laboratory. These latter demonstrators were drawn mainly from the ranks of physics research students. The findings validate the recruitment of peer demonstrators and will be used to inform the recruitment and support programmes for laboratory demonstrators.
Kirkup, L., Varadharajan, M. & Braun, M. 2016, 'A Comparison of Student and Demonstrator Perceptions of Laboratory-Based, Inquiry-Oriented Learning Experiences', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 1-13.
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Kirkup, L. 2016, 'Computer memories', Physics Education, vol. 51, no. 4.
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Kirkup, L. 2015, 'Inquiry-oriented learning in the first year physics laboratory', Australian Physics, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 51-55.
Learning science through inquiry has gained momentum in recent years with many people, including Australia's Chief Scientist, promoting the value of inquiry in secondary and tertiary education. Learning through inquiry encourages student engagement giving students a real sense of what scientists do and how they do it. In this article I describe how the first year physics programs at UTS, beginning in the early 1990% explored and then embraced inquiry in the undergraduate physics curriculum. I describe the processes we adopted to develop and deliver a laboratory program consisting of inquiry-oriented experiments and the challenges we faced by delivering such a program.
Kirkup, L., Waite, K., Beames, S., Mears, A., Pizzica, J. & Watkins, S. 2015, 'National Science Agency – University Collaboration Inspires an Inquiry-Oriented Experiment', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 66-78.
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An initiative involving the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and Australia's premier science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Agency (CSIRO), connects first year students in a large enrolment physics service subject to research of national standing through a co-developed inquiry-oriented experiment. We describe the background to the initiative which we believe to be the first of its kind, how it was piloted, and our findings from the first running of the experiment with enrolled students. The initiative applies a previously published framework for designing and evaluating new and existing experiments with regard to student engagement and learning, laboratory logistics, and scale. Evidence from focus groups, student surveys, and classroom observations indicates that the experiment is regarded by students as: 1) a worthwhile, very valuable or outstanding learning experience; 2) engaging; and 3) benefitting their learning through group discussions. Student feedback during the development phase highlighted issues to be addressed, including allowing students greater time to design and carry out their own investigations, more explicit assistance for students in the use of supporting technology, and better guidance on the assessed component of the experiment.
Rayner, G., Thompson, C. & Kirkup, L. 2015, 'Editorial - Welcome to volume 23, issue 3', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 23, no. 5.
Rayner, G., Thompson, C. & Kirkup, L. 2015, 'Editorial - Welcome to volume 23, issue 6', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 23, no. 6.
Austin, C.E., Fryer, F.I., Lear, J., Bishop, D.P., Hare, D.J., Rawling, T., Kirkup, L., McDonagh, A.M. & Doble, P.A. 2011, 'Factors Affecting Internal Standard Selection For Quantitative Elemental Bio-Imaging Of Soft Tissues By LA-ICP-MS', Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 1494-1501.
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Element response variations under different laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) operating conditions were investigated to identify important factors for selecting an internal standard (IS) for quantitative elemental bi
Kirkup, L. & Bonfiglioli, C. 2011, 'Research-Inspired Learning Revitalises the Curriculum for First-Year Science Majors', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1-15.
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We describe a curriculum innovation designed to engage first-year students in science research and enhance their written communication skills. We have devised an activity for science majors which connects them to research through audio and video interviews made with senior researchers, early career researchers (ECRs), post doctoral fellows and PhD students. We report evaluations from students and academics on the introduction of this research-inspired communication activity and the steps taken to embed, sustain and enhance the activity. Findings over three semesters show students consistently judge the activity to be a positive learning experience. Issues of sustainability of the innovation and academics' comfort with the activity and its assessment remain to be fully resolved
Kirkup, L., Pizzica, J., Waite, K. & Srinivasan, L. 2010, 'Realizing a framework for enhancing the laboratory experiences of non-physics majors: from pilot to large-scale implementation', European Journal of Physics, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1061-1070.
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Physics experiments for students not majoring in physics may have little meaning for those students and appear to them unconnected in any way to their majors. This affects student engagement and influences lhe extent to which they regard their experiences in the physics laboratory as positive. We apply a framework for the development and evaluation of experiments for nOllphysics majors, which draws on the perspectives of a range of stakeholders and is designed to bring relevance and context to the fore. We report the application of the framework to a particular experiment over four semesters. The framework assisted in identifying features of laboratory work that often go unrecognized. These include the discord that can exist between the ambitions of the laboratory demonstrators and the expectations of the students; the change in the response of the students to an experiment once it moves from the trial phases to being implemented in classes that comprise several hundred students; and the impact of contextual factors, such as the quality of the laboratory environment.
