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Unit of study_

Physics 2A (Special Studies Program) - PHYS2921

Year - 2019

Are you someone with a very strong interest in Physics who wants a more open-ended approach to your learning? This unit of study gives a first pass through the major branches of classical and modern physics, providing a sound basis for later Physics units or for studies in other areas of science or technology. You will learn about Optics - the wave nature of light, and its interactions with matter; and applications including spectroscopy and fibre optics; Thermodynamics-Entropy, free energy, and the thermal properties of matter; Computational Physics Laboratory, where you will perform simulations that essentially conduct virtual experiments in physics, which illustrate and extend the relevant lectures. An introductory session of MATLAB is held in the first three lab sessions for students who are not familiar with programming. In Experimental Physics Laboratory, you will perform experimental tests and investigations that underlie modern society. This involves a mix of prescribed measurement exercises and open-ended investigations, and the option of a research style project, on topics including electrical circuits, nuclear decay and particles, and properties of matter. The lecture modules will be identical to PHYS2911 Physics 2A (Advanced) but the labs will be different. The differentiations from PHYS2911 Physics 2A (Advanced) are that both Experimental and Computational Labs in PHYS2921 Physics 2A (SSP) offer open ended style prescribed lab exercises in place of conventional prescribed exercises, and in the case of Experimental Labs, the additional option of doing a research project in place of some of the open-ended prescribed exercises.

Lecture 2hrs/week for 13 weeks; laboratory 5hrs/wk for 11 wks; tutorial 1 hr/wk for 12 wks, duty tutor 2 hrs/wk.

Final examination 40% (Optics/Thermodynamics modules), Experimental Lab sessions and logbook 18%, Experimental Lab Talk 4.5%, Experimental Lab Report (draft and final) 7.5%, Computational Lab sessions 8%, Computational Lab mid-semester test 4%, Computational Lab Exam 8%, Assignments (2x Optics, 1x Thermodynamics) 7.5%, and in class Quiz (Thermodynamics) 2.5%.

Assumed knowledge
(MATH1X21 or MATH1931 or MATH1X01 or MATH1906) and (MATH1X02) and (MATH1X23 or MATH1933 or MATH1X03 or MATH1907) and (MATH1X05)


75 or above in (PHYS1901 or PHYS1001 or PHYS1002 or PHYS1903) and 75 or above in (PHYS1902 or PHYS1003 or PHYS1004 or PHYS1904)


PHYS2011 or PHYS2911


Faculty: Science

Semester 1

25 Feb 2019

Department/School: Physics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 31 Mar 2019
Unit of study level: Intermediate
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? Yes
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Prof Iver Cairns
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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