Faculty of Science

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Paul Lasky



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit forms part of main-stream physics and provides foundations in rotational dynamics, the gravitational field, electrostatics, magnetism and quantum physics. Together these topics underpin interactions in our universe at sub-atomic to cosmic scales. Electrostatics explores the electric field, potential and energy for various situations, and the behaviour of capacitors and dielectrics. Magnetism covers the relation between currents, magnetic fields and induced emfs, inductance, LCR resonance, and introduces Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Quantum physics includes wave particle duality for matter and light, quantisation, wave-functions and probabilities, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, hydrogen atom, and the particle-in-a-box model.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain and understand concepts taught in the unit such as fields, electromagnetic phenomena, and quantum mechanics;

  1. Apply their knowledge to solve problems related to these concepts;

  1. Evaluate and appraise novel situations in terms of fields, electrostatics, magnetic interaction and quantum effects;

  1. Execute experiments involving simple apparatus and analyse, interpret and evaluate the results arising from them;

  1. Present and communicate results of others and one's own experimentations in a scientific form.


Experimental work: 30%
Tests/Assignments: 20%
Examination (three hours): 50%

Students must achieve a pass mark in the experimental work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour classes and one 3-hour class per week (attendance is expected at all classes)
  • Seven hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHS1011 or Year 12 Physics or PHS1080 or PHS1031, and VCE Specialist Mathematics or MTH1020


Recommended: MTH1030, MTH1035 or ENG1005
Note: to continue with Physics at level two students must have taken MTH1030, MTH1035 or ENG1005 by the end of level one.