PHYS1122 Foundations of Physics 1 (2011/12)
Content and Teaching Methods
2 lectures in Michaelmas Term
Syllabus: The nature of Physics; solving Physics problems; using and applying Mathematics; using MasteringPhysics; note-taking; study skills; the importance of private study; sources of help and support. Standards and units; unit consistency and conversions; uncertainty and significant figures; estimates and orders of magnitude; vectors and vector addition; components of vectors, unit vectors, products of vectors.
24 lectures in Michaelmas Term
Syllabus: Motion along a straight line; motion in two or three dimensions; Newton's laws of motion; applying Newton's laws; work and kinetic energy; potential energy and energy conservation; momentum, impulse and collisions; rotation of rigid bodies; dynamics of rotational motion; equilibrium and elasticity; gravitation; periodic motion; fluid mechanics.
12 lectures in Michaelmas Term
Syllabus: Temperature and heat; thermal properties of matter; the first law of thermodynamics; the second law of thermodynamics.
Waves and Optics
12 lectures in Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms
Syllabus: Mechanical waves; sound and hearing; the nature and propagation of light; geometric optics and optical instruments; interference; diffraction.
24 lectures in Michaelmas, Epiphany and Easter Terms
Syllabus: Electric charge and electric field; Gauss's law; electric potential; capacitance and dielectrics; current, resistance and electromotive force; direct-current circuits; magnetic field and magnetic forces; sources of magnetic field; electromagnetic induction; inductance; alternating current; electromagnetic waves.
24 lectures in Epiphany and Easter Terms
Syllabus: Relativity; photons, electrons, atoms; the wave nature of particles; quantum mechanics; atomic structure; molecules and condensed matter; nuclear physics; particle physics and cosmology.
5 lectures in Easter Term
One 1-hour tutorial per week in Michaelmas, Epiphany and Easter Terms
Each student is assigned to a member of staff who acts as the student's academic tutor for the year. As part of a group of typically seven or eight students, you will meet with your tutor regularly from the start of the year and will discuss various topics in physics. Tutors will use the weekly problems as a basis for these discussions and will try to ensure that you gain a secure foundation, particularly in Mathematics. Tutors will also give advice on study skills, the transition from school to university, problem-solving techniques and revision skills. The tutorial provides an excellent forum for you to raise issues of interest or difficulty and should not deteriorate into a monologue by the tutor. The more preparation and effort you put into the tutorial, the more you will get out of it. A notice will be displayed at the start of the Michaelmas Term listing tutors and tutees. The first tutorial will take place in the second teaching week of the term.
In order to develop your skills in independent learning, from time to time lecturers will set certain topics for self-study. These topics will take the form of specific sections of the course textbook or other clearly-defined resources. This is an integral and compulsory part of the course, and topics set for self-study will be assessed through problem exercises and the examinations.