PHS1002 - Physics for engineering - 2019

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)

Professor Michael Morgan


Dr Istvan Laszlo (Clayton)
Associate Professor Boon Leong Lan (Malaysia)
Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • October intake 2019 (On-campus)


PHS1001 or PHS1080 or PHS1031 or BMS1031 or VCE Physics (study score 25 or above), and ENG1090 or MTH1010 or VCE Mathematical Methods (study score 25 or above)


Recommended: MTH1030 or ENG1005

Note: supporting mathematics studies are required for progression towards the Astrophysics and Physics majors.


PHS1011, PHS1022, ENG1081Not offered in 2019


This unit relates key principles of physics to engineering and technology, and shows how physics, including quantum and nano-science, creates useful new technologies. Energy, momentum and angular momentum: planetary orbits, rocket propulsion, precession, flywheels. Electromagnetism and light. Quantum physics: Uncertainty principle, wave functions, atomic force microscope, lasers, stimulated emission. The practical component develops measurement, analysis, and communication skills.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic principles of physics in typical simple situations relevant to engineering, and correctly apply them
  2. Apply energy and momentum methods to analyse motion of systems
  3. Explain behaviours involving electromagnetism and do appropriate analysis and calculations
  4. Explain, and apply, basic quantum principles to, situations which are relevant in engineering and technology contexts; do appropriate analysis and calculations
  5. Demonstrate an ability to describe and explain advanced techniques used in relevant engineering or physics contexts
  6. Make reliable measurements, estimate uncertainties, analyse, evaluate and interpret data in cases appropriate to engineering and related to the theory studied
  7. Show an improved ability to work in teams and to communicate and discuss physics concepts, measurements and applications related to engineering and developments in technologies
  8. Approach new problems and find solutions on the basis of general principles, and evaluate the appropriateness of their proposed models or solutions.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

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


Materials science