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Unit of study_

Astrophysics and Relativity (SSP) - PHYS2923

Year - 2020

Are you someone with a very strong interest in Physics who wants a more open-ended approach to your learning? This unit of study delves into Cosmology/Astrophysics, Special Relativity, and Laboratory Experimental Physics. In Special Relativity, you will learn about Einstein's theory of special relativity, relative motion, twin paradox, Doppler shift, Lorentz transformations, spacetime and causality, relativistic momentum, relativistic kinetic energy, and mass as a measure of energy. In Cosmology/Astrophysics, you will learn about cosmological models, the cosmological principle, the Friedmann equations, the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker metric, cosmological redshift, the cosmic microwave background radiation, big-bang nucleosynthesis, the thermal history of the Universe, inflation, dark matter and dark energy. Experimental Physics Laboratory will involve you performing experimental test and investigations of relevant topics in a mix of prescribed measurement exercises and open ended investigations, as well as the option of a research project. The lecture modules will be identical to PHYS2913 Astrophysics and Relativity (Advanced) but the labs will be different. The differentiation from PHYS2913 Astrophysics and Relativity (Advanced) is that Experimental Laboratory for PHYS2923 Astrophysics and Relativity (SSP) offers open-ended style, prescribed experiments in place of conventional prescribed exercises, as well as the option of doing a research style project (subject to not also choosing a 2nd research project in the Computational Lab of Phys2922 Physics 2B (SSP)).

Lectures 2hrs/week for 13 weeks; laboratory 3hrs/wk for 12 weeks, tutorial 1 hr/wk for 12 wks, duty tutor 1 hr/wk.

Final examination 40% (Relativity/Astrophysics modules), Experimental Lab sessions and logbook 25%, Experimental Lab Talk 6%, Experimental Lab report (draft and final) 11%, Assignments (3x Relativity, 2x Astrophysics) 14%, and in class Quiz (Astrophysics) 4%.

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 (PHYS1003 or PHYS1004 or PHYS1902 or PHYS1904) and 75 or above in (PHYS1001 or PHYS1002 or PHYS1901 or PHYS1903 or PHYS2011 or PHYS2911 or PHYS2921).


PHYS2013 or PHYS2913


Faculty: Science

Semester 2

24 Aug 2020

Department/School: Physics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 28 Sep 2020
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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