Pakistan's Higher Education Commission revised the HEC curriculum for physics in 2013. The laboratory courses were refashioned and instead of a listing of traditional experiments which largely focused on classic, historically important methods of determining physical quantities; we now have a proposal to investigating natural phenomena. The conceptual outcomes highlight the role of noise, uncertainties, plotting, curve fitting, model building and model based reasoning, and statistical analysis while the practical and engineering outcomes predicate the use of “locally available resources including materials and craftsmanship to build new projects; familiarity with mechanical workshop and ability to interpret basic engineering drawings”. Furthermore, new devices (gadgets inspired by the internet-of-things, arduinos, microcontrollers, data acquisition cards, cheap interfaces and transducers) and measurement methods (smartphone sensors, video tracking, image analysis) requires a modernized approach towards physics instruction in the undergraduate and graduate laboratories.
There is a general disdain of the physics community with instrument making and the emphasis is on instrument purchasing. Experiments in our laboratories are generally not computer controlled, or computer interfaced. This limits the kinds and extent of measurements that can be done. There is little opportunity given to students for creating experiments, designing new apparatuses and experimental schemes and hardware construction. The worldwide Makers movement, and the open source hardware movement have important bearings on how physics experiments can be easily done, in an economical fashion and in the process, can create an exhaustive and expanding community of instrument makers and physicists.
Qosain Scientific aims at capitalizing on these new movements in creating a diverse suite of equipment and experiments for teaching and research.
Qosain Scientific aims at addressing an educational crisis, i.e. the lack of scientific innovation inside the physics laboratory leading to very little, and insignificant practical training of our students. We build commercial-grade, high-quality, easily configurable physics experiments for the educator and the student. These scientific items will be high quality mechanical, mechatronic, physical, and electronic systems aimed at investigating physical phenomena, performing high accuracy measurements inciting in the users the passion for scientific inquiry. At the same time, the designs will be open source and in this way, we intend to spur a large community of co-creators who can provide rapid feedback on our designs, offer improvements and reconfigure these experiments for multiple kinds of investigations. These aspects will result in cost-effectiveness, greater accessibility and a complete reliance on local, indigenous resources and talent.
Qosain Scientific aims at fostering a campaign of instrument development; will make instruments easier to develop and source from within the country. They will be low cost, can be easily repaired and in fact remolded for multiple purposes. The experiments are all innovative (we have published prototypical designs in important international journals), highlight fascinating aspects of physics and the experimental manuals are designed to encourage free, critical unbridled thinking which is the epitome of scientific investigation. The stand-alone instruments we deliver as part of this project will spearhead the appreciation of relying on local resources and talent for scientific research and can provide a liberating experience to our researchers, who could easily jumpstart their research careers. These articles will be fractionally cheaper than imported equipment.