PHYSICS 1201 - Physics for the Life and Earth Sciences IB
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024
General Course Information
Course Code PHYSICS 1201 Course Physics for the Life and Earth Sciences IB Coordinating Unit Physics Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 7 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites PHYSICS 1201 - SACE Stage 2 Physics or SACE Stage 2 Mathematical Methods, or PHYSICS 1101. Other students who have completed PHYSICS 1008 may be granted exemption on application to Head of Physics Incompatible PHYSICS 1200 Assumed Knowledge PHYSICS 1101 or PHYSICS 1008 Course Description This course provides an introduction to sensing and imaging as applied to biological systems and earth science. It is intended to provide a background in physics at university level for students who wish to major in biological sciences (Physics I and Mathematics I are recommended for students interested in Biophysics or Geophysics). The emphasis is on physics concepts and their application to relevant problems rather than on the more theoretical or mathematical development of concepts. It includes a study of oscillations, waves and sound, geometric and physics optics, electricity and magnetism, X-rays and radioactivity. Practical problem solving.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Andrew MacKinnon
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 demonstrate a working knowledge of the physical principles that describe oscillations, waves, optics, modern sensors and electromagnetism; 2 use algebraic methods to make qualitative and semi-quantitative predictions about the behaviour of the aforementioned systems; 3 apply an understanding of physical principles to familiar and unfamiliar situations in the life and earth sciences; 4 make appropriate use of standard measurement and data analysis techniques; 5 identify random and systematic uncertainties in experiments; 6 draw non-trivial and quantitatively precise conclusions from experimental results; 7 work cooperatively in a team to complete a task in a limited time; 8 confidently communicate results about the physical world both orally and in writing
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)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
Urone, P. and Hinrichs, R. (2013) College Physics (OpenStax College): This is a free open-source textbook that can be downloaded as a pdf, epub or viewed directly on the web from http://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/college-physics/
Giancoli, D. C. (2005) Physics Principles with Applications, 6th ed. (Pearsons/Prentice Hall)
Kirkup, L Experimental Methods for Science and Engineering Students (2nd Edition) (Wiley) is recommended for the practical work.
OpenStax textbook home page: https://openstax.org/details/college-physics
MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/).
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
This course will be delivered by the following means:
- Online lecture material to be view prior to lectorial attendance
- 2 lectorials of 1 hour per week
- 1 workshop of 1 hour per week (starting week 2)
- 1 practical of 3 hours per fortnight (starting week 2)
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:
Oscillations, Waves and Sound (17%)
- Oscillations: requirements and parameters for simple harmonic motion; energy in SHM; period and sinusoidal nature of SHM; the reference circle.
- Waves: transverse and longitudinal waves; energy carried by a wave; intensity dependence on amplitude and frequency; reflection and transmission at boundaries; superposition and interference of waves; standing waves and resonance; diffraction and Huygen’s principle.
- Sound: characteristics of sound; sound intensity level – the decibel; the human ear; sources of sound - vibrating strings and air columns; interference of sound waves; beats; Doppler effect; ultrasound and medical imaging.
Modern Physics (17%)
- Electromagnetic radiation – waves or particles; black-body radiation; Stefan-Boltzmann law; Wein’s displacement law; average temperature of the Earth, its energy balance, global warming; particle nature of electromagnetic radiation; energy, frequency and wavelength of a photon.
- Electrons and atoms: evidence for the wave nature of particles; de Broglie's relationship; the electron microscope; the basic features of quantum mechanics; Heisenberg uncertainly principle; absorption and emission of photons by atoms; Pauli exclusion principle; the periodic table of the elements; x-ray spectra; attenuation of x rays in matter; production of light by a laser.
- Nuclei and radioactivity: properties and structure of the nucleus; radioactivity and nuclear stability; alpha, beta and gamma decay; half-life.
- Methods of detection of radiation: Geiger counter, scintillation counter, cloud chamber, wire drift chamber.
- Radiation damage and dosimetry: effects on DNA, source activity, radiation dose, quality factor, and effective dose.
- Medical applications of radiation: radiation therapy, use of radioactive tracers, tomography.
Electromagnetism and Sensors (34%)
- Electric charge and electric fields: review of electric charge, insulators and conductors; Coulomb’s law and its applications; electric field and electric field lines; electric flux; electric forces in biological systems.
- Electric potential: electric potential energy and electric potential; choosing the zero of potential; electric potential and electric field; equipotential surfaces; the electron volt; electric potential due to point charges; point discharge and lightning.
- Capacitance: the capacitor; parallel-plate capacitors; dielectrics; torque on a dipole; storage of electrical energy.
- Applications of electric fields and potentials: TV and computer monitors, cathode ray oscilloscopes; the electrocardiagram; microscopic view of electric current; the nervous system; measurements using an ammeter and a voltmeter; potentiometer and Wheatstone bridge.
- Magnetism: magnets; magnetic field lines; magnetic field surrounding a current; force on a current-carrying wire; strength of magnetic field; torque on a current loop; applications of current loop in magnetic field; ferromagnetism and hysteresis.
- Electromagnetic induction: magnetic flux; Faraday’s law of induction; Lenz’s law; induced emf; emf induced in a moving conductor; electric generator; eddy currents; transformers; production of electromagnetic waves; the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Geometric Optics: law of reflection; image formation in a plane and non-planar mirror; law of refraction; lens-maker’s equation; ray tracing with lenses; magnifying glasses, telescopes and microscopes; the human eye; aberrations: spherical and chromatic.
- Wave Optics: Huygen’s principle; Snell’s law and Fermat’s principle; Young’s double-slit experiment; single-slit diffraction; diffraction gratings; polarisation, Malus’ law; thin-film interference.
Practical Work Content
Computer based experiments, carried out individually:
- Exponential distribution
Experiments carried out in groups of three students:
- Measurement of Brass
- Speed of sound
- Thin lens
- Diffraction grating
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle (Yes/No) Outcomes being assessed Workshop preparation and participation Formative & Summative 10% No 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 Practical work Formative & Summative 20% Yes
(attend all 5 practical sessions)
1 – 8 In – Semester Tests Formative & Summative 10% No 1, 2, 3, 8 Written Examination Summative 60% No 1, 2, 3, 8
Assessment Related Requirements
The learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on laboratory experience and practice. Therefore attendance at all practical sessions is compulsory.
The coursework result comprises a contribution from your preparation for workshops with the remainder from the in-semester tests and your written examination. The MyUNI quiz and the experimental work contribute to the result for practical work.
Workshop preparation and participation
Workshops are held weekly, starting in the second week. The grade for the workshop is based on the student’s preparation, participation during the workshop and post-workshop quizzes.
All Practicals/experiments are compulsory and contribute equally to the practical component of the grade. For each laboratory practical, the student must obtain a satisfactory result in the preparatory work, attend the practical session and submit the logbook for assessment. A practical catch-up session is held at the end of the teaching semester to allow students to catch up any missed practicals.
In – Semester Tests
Up to 5 tests will occur throughout the semester.
The final examination will be based primarily on lecture/workshop material.
Submission of Assigned Work
Assignments will be submit via MyUni, in doing so students are agreeing to the following statement:
I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work, except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the University of Adelaide's Academic Honesty PolicyLinks to an external site. I give permission for any assessed assignments to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
Extensions for Assessment Tasks
Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: http://www.sciences.adelaide.edu.au/current/
Late submission of assessments
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
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.
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.
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This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
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