Bertinshaw, J.J., Kirkup, L., Phillips, M. & Placido, F. 2008, 'A system for supplying constant electrical power for postprocessing tin-doped indium oxide films', Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 79, pp. 1-3.
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Annealing tin doped indium oxide (ITO) thin films by self-heating shows potential for reducing the crystallization temperature required to optimize the optical and electrical properties of the films. It also shows promise as a cost effective method of studying the heat treatment process in situ. A computer based solution was developed to allow for a precise control over the annealing process. To anneal at a fixed temperature, a feedback loop senses changes in the resistance of the sample and adjusts the current across the load accordingly to ensure constant delivery of power to an ITO film
Sharma, M., Pollard, J., Mendez, Villanueva, A., Mills, D., O'Byrne, J., Scott, D., Hagon, S., Gribble, J., Kirkup, L., Livett, M., Low, D., Merchant, A., Rayner, A., Swan, G., Zadnik, M. & Zealey, W. 2008, 'What does a physics undergraduate education give you? a perspective from Australian physics', European Journal of Physics, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 59-72.
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In a study to assess how effectively undergraduate physics studies have prepared students for the workplace, we attempted to locate and interview traditional 3-year or 4-year physics students who had graduated in the past five years (2000 to 2004), and the employers of these graduates. The study was limited to recent graduates who have majored in physics and not obtained further or concurrent degress. Overseas studies of the destinations of physics graduates referred to in this paper have not isolated the group we interviewed as a distinct group. A major finding was that the number of these graduates was unexpectedly low. Indeed, most physcis graduates have two degrees, Interviews with graduates and employers suggest that physcis graduates have particular strengths in problem solving and are good at applying their skills at the workplace.
Mendez, A., Pollard, J., Sharma, M.D., Mills, D.R., Gribble, S.J., Hagon, S., Kirkup, L., Livett, M., Low, D., Merchant, A., O'Byrne, J., Rayner, A., Swan, G., Zadnik, M. & Zealey, W. 2008, 'Australian physics bachelors and honours graduates in industry: Where are they? How well prepared are they?', Australian Physics, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 21-24.
Kirkup, L., Kalceff, W. & McCredie, G. 2007, 'Effect Of Injection Current On The Repeatability Of Laser Diode Junction Voltage-temperature Measurements', Journal Of Applied Physics, vol. 101, no. 2, pp. 1-6.
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The junction-voltage temperature relationship of a laser diode is used to determine the temperature of the device in the range -20 to 120 degrees C. We consider changes that occur to this relationship when the diode is driven at its nominal operating cur
Kirkup, L., Kalceff, W. & McCredie, G. 2006, 'System for measuring the junction temperature of a light emitting diode immersed in liquid nitrogen', Review Of Scientific Instruments, vol. 77, no. 4, pp. 1-3.
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A versatile system has been developed for the measurement under LABVIEW (TM) control of junction temperatures in a light emitting diode (LED). Measurements are reported on a commercially available high-intensity InGaAlP LED immersed in liquid nitrogen an
Frenkel, R.B. & Kirkup, L. 2005, 'Monte Carlo-based estimation of uncertainty owing to limited resolution of digital instruments', Metrologia, vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 27-30.
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We have used a Monte Carlo simulation for investigating the output of a digital instrument, of resolution half-width a, when its analogue input is a Gaussian signal. The digitizing process converts an actual mean to an observed mean and an actual varianc
Kirkup, L. & Mulholland, M. 2004, 'Comparison of linear and non-linear equations for univariate calibration', Journal Of Chromatography A, vol. 1029, no. 1-2, pp. 1-11.
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Univariate data accumulated for the purpose of calibration of chromatographic and spectroscopic methods often exhibit slight but definite curvature. In this paper the performance of a non-linear calibration equation with the capacity to account empirically for the curvature, y=a+bxm, (m?1) is compared with the commonly used linear equation, y=a+bx, as well as the quadratic equation, y=a+bx+cx2. All equations were applied to high quality HPLC calibration data using unweighted least squares. Parameter estimates and their standard errors were calculated for each equation. Standard errors and 95% prediction intervals in analyte concentrations were estimated with the aid of the fitted equations and their respective covariance matrices. Results indicate that the non-linear and quadratic equations each provide a better fit than the linear equation to the data considered here, as judged by the Akaikes information criterion (AIC), the adjusted coefficient of multiple determination, the magnitude and scatter of residuals, standard errors in estimated analyte concentrations and lack of fit analysis of variance (ANOVA). While the difference between the equations y=a+bx+cx2 and y=a+bxm as judged by the same criteria is more marginal, this work suggests that the non-linear calibration equation should be considered when a curve is required to be fitted to low noise calibration data which exhibit slight curvature.
