PHYSICS 2550 - Physics, Ideas & Society II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course is non-mathematical in character and no previous knowledge of physics is assumed. It is intended primarily for students of the humanities and social sciences and is taught in the style of those disciplines. Physics, Ideas and Society II is designed to provide and 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 will 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 2550
    Course Physics, Ideas & Society II
    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
    Prerequisites 6 units at Level I
    Incompatible PHYSICS 1005
    Course Description This course is non-mathematical in character and no previous knowledge of physics is assumed. It is intended primarily for students of the humanities and social sciences and is taught in the style of those disciplines. Physics, Ideas and Society II is designed to provide and 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 will 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 evaluate science and discuss how it progresses;
    2 examine how experiments support the development of physics and discuss their role in the advancement of science;
    3 analyse some of the great ideas of physics: energy, momentum, and mass;
    4 analyse how the fundamental ideas of physics allow one to understand aspects of the world around us through thermodynamics, rotation, and light;
    5 analyse basic ideas of nuclear physics and some radiation protection;
    6 evaluate the physical structure of the Universe and discuss 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
    Required Resources
    Comprehensive notes are provided.
    Online Learning

    MyUni –Students should regularly log in to MyUni (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/) as it contains important course-related announcements, teaching material and additional resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching 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 unites 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 (lectures and tutorials), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary

    Topics to be covered

    -         What is science?

    -         What is Physics?

    -         How does science develop?

    -         Getting knowledge from experiments

    • Quantities and scales in Nature
    • Counting – a different type of information
    • Fitting theory to experiment

    -         Some Great Ideas of “Classical” Physics

    • Force, momentum and mass
    • Understanding energy
    • Special relativity
    • Electricity
    • Heat and thermodynamics
    • Entropy
    • Rotational motion
    • Light, colours, and spectra
    • The Greenhouse effect
    • 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 Hurdle Yes or No Objectives being assessed
    Tutorial summary 1 Formative and Summative

    10%

    No 1-3
    Tutorial summary 2 Formative and Summative 10% No 1-3
    Tutorial summary 3 Summative 20% No 1-6
    Essay Summative 60% No 1-6
    Assessment Detail

    Tutorial summary 1

    One 600 word tutorial summary contributes 10% to the final assessment. Students are required to select one tutorial from weeks 2-4 and write a 600 word summary of the topic and questions addressed during the tutorial.

    Tutorial summary 2

    One 600 word tutorial summary contributes 10% to the final assessment. Students are required to select one tutorial from weeks 2-6 and write a 600 word summary of the topic and questions addressed during the tutorial.

    Tutorial summaries 3

    Two 600 word tutorial summaries contribute 20% to the final assessment. Students are required to select two tutorials from weeks 2-12 and write two 600 word summaries of the topics and questions addressed during the tutorials.

    Essay 2

    One 4,000 word essay will contribute 60% to the final assessment. Students are provided with a list of topics at the start of the semester and required to write a critical discussion on the topic of their choice or an approved alternative.

    Submission

    Submission of Assigned Work

    Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School of Chemistry & Physics Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUni. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office.

    Collection of Assigned Work

    Assignments and tutorial work which is not collected in class can be collected from the School of Chemistry & Physics Office (room G33 Physics) until the end of the following semester.

    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. T

    Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

    Assessment tasks must be submitted by the stated deadlines. There will be a penalty for late submission of assessment tasks: the submitted work will be marked ‘without prejudice’ and 10% of the obtained mark will be deducted for each working day (or part of a day) that an assessment task is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the mark attained. An examiner may elect not to accept any assessment task that a student wants to submit after that task has been marked and feedback provided to the rest of the class.

    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.