phy1scb principles of physics b




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

On completion of this subject, students will be able to solve problems in electromagnetism and modern physics, which provide the basis for further study in physics, engineering or another science. They will be able to apply the concepts and terminology of electromagnetism and modern physics to solve related problems. The topics covered include optics, electrostatics, magnetostatics, magnetic induction, special relativity, nuclear and atomic structure. Students will conduct nine experimental investigations related to these topics. This subject and the first semester subject PHY1SCA together constitute a mainstream course in Physics at the first-year level. Knowledge and competence in the material presented in VCE physics and maths is assumed.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDavid Hoxley

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjects PHY11PAA, PHY12AGR, PHY12PAB, PHY10SCI, PHY1LSB

Equivalent subjects PHY10SCI

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsPhysics for scientists and engineers: A strategic approach, with modern physicsPrescribedKnight, RD 20083RD ED, PEARSON ADDISON WESLEY, SAN FRANCISCO
ReadingsFSTE First Year Survival Guide (second edition)RecommendedFaculty of Science, Technology and EngineeringLA TROBE UNIVERSITY 2012

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Diagrammatically represent, analyse and/or solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to optics, electromagnetism and modern physics.

Students are assessed via 12 online quizzes and problem-solving classes. In the online quizzes, students answer conceptual and mathematical multiple choice questions. In problem classes, students solve short answer problems. Students sit a mid-semester multiple choice quiz, and a final end of semester exam comprising short answer questions.

02. Use accurate terminology and appropriate SI units to describe physical phenomena related to thermal physics and radiation.

Students are required to use appropriate terminology and SI units in all assessment elements (namely problem classes, online quizzes, laboratory reports and exams).

03. Perform experiments related to electromagnetism, optics, radiation and relativity using standard physics laboratory techniques, equipment and software and assess the data to check for inappropriate, irrelevant or spurious results.

Students complete nine laboratory experiments and submit a report that indicates their ability to detail and assess experimental data. Students follow written and verbal laboratory instructions to conduct the experiments accurately and safely.

04. Explain and interpret laboratory results in the context of electromagnetism, optics, radiation and relativity.

Students submit nine laboratory reports detailing their interpretation of the results. The laboratory report mark contains a writing component.

05. Collaborate in pairs to complete laboratory experiments and submit reports.

The teamwork component of the laboratory report mark assesses the participation of each student in completing the experiment. Students are expected to submit their own work (as instructed in the laboratory sessions). If they fail to do so, they are counselled after the first occasion by the demonstrator. For subsequent plagiarism, no marks are awarded and they are interviewed by the subject coordinator.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDavid Hoxley

Class requirements

Problem Based LearningWeek: 32 - 43
One 2.0 hours problem based learning per week on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
Three 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Laboratory ClassWeek: 31 - 43
Nine 3.0 hours laboratory class per study period on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
laboratory reports/exercises2002, 03, 04, 05
on-line quizzes1001, 02
one 1-hour mid semester examination501, 02
one 3-hour examination5501, 02
problem sets1001, 02