PHS1022 - Fields and quantum physics - 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)

Dr Paul Lasky


Dr Paul Lasky

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


PHS1011 or PHS1080


Recommended: MTH1030, MTH1035 or ENG1005

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


PHS1002, ENG1081Not offered in 2019, PHS1042


This unit forms part of main-stream physics and provides foundations in rotational dynamics, the gravitational field, electrostatics, magnetism and quantum physics. Together these topics underpin interactions in our universe at sub-atomic to cosmic scales. Electrostatics explores the electric field, potential and energy for various situations, and the behaviour of capacitors and dielectrics. Magnetism covers the relation between currents, magnetic fields and induced emfs, inductance, LCR resonance, and introduces Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Quantum physics includes wave particle duality for matter and light, quantisation, wave-functions and probabilities, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, hydrogen atom, and the particle-in-a-box model.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain and understand concepts taught in the unit such as fields, electromagnetic phenomena, and quantum mechanics;
  2. Apply their knowledge to solve problems related to these concepts;
  3. Evaluate and appraise novel situations in terms of fields, electrostatics, magnetic interaction and quantum effects;
  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.


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 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Experimental work: 25% (Hurdle)

Tests/Assignments: 35%

Examination (3 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