Kirkup, L., Foot, M.J. & Mulholland, M. 2004, 'Comparison of equations describing band broadening in high-performance liquid chromatography', Journal Of Chromatography A, vol. 1030, no. 1-2, pp. 25-31.
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Several models are well established that describe band broadening in gas and liquid chromatography, including those due to Van Deemter and Knox. Comparison of competing models is complicated if raw data are noisy or if the equations to be fitted to data contain many adjustable parameters. This paper describes a comparison of fitting the Van Deemter, Knox and other equations to low noise data gathered during the separation of propyl- and methylparaben by HPLC. Equations are compared using established statistical methods, including analysis of residuals, inference of parameter estimates and Akaikes Information Criterion for model identification. This work indicates that equations that account for non-linear band broadening at elevated mobile phase velocities are more successful at describing the relationship between height equivalent to a theoretical plate, H, and the velocity of the mobile phase, u.
Lal, S., Craig, A.R., Boord, P.R., Kirkup, L. & Nguyen, H.T. 2003, 'Development of an algorithm for an EEG-based driver fatigue countermeasure', Journal Of Safety Research, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 321-328.
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Foot, M.J., Mulholland, M. & Kirkup, L. 2003, 'Classification of the biopolymer sodium pentosan polysulfate by infrared spectroscopy', Chromatographia, vol. 58, no. 5-6, pp. 343-348.
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Sodium pentosan polysulfate (NaPPS) is a glycosaminoglycan that is of increasing interest due to its medical properties. It has been investigated for the treatment of osteoarthritis, HIV and Prion based diseases. This work describes an investigation into the application of infrared spectroscopy (IR) for the differentiation between sources of NaPPS. Multivariate techniques such as principle components analysis were applied to detect differences between the IR and near IR (NIR) spectra and to classify the biopolymers based on their manufacturer. This study compared two samples of NaPPS from different manufacturers. Principle components analysis (PCA) together with soft independent modeling of class analogies (SIMCA) was used to successfully classify the different samples. Clear differentiation between all batches was achieved using PCA and class distances using first derivative spectra (5001800 cm1).
Heasman, J.M., Scott, T.R., Kirkup, L., Flynn, R.Y., Vare, V.A. & Gschwind, C.R. 2002, 'Control of a hand grasp neuroprosthesis using an Electroencephalogram-triggered switch: demonstration of improvements in performance using wavepacket analysis', Medical & Biomedical Engineering & Computing, vol. 40, no. N/A, pp. 588-593.
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Kirkup, L. 2002, 'A Guide To Gum', European Journal Of Physics, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 483-487.
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t is almost ten years since the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) published guidelines for calculating and expressing uncertainty in values obtained through measurement. The guidelines are commonly referred to as 'GUM'. Despite the emphasis placed on errors and uncertainties in laboratory work in introductory physics courses, awareness of these guidelines is not widespread. Much like the SI system of units, which has taken some time to become established world wide, the ISO guidelines are likely to take many years to become widely known and consistently applied outside the 'metrology community'. Here an introduction is presented to calculating and expressing uncertainty, as recommended in the ISO document, with explanations of some of the more unfamiliar terms it employs, such as standard uncertainty, coverage factor and expanded uncertainty.
Craig, A.R., Moses, P., Tran, Y.H., McIsaac, P. & Kirkup, L. 2002, 'The effectiveness of a hands-free environment control system for the profoundly disabled', Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 83, no. N/A, pp. 1455-1458.
