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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Physics 2A (PHYS08022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website WebCT Taught in Gaelic?No
Course description*** Course discontinued as of 2012/13***

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 physics-based degree programmes, and as a stand-alone 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Physics 1A: Foundations (PHYS08016) AND Physics 1B: The Stuff of the Universe (PHYS08017)
Students MUST have passed: ( Mathematics for Physics 1 (PHYS08035) AND Mathematics for Physics 2 (PHYS08036)) OR ( Practical Calculus (MATH08001) AND Solving Equations (MATH08002) AND Geometry & Convergence (MATH08003) AND Group Theory: An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (MATH08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Alternatively SCE Advanced Higher or A-level Physics and Mathematics at A-grade.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
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. Twyman-Green. Fabry-Perot;
- 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
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.

- geometric optics using Gaussian lens formula and matrix ray methods
- basic optical systems; the human eye, magnifier, telescope, microscope; optical aberrations

- 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. Twyman-Green. Fabry-Perot.
- 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 real-world problem
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Alex Murphy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5285
Course secretaryMiss Jillian Bainbridge
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
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