Undergraduate Course: Physics 2A (PHYS08022)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Course type  Standard 
Availability  Available to all students 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) 
Credits  20 
Home subject area  Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) 
Other subject area  None 
Course website 
WebCT 
Taught in Gaelic?  No 
Course description  This course provides an introduction to classical dynamics, special relativity, geometric optics and the physics of waves. It serves both as a preparation for further study in physicsbased degree programmes, and as a standalone course for students of other disciplines, including mathematics, chemistry, computer science and engineering. The course is supported by a programme of tutorial workshops and includes an introductory module on Java programming and data analysis. 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?  Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1)

WebCT enabled: Yes 
Quota: 220 
Location 
Activity 
Description 
Weeks 
Monday 
Tuesday 
Wednesday 
Thursday 
Friday 
King's Buildings  Laboratory   211  14:00  17:00   or 14:00  17:00  or 14:00  17:00   King's Buildings  Lecture   111  09:00  09:50      King's Buildings  Lecture   111   09:00  09:50     King's Buildings  Lecture   111     09:00  09:50   King's Buildings  Lecture   111      09:00  09:50  King's Buildings  Tutorial  Workshop  211    10:00  12:00  or 10:00  12:00  or 10:00  12:00 
First Class 
Week 1, Monday, 09:00  09:50, Zone: King's Buildings. JCMB LTA 
Additional information 
Tutorial workshops two hours per week, as arranged. Laboratory sessions three hours per week, as arranged. 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours:Minutes 


Main Exam Diet S1 (December)  Physics 2A: Forces, Fields & Potentials  2:00    Resit Exam Diet (August)   2:00   
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, it is intended that a student will understand
 basic Newtonian mechanics;
 how to set up a dynamical system for solution using first and second order differential equations;
 the role and diversity of simple harmonic motion in physics;
 the role of symmetry in simplifying a problem;
 the two basic postulates of Special Relativity;
 the phenomena of time dilation and Lorentz contraction;
 that the notion of simultaneity depends on the reference frame;
 relativistic velocities transformation, linear momentum, and total and kinetic energy;
 that in the low speed limit relativistic results correspond to classical Newtonian physics;
 what is meant a rest mass energy;
 geometric optics using Gaussian lens formula and matrix ray methods;
 basic optical systems, including the human eye, magnifier, telescope, microscope; concepts of optical aberrations and their control;
 types of wave phenomena: standing waves, travelling waves, normal modes, resonance, sound waves;
 superposition of waves. Beats. Harmonics. Acoustics;
 wavefronts. Huyghen's principle. Doppler effect. Shock waves;
 energy storage and transport in mechanical waves. Intensity;
 reflection and transmission of mechanical waves at boundaries;
 dispersion, group and phase velocities. Water waves;
 electromagnetic waves. Spectrum. Speed of light. Red shifts;
 reflection and refraction of light. Total internal reflection;
 energy storage and transport in electromagnetic waves;
 polarisation states. Polarisers.  Interference of light. Two slits. Newton's rings;
 interferometers. Michelson. TwymanGreen. FabryPerot;
 diffraction. Apertures. Gratings;
 dispersion of electromagnetic waves.  Wavepackets. Signal transmission. Introduction to Fourier analysis.
Other course elements: the Data Analysis course will give the ability to manipulate, plot and fit, in a linear form, with error bars, data using spreadsheet software. The Java component will explain the practical utility of computation for solving physical problems and construct Java programs using variables, control structures and supplied routines to model simple physical systems.

Assessment Information
Weekly assignments, 10%
Computing and data analysis, 20%
Degree Examination, 70% 
Special Arrangements
None 
Additional Information
Academic description 
Not entered 
Syllabus 
Dynamics and Relativity
 Frames of reference; vector notation; Galilean relativity
 Postulates of Special Relativity; time dilation, Lorentz contraction; simultaneity;
 Newtonian dynamics; linear momentum; potential, kinetic and total energy;
 Simple harmonic motion; damping and resonance; beats;
 conservation of energy, linear momentum and angular momentum
 motion of rigid bodies; moments of inertia,
 Relativistic dynamics; low speed limit; rest mass energy.
Optics
 geometric optics using Gaussian lens formula and matrix ray methods
 basic optical systems; the human eye, magnifier, telescope, microscope; optical aberrations
Waves
 Introduction to types of waves and their mathematical description.
 Waves on a string. The wave equation.  Standing waves. Normal modes. Resonance.
 Sound waves. Speed of sound in a gas.
 Superposition of waves. Beats. Harmonics. Acoustics.
 Wavefronts. Huyghen's principle. Doppler effect. Shock waves.
 Energy storage and transport in mechanical waves. Intensity.
 Reflection and transmission of mechanical waves at boundaries.
 Dispersion. Group and phase velocities. Water waves.
 Electromagnetic waves. Spectrum. Speed of light. Red shifts.
 Reflection and refraction of light. Total internal reflection.
 Energy storage and transport in electromagnetic waves.
 Polarisation states. Polarisers.  Interference of light. Two slits. Newton's rings.
 Interferometers. Michelson. TwymanGreen. FabryPerot.
 Diffraction. Apertures. Gratings.
 Dispersion of electromagnetic waves.  Wavepackets. Signal transmission. Introduction to Fourier analysis.
Scientific Programming
 Introduction to programming; Basics of Linux; Data Types, Variables and Operators
 Basic Input and Output; Math Class and Constants
 File Input and Output; Conditional Statements; Loops; Arrays and Strings
 Plotting Graphs Using the ptplot Package
 Introduction to Methods; Introduction to Objects
 Finding and Fixing Bugs
Data Analysis
 Uncertainty, Accuracy and precision
 Mean value; standard deviation; error on the mean
 Microsoft EXCEL for data analysis
 Combining uncertainties
 Graphs and graph plotting
 Least squares methods
 Application on a realworld problem

Transferable skills 
Not entered 
Reading list 
Not entered 
Study Abroad 
Not entered 
Study Pattern 
Not entered 
Keywords  P2A 
Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Email: a.s.murphy@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Leanne O'Donnell
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Email: l.o'donnell@ed.ac.uk 