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The effectiveness of a hands-free environmental control system for the profoundly disabled. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002;83:1455-8. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a hands-free environmental control system (ECS) that allows profoundly disabled persons to activate and control electric devices in their home by using consciously controlled changes in their brain signals. Design: A cohort study with a field trial testing of the ECS on 3 occasions. Setting: Participants' homes. Participants: Ten profoundly disabled persons (mean age, 42.9y), all of whom had very limited movement from the neck downward. Six had spinal cord injury with lesions ranging from C2 to C56. The other 4 had profound disability (1 each from polio, spinal muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy). Interventions: Participants performed tasks on each of 3 test occasions. The tasks consisted of turning a television on at the beginning of the trial, changing channels (up, down), changing volume, and turning it off at the conclusion of each trial. Main Outcome Measures: Time participants took to select the correct option and number of errors made in selecting the correct option. Measures were taken for each trial, so that any improvement in switching could be detected. Results: All participants effectively used the ECS to operate their television sets. Selecting a correct option took about 30 seconds (with the majority of this time attributed to machine cycling time), with an error rate of 1.8 per 5 options selected. The time taken to operate the ECS reduced slightly over the 3 trials and selection errors reduced by around 50% (to less than 1 error per 5 options). Conclusions: With minimal training, profoundly disabled persons were able to use an ECS that uses changes in brain wave signals. This result demonstrates the efficacy of an additional and novel ECS in an area in which few switches are available.
Heasman, J.M., Scott, T.R.D., Kirkup, L., Flynn, R.Y., Vare, V.A. & Gschwind, C.R. 2002, 'Control of a hand grasp neuroprosthesis using an electroencephalogram-triggered switch: demonstration of improvements in performance using wavepacket analysis', MEDICAL & BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING & COMPUTING, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 588-593.
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Craig, A., Moses, P., Tran, Y., McIsaac, P. & Kirkup, L. 2002, 'The effectiveness of a hands-free environmental control system for the profoundly disabled.', Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, vol. 83, no. 10, pp. 1455-1458.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of a hands-free environmental control system (ECS) that allows profoundly disabled persons to activate and control electric devices in their home by using consciously controlled changes in their brain signals. DESIGN: A cohort study with a field trial testing of the ECS on 3 occasions. SETTING: Participants' homes. PARTICIPANTS: Ten profoundly disabled persons (mean age, 42.9 y), all of whom had very limited movement from the neck downward. Six had spinal cord injury with lesions ranging from C2 to C5-6. The other 4 had profound disability (1 each from polio, spinal muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy). INTERVENTIONS: Participants performed tasks on each of 3 test occasions. The tasks consisted of turning a television on at the beginning of the trial, changing channels (up, down), changing volume, and turning it off at the conclusion of each trial. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time participants took to select the correct option and number of errors made in selecting the correct option. Measures were taken for each trial, so that any improvement in switching could be detected. RESULTS: All participants effectively used the ECS to operate their television sets. Selecting a correct option took about 30 seconds (with the majority of this time attributed to machine cycling time), with an error rate of 1.8 per 5 options selected. The time taken to operate the ECS reduced slightly over the 3 trials and selection errors reduced by around 50% (to less than 1 error per 5 options). CONCLUSIONS: With minimal training, profoundly disabled persons were able to use an ECS that uses changes in brain wave signals. This result demonstrates the efficacy of an additional and novel ECS in an area in which few switches are available.
Maher, A., Kirkup, L., Swift, P.D., Martin, D.K., Searle, A., Tran, Y.H. & Craig, A.R. 2001, 'Effect of Luminance Level on Electro-Encephalogram Alpha-Wave Synchronisation', Medical & Biological Engineering &Computing, vol. 39, pp. 672-677.
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Searle, A. & Kirkup, L. 2001, 'Detection of alpha eletroencephalogram onset following eye closure using four location based techniques', Medical & Biological Engineering &Computing, vol. 39, pp. 434-440.
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Craig, A.R., Tran, Y.H., McIsaac, P., Mose, P., Kirkup, L. & Searle, A. 2000, 'The Effectiveness of Activating Electrical Devices Using Alpha Wave Synchronisation Contingent with Eye Closure', Applied Ergonomics, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 377-382.
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Searle, A. & Kirkup, L. 2000, 'A Direct Comparison of Wet, Dry and Insulating Bioelectric Recording Electrodes', Physiological Measurement, vol. 21, no. 0, pp. 183-271.
Searle, A. & Kirkup, L. 2000, 'A direct comparison of wet, dry and insulating bioelectric recording electrodes', PHYSIOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 271-283.
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Searle, A. & Kirkup, L. 1999, 'Real Time Impedance Plots With Arbitrary Frequency Components', Physiological Measurement, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 103-114.
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Temporal changes in the impedance spectra of bioelectrodes in contact with skin provide useful data for comparisons between differing electrode materials and skin preparation methods. Traditional impedance measuring systems employ swept frequency methods
Craig, A., McIsaac, P., Tran, Y., Kirkup, L. & Searle, A. 1999, 'Alpha wave reactivity following eye closure: A potential method of remote hands free control for the disabled', Technology and Disability, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 187-194.
