PHS1001 - Foundation physics - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Kavan Modi


Dr Kavan Modi

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Recommended: MTH1020 or ENG1090


PHS1011, PHS1031, BMS1031


The unit introduces fundamental principles of Newtonian mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves and oscillations, and quantum physics. The unit explores these concepts in the context of current technology in areas such as transportation and communication. Students will also discover how these ideas link to current research in Physics. The unit further introduces the concepts of experimental design, measurement, and analysis that form the basis of the evidence-based approach that is the foundation of scientific discoveries and theories.


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. Communicate results of others and one's own experimentations in a scientific form.


Experimental work: 25% (Hurdle)

Tests/assignments: 35%

Examination (2 hours): 40%

Hurdle requirement: Students must achieve a pass mark in the experimental work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

The workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours spread across the semester (roughly 12 hours per week) - approximately an even mixture of attendance at scheduled activities and self-scheduled study time. Learning activities comprise a mixture of instructor directed, peer directed and self-directed learning, which includes face-to-face and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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