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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS0036 Fields and Electricity

10 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Julian Pittard

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

GCSE in Mathematics and Science-Physics or GCSE in Mathematics and Science Double Award.

Module replaces

PHYS0035 Thermodynamics and Electromagnetism

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is designed for students who have not had the opportunity of an A level education in Physics and can teach you Physics to A level equivalent standards. The only prerequisite is GCSE level mathematics, or equivalent. PHYS0036 (Fields and Electricity) concerns the essentials of fields (gravity and electromagnetic) and electricity.


On completion of the module students should be able to:

- perform calculations involving electrostatic force and electrostatic potential
- contrast the concepts of gravitational and electrostatic fields
- perform calculations involving inverse square laws of fields
- understand circular motion in its application to orbiting bodies
- carry out calculations relating voltage, current and power in simple DC circuits
- use the relationships between charge, voltage and capacitance of a capacitor
- recall that moving charges give rise to magnetic effects
- carry out calculations involving the force on a moving charge or current in a magnetic field
- carry out calculations involving magnetic fields produced by currents
- describe the laws of electromagnetic induction
- perform calculations involving emfs produced by changing magnetic fields
- recall the ideas concerning alternating currents
- carry out calculations on capacitors, inductors and transformers

This module forms part of a package of three modules (PHYS0016, PHYS0025 and PHYS0036) which will prepare students for entry to the level 1 Physics component of an appropriate degree programme and in conjunction with suitable modules at the same level in other subjects will prepare students for entry to a level 1 Engineering degree.

Learning outcomes
Skills outcomes:

- The ability to model a physical problem
- The ability to solve physical problems using mathematics.

Skills outcomes
- The ability to model a physical problem
- The ability to solve physical problems using mathematics.


- Electrostatics
Static charges, Coulomb’s Law, electrical fields, electric potential, potential difference, permittivity.

- DC Electricity
Charge and current. Electric fields and capacitors. Potential difference. Resistance and Resitivity. Kirchoffs’ Laws and simple circuits. Batterys.

- Magnetism
Moving charges. Magnets and their fields. The link between electricity and magnetism - electromagnetism. Fields due to currents, flux density for a very long straight wire and a very long solenoid. Force on a current in a magnetic field.

- Electromagnetic Induction
Electromagnetic induction. Magnetic flux, Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws, induced emf, generators, alternating currents, motors, back emf, transformers. Self-inductance.

- AC Electricity
Alternating voltages and currents. Power in ac circuits. Electricity distribution – transformers. Rectification. Reactance. Impedance. LC and LCR circuits.

- Gravity
Gravitation, law of universal gravitation, gravitational force, gravitational potential, gravitational field. ‘Weighing’ the earth. Acceleration due to gravity, satellites, orbitals, escape speed.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours70.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Private study: 67 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative assessment in regular homeworks (using gradescope).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentRegular Coursework20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Students will have to complete an in-person exam at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:31:37


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