Objective. Recent research by the authors has investigated alpha wave amplitude increases in response to reduced visual input as a system for controlling electrical devices, with application for the disabled. However, alpha wave changes contingent with visual input is pearly understood. Further research was conducted on this phenomenon in order to optimize our ability to harness it as a control device. Study Design. To address this lack, alpha wave reactivity was studied in 21 non-disabled and 16 neurologically disabled (spinal cord injured; SCI) persons in laboratory conditions. Results. Large increases in alpha wave reactivity occurred in the 8-12 Hz range in posterior, central and anterior regions of the brain for both groups. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of alpha wave increases in amplitude following eye closure (EC) in the posterior cortex. Not all subjects showed similar increases in all cortical areas. No significant differences in alpha wave amplitude increases following EC were found for sex, age, handedness or hemisphere. However, in the non disabled group, substantial negative associations occurred of body mass index with all cortical sites, while mild but consistent positive associations were found for diastolic brood pressure. Conclusion. SCI persons have sufficient amounts of alpha wave reactivity contingent with eye closure to operate a hands free control device. The information from this research will be used to optimize technology being designed to activate, quickly and remotely, electrical devices using brain signals.
Kirkup, L., Searle, A., Craig, A.R., McIsaac, P. & Larsen, G. 1998, 'Three Methods Compared For Detecting The Onset Of Alpha Wave Synchronization Following Eye Closure', Physiological Measurement, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 213-224.
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Recent work indicates that the variation in the occipital alpha wave component of the EEG spectrum, controlled through eye closure, can be used by an untrained person to effect reliable activation of electrical devices. Here we describe and compare three
Kirkup, L. & Ton-That, C. 1998, 'A direct reading thermometer based on a silicon diode', Physics Education, vol. 33, pp. 302-305.
Kirkup, L., Searle, A., Craig, A.R., McIsaac, P. & Moses, P. 1997, 'EEG-based System For Rapid On-off Switching Without Prior Learning', Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 504-509.
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Details are reported of an EEG-based system that permits a person rapidly and reliably to switch on and off electrical devices without prior learning. The system detects and utilises increases in the amplitude of the alpha component of the EEG spectrum t
Craig, A.R., McIsaac, P., Tran, Y.H., Kirkup, L. & Searle, A. 1997, 'Mind Over Matter', Search, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 212-214.
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Craig, A., Mclsaac, P., Tran, Y., Kirkup, L. & Searle, A. 1997, 'Mind over matter mind switch research team', Search, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 212-214.
Kirkup, L., Kalceff, W. & Stockton, G. 1992, 'Wide Dynamic-range Current-voltage Characterization System For Ceramic Superconductors', Review Of Scientific Instruments, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 2044-2047.
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Transport current-voltage (I-V) characteristics gathered over several orders of magnitude of current can reveal much about the loss mechanisms in high T(c) superconductors. This article describes the design and implementation of a novel, computer-control
Kirkup, L., Kalceff, W. & McCredie, G. 1992, 'System For The Study Of Localized Heating At Current Contacts On Ceramic Superconductors', Measurement Science & Technology, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 1141-1145.
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We present a versatile and sensitive system used to quantify the heating effect when pulsed and ramped transport currents are supplied to contacts made to high-T(c) superconductors. Measurements made with the system reveal that modest currents (of the or
Kirkup, L., Bell, J., Green, D.C., Smith, G. & Macdonald, K.A. 1992, 'Simple Computer-controlled Potentiostat For The Characterization Of Electrochromic Films', Review Of Scientific Instruments, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 2328-2329.
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We describe a simple and inexpensive potentiostat, incorporating current boosting and filtering circuitry for use in the study of coloration and bleaching in electrochromic thin films. The system is sufficiently flexible to permit utilization in other el
Kirkup, L. 1989, 'Investigation Of The Temperature-dependence Of The IV Characteristics Of The High-tc Superconductor NdBa2Cu3O7-delta', Journal Of Physics E-scientific Instruments, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 21-23.
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Kirkup, L. 1988, 'Resistance measurements as a function of temperature on the high-T c superconductor YBa2Cu3O7-', European Journal of Physics, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1-4.
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Resistance measurements on the high-Tc ceramic superconductor YBa2Cu3O7- as a function of temperature are described and compared with those obtained by previous workers. A simple but sensitive method for measuring the resistance of the material based upon a popular microcomputer is given.
