PHS1080 - Foundation physics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Kavan Modi

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit introduces fundamental principles of physics of importance to engineering, and their applications. Topics include: Newtonian mechanics - forces, momentum, work and energy; torque and equilibrium; electricity - emf, Ohms Law, series and parallel resistors, power, capacitor and time constant; magnetism - force on currents and moving charges in magnetic fields, flux induced emf, DC motor and ideal transformer; basic wave properties, light and sound, superposition, standing waves; modern physics - photon model of light, wave model of particles, model of electrons in atom, emission and absorption of light; measurement, analysis, and written communication.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain and understand concepts taught in the unit such as force, energy, work, and wave propagation;
  2. Apply their knowledge to solve problems related to these concepts;
  3. Evaluate and appraise novel situations in terms of mechanics, electric and magnetic fields, and waves;
  4. Execute experiments involving simple apparatus and analyse, interpret and evaluate the results arising from them;
  5. Present and communicate results of others and one's own experimentations in a scientific form.


Test: 8%

Quizzes and assignments: 7%

Practical work: 25%

Examination (3 hours): 60%

Hurdle requirement: Students must achieve a pass mark

in the practical work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures, three hours of practical (compulsory) and six hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Year 12 Physics, PHS1031, PHS1011, BMS1031