School of Mathematics and Physics

Physics - Level 2 Modules

  • PHY2001        Quantum and Statistical Physics   (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:            PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                    Dr R Kotak, Dr S Sim

Course Content: 

Quantum Mechanics: Quantum history, particle waves, uncertainty principle, quantum wells, Schrödinger wave equation SWE

1D SWE Solutions: Infinite and finite square potential well, harmonic potential well, particle wave at a potential step, particle wave at a potential barrier, quantum tunnelling    

3D Solutions of SWE: Particle in a box, hydrogen atom, degeneracy

Statistical Mechanics: Pauli exclusion principle, fermions, bosons, statistical distributions, statistical entropy, partition function, density of states. Examples of Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein distributions

 

Compulsory Element:     Examination must be passed 

Assessment:                  Examination 60%   Assignments 20%   Lab Work 20%

  • PHY2002        Physics of the Solid State     (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:            PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                    Professor M Gregg, Dr R McQuaid

Course Content: 

Periodicity and symmetry, basic crystallographic definitions, packing of atomic planes, crystal structures, the reciprocal lattice, diffraction from crystals, Bragg condition and Ewald sphere. Lattice waves and dispersion relations, phonons, Brillouin zones, heat capacity, density of vibrational states, Einstein and Debye models of heat capacity, thermal conductivity and anharmonicity. Concepts related to phase transitions in materials such as: free energy, enthalpy, entropy, order parameter, classification of phase transitions, Landau theory. Bonding classification of materials, metals, insulators and semiconductors, Fermi energy and density of electron states, energy bands, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, donors and acceptors, carrier transport properties, p-n junction

 

Compulsory Element:   Examination must be passed 

Assessment:                  Examination 60%   Assignments 20%   Lab Work 20%

  • PHY2003        Astrophysics I           (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:            PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                    Dr W Fraser, Dr R Kotak

Course Content: 

Introduction to Astronomy: Units of measurement, telescopes and detecting photons.

From planets to galaxies: Size and scale of the visible Universe, Stellar and galactic motion.

The Solar system:The Sun as a star, Newtonian gravity; basic concepts in orbital dynamics; planets andour solar system.

Stars – observational properties/characterization: Stellar luminosities, colours, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, stellar classification, fundamental stellar properties, Stefan Boltzmann equation, mass-luminosity relations.

Stars – stellar structure: Equation of hydrostatic support (including use of mass coordinate), gravitational binding and thermal energy of stars, Virial theorem, energy generation, energy transport by photon diffusion, convection.

Stars – formation, stellar evolution, binary-star evolution, stellar death: single star evolution, post-H burning, binary-star evolution concepts and accretion, stellar end-states and compact objects

 

Compulsory Element:   Class Tests x2 must be passed         

Assessment:                  Class Test x2 40%   On-line Assessment 40%   Lab Work 20%

  • PHY2004        Electricity, Magnetism and Optics  (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:            PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                    Dr G Sarri

Course Content: 

Electrostatics and magnetostatics

Coulomb, Gauss, Faraday, Ampère, Lenz and Lorentz laws

Wave solution of the Maxwell’s equations in vacuum and the Poynting vector

Polarisation of E.M. waves and behaviour at plane interfaces

Propagation of light in media (isotropic dielectrics). Faraday and Kerr effects.  

Temporal and spatial coherence of light. Interference and diffraction

Geometrical optics and matrix description of optic elements

Optical cavities and laser action

 

Compulsory Element:   Examination must be passed 

Assessment:                  Examination 60%   Assignments 20%   Lab Work 20%

  • PHY2005        Atomic and Nuclear Physics            (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:                  PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                          Professor D Riley, Dr S Sim

Course Content: 

Atomic:

Hydrogenic quantum numbers, spin-orbit interaction, fine structure, central field approximation, LS coupling, Hund's rules, theory of the helium atom, selection rules, atomic spectra and transition probabilities, first order perturbation theory, Zeeman effect. 

Nuclear:

Observation of nuclear properties, nuclear radius, mass (semi-empirical formula), inter-nucleon potential, radioactive decay mechanisms, fission and fusion, interactions of particles with matter.

 

Compulsory Element:   Examination must be passed 

Assessment:                  Examination 60%   Assignments 20%   Lab Work 20%

  • PHY2006        Mathematical Physics           (20 CAT Points)

Pre-Requisites:                  PHY1001 and, PHY1002 or AMA1020

Lecturers:                          Dr B Mueller, Dr B Reville

Course Content: 

Advanced linear algebra: Definition and basic properties of a generic vectorial space, isomorphisms and homomorphisms. Generalised definition of scalar product and norm, base of a vectorial space, orthonormality.

Fourier series and Fourier transform. The Dirac delta function, Parseval’s theorem and the convolution theorem.

Partial differential equations: method of characteristics, PDE classification, d’Alembert’s solution, separation of variables.

Hamiltonian Mechanics. Definition of generalized and conjugated variables, principle of minimum action, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism, Poisson’s brackets.

 

Compulsory Element:   Class Tests x2 must be passed         

Assessment:                  Class Tests x2 60%   Assignments 20%   Group Project 20%