Kirkup, L. & Cherry, I. 1988, 'Temperature dependence of photoconductive decay in sintered cadmium sulphide', European Journal of Physics, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 64-68.
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The temperature dependence of the decay of photocurrent in a sintered cadmium sulphide photoconductive cell is investigated. The results are compared with the accepted theory of charge trapping and recombination in wide-bandgap semiconductors.
Kirkup, L. 1987, 'Super Air', New Scientist, vol. 115, no. 1574, pp. 61-61.
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Kirkup, L. & Wallace, S. 1987, 'Temperature dependence of germanium tunnel diode I-V characteristics', European Journal of Physics, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 93-97.
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The temperature dependence of the I-V characteristics of germanium tunnel diodes is investigated and comparison made with previously published results. Additionally the experimental curves are compared with those derived from theories of tunnelling and carrier injection.
Kirkup, L. 1987, 'A versatile light-emitter-detector arrangement for use with a microcomputer', Physics Education, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 384-385.
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Kirkup, L. & Placido, F. 1986, 'Undergraduate Experiment - Determination Of The Band-gap In Germanium And Silicon', American Journal Of Physics, vol. 54, no. 10, pp. 918-920.
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Kirkup, L. 1986, 'Dark Days', New Scientist, vol. 111, no. 1518, pp. 63-63.
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Kirkup, L., Nichols, D. & Sutherland, J. 1986, 'A Demonstration Of Pharmacokinetics And Physiological Modeling Using A Microcomputer For Data Capture And Analysis', Computer Applications In The Biosciences, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 277-282.
We describe a simple and inexpensive demonstration of mass transport and exchange using dye clearance from a hydro-dynamic model. A microcomputer was used for data acquisition and storage, non-linear least squares curve fitting, compartmental analysis and parameter estimation. The system is useful for demonstrating the indicator dilution technique for fluid volume measurement and compartmental analysis in pharmacokinetics.
Kirkup, L. 1986, 'Magnetic field line simulation using a microcomputer', Physics Education, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 107-110.
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An earlier article in Physics Education (Kirkup 1985) described the implementation of an electric field line plotting routine on a BBC model B microcomputer. This article deals with the plotting of magnetic field lines in the vicinity of current-carrying loops in a similar manner. The magnetic field caused by various current loop configurations can be studied by varying the number of loops, their radii and separation. For example, the field lines due to a solenoid and to Helmholz coils can be generated in addition to the field lines due to less common loop arrangements.
Kirkup, L. 1986, 'Trajectories of moving charges in static electric fields', Physics Education, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 249-252.
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A common problem encountered during introductory courses on electricity and magnetism is that of the motion of charged particles in electric fields. Textbooks often describe the paths of moving charges in constant fields or in the field due to a single charge. However the question of the motion of charges in fields due to an arbitrary arrangement of charges is seldom addressed. A microcomputer can be used to determine the electric field at a point in the vicinity of a fixed array of charges (Kirkup 1985). In consequence the acceleration of a charged particle at a point within a field may be found and hence its path determined. The author describes the implementation of a trajectory-plotting program on a microcomputer and shows how it may be used to demonstrate, for example, the focusing effect of a simple electrostatic lens.
Kirkup, L. & Nicolson, M. 1986, 'Band-gap measurements based upon the behaviour of a p-n junction', European Journal of Physics, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 49-51.
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Band-gap measurements based upon the temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity of a forward biased p-n junction are described. Results are given for germanium, silicon, gallium arsenide and gallium phosphide.
Kirkup, L. 1985, 'Computer simulation of electric field lines', Physics Education, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 142-145.
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Reports

Kirkup, L., Dr Michael Braun, Dr Meera Varadharajan & Professor Andy Buffler 2016, Matching the background of demonstrators with those of their students: does it make a difference?, no. ISBN 978-1-76028-661-3.
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KIRKUP, L., BRAUN, M., Varadharajan, M. & BUFFLER, A. 2016, Matching the background of demonstrators with those of their students: does it make a difference?.
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Kirkup, L. Australian Government 2013, Inquiry-oriented learning in science: Transforming practice through forging new partnerships and perspectives, pp. 1-97, Sydney.
Kirkup, L. & Johnson, E. Australian Government 2013, Good Practice Guide (Science): Threshold Learning Outcome - Inquiry and Problem Solving, pp. 1-37, Sydney.
This Good Practice Guide is the one of a series of guides to be developed to address the Science Threshold Learning Outcomes.