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

Undergraduate Course: Physics and Mathematics for Direct Entry (PHYS08057)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryTHIS COURSE IS FOR DIRECT ENTRY STUDENTS ONLY and cannot be taken as an outside course. It provides an introduction to classical dynamics, waves, basic algebra, and basic calculus. The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Course description Classical Dynamics and Waves (20 lectures):

Revision of elementary statics & dynamics
Statics forces, resolution of forces into components. Force diagrams.
Laws of motion in two and three dimensions: Newton's Laws in vector form. Conservation of linear momentum.
Concept of reference frames, relative motion, laws of motion in this notation.
Force/Work relation, conservation of energy (kinetic and potential), dynamic and static friction.

Further dynamics:

Centre-of-mass of points and solid bodies
Linear momentum of system of particles, centre-of-mass frame, elastic collision in centre-of-mass frame.
Full dynamics in one-dimension: use of differential equations, Rocket equations, friction, air resistance etc).
Rotational motion, torque, angular acceleration and angular momentum of set of particles.
Moment-of-inertia of sets of particles and rigid bodies, central axis theorem, angular equations of motion, energy relations.

Waves & vibrations:

Introduction to waves, waves propagating in 1 dimension, the wave equation
Superposition principle, interference, normal modes, the Fourier principle
Classical wave theory of light, Huygens principle, diffraction, link to quantum mechanics, Young's slits
Electromagnetic theory of light, refractive indices, refraction, total internal refraction
Mechanical waves, Doppler effects, Mechanical vibrations, simple harmonic motion, damping

Basic Algebra & Calculus (20 lectures) :

Basic Algebra. Manipulating expressions. Squares. Polynomials. Factorization. Quadratic and root equations (3)
Functions. Inequalities. Moduli. Exponentials and logarithms. Curve sketching. Series expansions. Harmonic potentials. (3)
Geometry and trigonometry. Trig functions. Lines and circles. Conic sections. (3)
Complex numbers. Complex algebra. Argand diagram. Euler and de-Moivre. (2)
Derivatives. Differentiation of standard functions. Composite functions. Higher derivatives. (3)
Elementary Ordinary Differential Equations. (3)
Integrals. Standard integrals. Integrating by parts. Substitution. (3)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 40, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 50, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% continuous assessment

Physics Assignments (25%)
Mathematics Assignments (25%)
Mathematics Class Test (25%)
Physics Class Test (25%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show fluency and confidence in the principles and techniques of basic algebra and calculus, classical dynamics, and waves.
  2. Apply these principles and techniques to solve problems in basic algebra and calculus, classical dynamics, and waves.
  3. Present a solution to a physics or mathematics problem in a clear and logical written form.
  4. Assess whether a solution to a given problem is physically reasonable.
  5. Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers and use of computer algebra packages where appropriate) to facilitate independent problem-solving.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPhysics,Mathematics,Direct Entry
Course organiserDr Jamie Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 5999
Course secretaryMrs Catherine MacMillan
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