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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Susan Feteris


Physics principles which underlie our understanding of the environment and processes in nature are studied, with particular focus on energy, its forms, sources, and usage. Topics and applications include: Solar and infra-red radiation, satellite thermal imaging techniques, spectroscopy; energy conversion including solar cells, renewable energy sources, fuel cells; nuclear radiation, applications in pollution monitoring; nuclear energy, reactor applications, and nuclear waste; nuclear fusion; environmental impact of energy technologies; monitoring and detection of physical quantities.


On completion of this unit students should be able to: understand the basic physics principles underlying applications in the contexts of environmental, biological, and planetary sciences; apply and interpret the relevant principles in these contexts in relation to energy, its forms, use, conversion and efficiencies; the use of thermal (IR) imaging systems, and the methods and devices used in basic systems for measuring quantities of environmental and general scientific importance (such as light, temperature, humidity, windspeed); demonstrate numeracy skills in describing, modelling and analysing such applications as described above, and performing appropriate calculations; reliably carry out basic experimental measurements, analyse and interpret data and experimental uncertainties; demonstrate communications skills in presenting and discussing scientific information in written report and poster forms.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Practical work: 28%
Tests/assignments: 22%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Susan Feteris

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical class per week