Department of Physics


Stage II courses

The key courses for all physics students are PHYSICS 201, 202 and 203, which provide a solid grounding in the core areas of physics – classical and quantum mechanics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism. These courses are designed to meet the needs of all students advancing in physicsand include regular problem solving sessions and laboratory sessions.

Beyond the core courses, PHYSICS 244 caters to students with a strong interest in experimental science and technology while PHYSICS 245 gives physics students insight into topics at the research frontier across a wide-range of subfields. Students interested in the BSc(Hons) in either Photonics or Medical Physics and Imaging Technology should include PHYSICS 244 in their programme. GEOPHYS213 provides an introduction to – and serves as a core course for – the Geophysics degree programmes.

Note that PHYSICS 121 and MATHS 208/250 are prerequisites for most Stage Two courses. You are also advised to enrol in MATHS 253 and/or MATHS 260 which are recommended preparation for most associated Stage 3 courses.

PHYSICS 201: Classical and Thermal Physics


This course covers classical mechanics and thermal physics. Key topics are linear and rotational motion in three dimensions, fluids, oscillations and mechanical waves, and the laws of thermodynamics. The course will cover both fundamental principles and applied topics, such as planetary dynamics and spacecraft navigation, ultrasound, atmospheric physics and materials science.

Prerequisite: 15 points from GEOPHYS 213, PHYSICS 121, 150 and 15 points from MATHS 208, 250, PHYSICS 211

Restriction: PHYSICS 230, 231

Course Coordinator: JJ Eldridge

Top

PHYSICS 202: Electromagnetism


This course covers electromagnetism. Key topics are electric and magnetic fields, the generation of magnetic fields by currents, the derivation of Maxwell’s equations, the interpretation of light as an electromagnetic wave and polarisation. The course will cover both fundamental principles and applied topics, including fibre optics, LEDs, physical optics and interferometers.

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHYSICS 150, 121 and 15 points from MATHS 208, 250, PHYSICS 211

Restriction: PHYSICS 260, 261

Course Coordinator: JJ Eldridge

Top

PHYSICS 203: Relativity and Quantum Physics


This course covers special relativity, quantum mechanics and nuclear physics. Key topics are the Lorentz transformation, mass-energy equivalence, the Schrödinger equation in one dimension, the hydrogen atom, atomic and molecular bonds, isotopes and radioactivity.  The course will cover both fundamental principles and applied topics, including isotope production, nuclear medicine, and dosimetry.

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHYSICS 150, 121 and 15 points from MATHS 208, 250, PHYSICS 211

Restriction: PHYSICS 250, 251

Course Coordinator: Nicola Gaston

Top

PHYSICS 244: Electronics and Imaging


This course provides students with skills in electronics and imaging technologies that will support future work in technology-focussed careers, experimental science, medical physics, and photonics. Key topics include networks, resonance, amplifiers, semiconductors, Fourier analysis, imaging systems, MRI systems and biomedical imaging.

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHYSICS 120, 160 and 15 points from MATHS 108, 110, 150

Restriction: PHYSICS 240

Course Coordinator: Mark Conway

Top

PHYSICS 245: Frontiers of Physics


This course surveys the research frontier in physics and astrophysics. Topics will be drawn from  gravitational wave detection and black holes, searches for extrasolar planets, complexity theory and networks, lasers and frequency combs, Bose-Einstein condensates, Bell’s Theorem and quantum technology.

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHYSICS 150, 121 and 15 points from MATHS 208, 250, PHYSICS 211

Course Coordinator: Nick Rattenbury

Top

GEOPHYS 213: The Geophysical Environment


This course explores the physical principles governing -- and the connections between -- the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and interior. Topics include the structure of the solid earth, ocean currents and tides, and fundamental aspects of weather and climate.

Prerequisite: 15 points from PHYSICS 120, 121, 150, 160 and 15 points from MATHS 108, 150, ENGSCI 111

Course Coordinator: Kasper van Wijk

Top