This subject provides a foundation for further studies in physics and related disciplines. In particular, students learn to develop quantitative physical models and become aware of the assumptions upon which these models are based. Students develop physical problem-solving strategies, learn to apply electronic, mechanical and optical techniques of measurement in the laboratory, and record quantitative data with associated uncertainties. The laboratory measurement techniques also include computer-interfaced experiments for collecting and analysing data. 

Course outline

  • mechanics: physical quantities and units, vectors, motion in 1D and 2D, forces and Newton’s laws, statics, energy and work, momentum, conservation principles

  • electricity and magnetism: electric circuits, electric fields, magnetic fields, electromagnetic forces, electromagnetic induction

  • waves: string waves, sound waves, electromagnetic waves, superposition, doppler

  • quantum and nuclear physics: wave- particle duality, energy-mass relationship, Bohr’s model of a hydrogen atom, nuclear reactions, binding energy, fusion and fission, particle decays, half-life and nuclear activity. 


Assignments: 5%
Exams: 70%
Practical classes: 25%

Subject Leader  


Dr Fun Lai
BSc, MSc RMIT, PhD Melb