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Unit of study_

PHYS1901: Physics 1A (Advanced)

Physics is the study of how matter behaves, at scales from the very small to the very large. Physics is one of the most fundamental of the sciences, underpinning our understanding of the world and the creation of new technologies. This unit of study forms part of a broad overview of the major topics of physics, which provides the necessary background knowledge and practice of scientific skills for students who wish to enrol in intermediate units of study in physics. The topics covered are also valuable for better understanding of many phenomena and techniques studied in fields of studies other than physics, so that this unit will benefit students across many majors including environmental, medical and life sciences, and engineering. You will cover the topics of mechanics, thermal physics, and oscillations, waves and chaos. You will develop experimental skills and learn how to observe and measure phenomena and try to explain and predict their behaviour. The laboratory work also provides an introduction to computational physics using chaos theory as the topic of study. This unit of study is intended for students who have a strong background in Physics and an interest in studying more advanced topics, with more rigorous proofs.

Details

Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Unit code PHYS1901
Unit name Physics 1A (Advanced)
Session, year
? 
Semester 1, 2023
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Prohibitions
? 
PHYS1001 or PHYS1002 or EDUH1017 or PHYS1903
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

(85 or above in HSC Physics or equivalent) OR (75 or above in one of PHYS1003 or PHYS1004) OR (PHYS1902 or PHYS1904). Students are also encouraged to take (MATH1X21 or MATH1931 or MATH1X01 or MATH1906) and MATH1X02 concurrently

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Helen Johnston, h.johnston@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Boris Kuhlmey , boris.kuhlmey@sydney.edu.au
Geraint Lewis, geraint.lewis@sydney.edu.au
Shelley Wickham, shelley.wickham@sydney.edu.au
Administrative staff physics.studentservices@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
? 
Final exam
Pen and paper exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO5 LO2
Online task Mastering Physics assignments
Online assignment
5% Multiple weeks 6 questions
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4
Online task Pre-work quizzes
Online Canvas quizzes
3% Multiple weeks See Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Skills-based evaluation hurdle task Laboratory work
Completion of lab experiments
0% Ongoing See Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Supervised test
? 
Mid-semester test
Pen and paper test of lecture material
20% Week 07 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO5 LO2
Skills-based evaluation Lab test
Practical and written test of lab skills
20% Week 10 130 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO7
Assignment Laboratory report
Written report of lab experiment
10% Week 13
Due date: 26 May 2023 at 23:59
See Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO7
Participation Tutorials
Participation in tutorials
2% Weekly 1h/week
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
  • Lab test: The lab test consists of short questions about experimental skills, plus a practical experimental task where you demonstrate your ability to design and perform a simple experiment. The test will be held during your scheduled lab session.
  • Lab report: This is a written report on the data collected during your lab test, where you demonstrate your ability to write scientifically.
  • Mid-semester test: The mid-semester test will cover material from the first lecture module (Mechanics). The test will be held during your scheduled lab session. The in-semester tests will be run in week 7 during your lab class. More details will be provided closer to the date.
  • Final exam: The exam will cover material from the last two modules (Thermal physics, and Oscillations and Waves). The final exam is a compulsory assessment task. Failure to sit the final exam will result in an AF grade.
  • Assignments: These are online assignments (access via the link to Pearson Access on Canvas), which test your understanding of the lecture material. The best 5 of the 6 assignments will count towards your grade.
  • Tutorials: In tutorials you solve physics problems based on the week's lecture material, working in small groups. Marks are awarded for participation.
  • Laboratory work: To pass the unit, you must successfully complete 6 of the 7 labs in weeks 3-12.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Final exam: If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply subject knowledge to novel situations.

Distinction

75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a solid knowledge and
understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply the key ideas of the subject.

Credit

65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad understanding of the unit material but has not fully developed the ability to apply the key ideas of the subject.

Pass

50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge of the subject.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades

Final exam: If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

MasteringPhysics will not accept late submissions.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Mechanics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Introduction Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 02 Mechanics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Uncertainty analysis Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 03 Mechanics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Mechanics lab 1 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 04 Mechanics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Mechanics lab 2 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 05 Mechanics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Mechanics lab 3 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 06 Thermal physics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Thermal lab 1 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 07 Thermal physics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 08 Thermal physics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Thermal lab 2 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 09 Thermal physics, and Oscillations, waves and chaos Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 10 Oscillations, waves and chaos Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Oscillations, waves and chaos Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Waves lab 1 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 12 Oscillations, waves and chaos Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Waves lab 2 Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 13 Oscillations, waves and chaos Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2

Attendance and class requirements

You must pass the laboratory programme in order to pass the course. In order to pass the laboratory component, you must successfully complete 6 of the 7 Labs in weeks 3-12 (The Labs in week 1 and 2 are meant to get you up to speed and are not a part of this assessment). Make-up lab sessions are available for students with special consideration.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the key concepts in three foundation areas of physics - mechanics, thermal physics and wave motion
  • LO2. apply these concepts to develop models, and to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in scientific and engineering contexts, using appropriate mathematical and computing techniques as necessary
  • LO3. understand the nature of scientific measurement, and demonstrate skills in the measurement of physical quantities and the handling of data
  • LO4. find and analyse information and judge its reliability and significance
  • LO5. communicate scientific information appropriately, both orally and through written work
  • LO6. engage in team and group work for scientific investigations and for the process of learning
  • LO7. demonstrate a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour, and independence as a learner and as a scientist.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9
Weighting of assignments changed to best 5 of 6

Equity Access and Diversity Statement

The School of Physics recognises that biases and discrimination, including but not limited to those based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and age, continue to impact parts of our community disproportionately. Consequently, the School is strongly committed to taking effective steps to make our environment supportive and inclusive and one that provides equity of access and opportunity for everyone.                      

The School has three Equity Officers as a point of contact for students and staff who may have a query or concern about any issues relating to equity, access and diversity.  If you feel you have been treated unfairly, bullied, discriminated against or disadvantaged in any way, you are encouraged to talk to one of the Equity Officers or any member of the Physics staff.

More information can be found at https://sydney.edu.au/science/schools/school-of-physics/equity-access-diversity.html

Any student who feels they may need a special accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Disability Services: http://sydney.edu.au/current_students/disability/ who can help arrange support.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • Closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual, posted in laboratories, and from staff
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service: unihealth.usyd.edu.au/

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.