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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS1200 Physics 1- Fundamental Forces

25 creditsClass Size: 260

Module manager: Dr Alison Voice

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

'A' Level Physics and Maths or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

PHYS1231Introductory Physics (Geophysics)
PHYS1240Quantum Physics and Relativity (Geophysics)
PHYS1270Quantum Mechanics and Electricity (Joint Honours)

This module is not approved as a discovery module


At the end of this module you should be able to:
- describe the motion of particles in terms of their position, velocity and acceleration;
- discuss Newton's laws in the context of cause and effect;
- derive the work-energy theorem and define potential energy from a conservative force;
- discuss and utilise the conservation of momentum for a system of particles;
- discuss and utilise the conservation of angular momentum for rigid body rotation;
- describe and utilise Newton's theory of gravity;
- describe the basic mechanical properties of solids and fluids.
- derive and use the transformation equations of special relativity;
- compute the energy and momentum of relativistic particles;
- summarise relativistic systems on a Minkowski spacetime diagram;
- understand the core difference between quantum and classical physics;
- represent quantum systems with two classical states;
- compute measurement probabilities and quantum evolutions;
- apply the Heisenberg uncertainty relation and de Broglie wavelength to concrete physical systems;
- derive the Bohr model and use it to estimate energies of atoms and molecules;
- perform elementary computations relating to photons and radiation;
- understand the uses and philosophical implications of quantum entanglement;
- understand and solve problems involving the Coulomb force;
- perform calculations on DC circuits (including capacitors, resistors and inductors) using Ohm’s and Kirchhoff's Laws);
- calculate the force on a charge moving in a magnetic field

Learning outcomes
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of common physical laws and principles, and some applications of these principles
- Identify relevant principles and laws when dealing with problems.

Skills outcomes
Problem solving in mechanics, quantum physics, relativity and electricity


- Kinematics
- Dynamics, including gravity
- Rigid bodies
- Work & energy
- Rotation
- Uses of quantum physics
- The Bohr model of the atom
- Photons and radiation
- The de Broglie wavelength
- The Heisenberg uncertainty relation
- Lorentz Transformations
- Relativistic kinematics
- Relativistic energy and momentum
- Four-vectors and Minkowski space
- Basic Electrostatics: Coulomb force and capacitors
- Magnetostatics
- Lorentz force
- DC circuits
- Kirchoff's laws
- RC circuits

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours33.00
Private study hours162.00
Total Contact hours55.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)250.00

Private study

- reading lecture notes and books
- solving problems

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)3 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. Students must submit a serious attempt at all assessments for this module, in order to pass the module overall.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

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


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