PHYSICS 1005 - Physics, Ideas and Society I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course is non-mathematical in character and no previous knowledge of physics is assumed. It is taught in the style of the humanities and social sciences. Physics, Ideas and Society I is designed to provide an understanding of some of the principal currents of thought in physics and of the scientific background to some of the philosophical, political and social issues that confront society. Topics covered include the following - physics and its laws; the fundamental constituents of matter; people, energy and the earth; space, time and relativity; the universe.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSICS 1005
    Course Physics, Ideas and Society I
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemistry & Physics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Course Description This course is non-mathematical in character and no previous knowledge of physics is assumed. It is taught in the style of the humanities and social sciences. Physics, Ideas and Society I is designed to provide an understanding of some of the principal currents of thought in physics and of the scientific background to some of the philosophical, political and social issues that confront society.
    Topics covered include the following - physics and its laws; the fundamental constituents of matter; people, energy and the earth; space, time and relativity; the universe.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rodney Crewther

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 describe science and how it progresses;
    2 explain how experiments support the development of physics;
    3 explain some of the great ideas of physics: energy, momentum, and mass;
    4 explain how the fundamental ideas of physics allow one to understand aspects of the world around through thermodynamics, rotation, and light;
    5 explain basic ideas of nuclear physics and some radiation protection;
    6 discuss the physical structure of the Universe and our place in it.


    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-6
  • Learning Resources
    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Teaching & Learning Modes

    This course will be delivered by the following means:

    - Lectures 24 x 50-minute sessions with two sessions per week

    - Tutorials 11 x 50-minute sessions with one session per week
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.



    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary

    The course content will include the following:

    Coursework Content

    - What is science?

    - What is Physics?

    - How does science develop?

    - Getting knowledge from experiments

    o Quantities and scales in Nature

    o Counting – a different type of information

    o Fitting theory to experiment

    - Some Great Ideas of “Classical” Physics

    o Force, momentum and mass

    o Understanding energy

    o Special relativity

    o Electricity

    o Heat and thermodynamics

    o Entropy

    o Rotational motion

    o Light, colours, and spectra

    o The Greenhouse effect

    o Quantum ideas:

    § Nuclear physics

    § Radioactivity and radiation doses

    § Astronomy and the Universe
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes # Hurdle

    Yes or No #
    Objectives being assessed/achieved
    Turorial summary 1 Formative and Summative

    10%

    No 1-3
    Essay 1 Formative and Summative 35% No 1-6
    Tutorial Summary 2 Sumative 20% No 1-6
    Essay 2 Summative 35% No 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial summary 1
    One 500 word tutorial summary contributes 10% to the final assessment. Students are required to select one tutorial from weeks 2-4 and write a 500 word summary of the topic and questions addressed during the tutorial.

    Tutorial summary 2
    Two 500 word tutorial summaries contribute 20% to the final assessment. Students are required to select two tutorials from weeks 2-12 and write a 500 word summary of the topic and questions addressed for each tutorial.

    Essay 1
    One 2,000 word essay contributes 35% to the final assessment. Students are provided with a list of topics for the first essay at the start of the semester and required to write a critical discussion on the topic of their choice.

    Take-home written exam Essay 2
    One 2,000 word essay will contribute 35% to the final assessment. Students are required to write an essay on the topic of their choice from the list provided for Essay 1 at the start of the semester or an approved alternative.
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.