Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Physics
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Lincoln Turner


  1. Electrodynamics: electro- and magnetostatics; electric and magnetic fields in matter; Maxwell's equations
  2. Optics: geometric optics; polarization; birefringence; optical fibres; interferometry; diffraction
  3. Statistical Physics: introduction to statistical physics concepts; temperature; Helmholtz free energy and the partition function; application of concepts to the ideal gas.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain and apply the key concepts of electromagnetism and statistical physics to a variety of phenomena;

  1. Describe a range of optical instruments and their uses;

  1. Use modern instruments and methods to acquire, manipulate and interpret physical data;

  1. Write scientific reports at a level suitable for publication.


Examinations (One x 3 hours and One x 2 hours): 50%
Assignments: 16%
Practical work (compulsory): 34%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lecture/problem classes and one 3-hour laboratory class per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study