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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Dr Wayne Kirstine


This unit provides the student with a basic knowledge of a range of physical science topics and skills that are important for students proceeding toward a science degree. Topics covered include: force, work and energy; circular motion; heat transfer and thermal properties; the laws of thermodynamics; electrical charges and their properties; analysis of simple electrical circuits; magnetism and its applications; an introduction to quantum theory; radioactive decay, radiation measurement and safety. The emphasis in approach is on the application of physical principles. Some mathematical problem solving is included, but a knowledge of calculus is not assumed.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to apply Newton's laws, the work-energy principle and conservation of energy to analyse simple dynamics problems; apply kinetic theory and the gas laws to explain heat transfer, temperature and thermal properties of materials; apply the laws of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy to describe thermal processes; apply Coulomb's law to simple charge distributions to determine forces, electric field strengths and potentials; analyse simple DC circuits involving series and parallel resistors; determine the force on moving charges in magnetic fields; describe the concept of magnetism, its production and use in electromagnetic devices and instruments; understand the quantum nature of radiation and explain its role in the photoelectric effect; describe different types of radioactive decay, the fundamental emissions associated with these and solve problems using decay rates or half-lives; understand the concept of binding energy and its role in nuclear stability; describe the passage of radiation through matter and the basic principles of dosimetry.


Examination (3 hours): 66%
Practical reports/assignments: 34%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week and two hours of practical/tutorial work per week


PHS1639, PHS1031, PHS1616, ENG1080, BMS1031