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PHYS106 – Electric and Magnetic Interactions

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
David Spence
Contact via david.spence@mq.edu.au
E6B 2.709
By appointment
Co-lecturer
Mike Steel
Contact via michael.steel@mq.edu.au
E6B 2.708
By appointment
Lab Manager
Danny Cochran
Contact via danny.cochran@mq.edu.au
E7B 114
During scheduled PHYS106 practicals
Thomas Volz
Contact via thomas.volz@mq.edu.au
E7B 2.609
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
PHYS107
Corequisites Corequisites
MATH132 or MATH135
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit, together with PHYS107, provides an overview of physics both for students primarily intending to study physics, astronomy or photonics beyond first year, and for engineering students who wish to explore physics at a greater depth. As well as broadening their experience in basic classical Newtonian physics of matter and waves, and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism, in this pair of units students are introduced to the main theories underlying modern physics: quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, and Einstein's theory of relativity, with an emphasis on understanding the interrelationship between these fundamental ideas. Fundamentals of experimental method and data analysis are taught in well-equipped laboratories using examples which support and complement the lecture course.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  2. Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  3. Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  4. Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  6. Understand and be able to mathematically interpret the basic properties of waves and show an understanding of the concept of wave-particle duality.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

General Assessment Information

This unit has hurdle requirements, specifying a minimum standard that must be attained in aspects of the unit. To pass this unit you must obtain a mark of at least:

- 50% in the unit overall

as well as 

- 40% in the final examination  

- 40% in each of the laboratory activities

- 40% in at least 8 of 12 quizzes

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Lab work 25% Throughout the session
Midsession Exam 15% Wednesday 8th Week
Final exam 40% Exam period
In-tutorial tests 20% Week 2 - Week 13

Lab work

Due: Throughout the session
Weighting: 25%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Satisfactory completion of laboratories is a hurdle requirement. You must attend all ten laboratory sessions.  The first lab session is in week 1 and includes work health and safety information. Students will also be assigned to lab groups and computer access will be checked. It needs to be attended by all students regardless of whether this is their first Physics unit or not. It will be a little bit shorter than the other sessions, but attendance is absolutely mandatory – you can’t do subsequent lab sessions if they don’t attend the introductory one. The next 9 lab sessions involve experimental work and will be assessed. You must obtain a mark of at least 40% for each of the laboratory sessions in order to pass the unit. If you miss a session or fail an activity, you must complete a “Request to schedule a Catch-up laboratory session” form. You will find it on iLearn, or this link. Catch-up lessons will be offered at the following times:

  1. In the mid-semester break:
    • Monday 18th September at 9am
    • Wednesday 27th September at 2pm
    • Thursday 28th September at 2pm
  2. In week 13:
    • Wednesday 8th November at 2pm
    • Thursday 9th November at 9am
    • Thursday 9th November at 2pm

Preparation is required for each of the lab sessions 2-10. You will find the Prelab activities in the Laboratory Resources section of iLearn. Your prelab work will account for some of the marks for each laboratory session.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Midsession Exam

Due: Wednesday 8th Week
Weighting: 15%

There will be a mid-session exam. This 50-minute exam will be at 2pm, Tuesday Week 8, 3rd October, in the normal lecture room W5C 220. The exam will include content from lectures in weeks 1 to 6 only. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.

Final exam

Due: Exam period
Weighting: 40%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

The final exam will be in the normal exam period, and will cover material from the entire course.

You are expected to present yourself for the final examination at the time and place designated in the University examination timetable (http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au/exam/). The timetable will be available in draft form approximately eight weeks before the commencement of examinations and in final form approximately four weeks before the commencement of examinations.

The final examination is a hurdle requirement. You must obtain a mark of at least 40% to be eligible to pass the unit. If your mark in the final examination is between 30% and 39% inclusive then you will be a given a second and final chance to attain the required level of performance.

If you apply for Disruption to Study for your final examination, you must make yourself available for the week of December 11 – 15, 2017.  If you are not available at that time, there is no guarantee an additional examination time will be offered. Specific examination dates and times will be determined at a later date. Second-chance hurdle examinations will also be offered in this week.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Understand and be able to mathematically interpret the basic properties of waves and show an understanding of the concept of wave-particle duality.

In-tutorial tests

Due: Week 2 - Week 13
Weighting: 20%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

There will be a test of 5-10 minutes duration in each tutorial from week 2 to week 13. The tests will comprise a single question, based on those questions covered in the exercises and tutorial of the previous week. The results of your best 8 tests from the total of 12 will contribute 20% of your final mark.

Satisfactory performance in quizzes is a hurdle requirement. You must obtain a mark of at least 40% in at least 8 out of the 12 scheduled quizzes to pass the unit. No additional quizzes will be offered for those who fail to meet this requirement.

We require effective participation in tutorials, entailing a focused work effort and attendance for the full session. If you do not participate effectively in a given week, for example leaving the tutorial early without extenuating circumstances, it will be grounds for receiving a score of zero for that week's quiz, and that quiz will then not count towards passing the hurdle requirement.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Understand and be able to mathematically interpret the basic properties of waves and show an understanding of the concept of wave-particle duality.

Delivery and Resources

Required and Recommended Texts and/or Materials

Textbook

Matter and Interactions by Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood.

Either Volume 2 (Paperback) or the combined Volume (hardbound). Note that Volume 1 is the required text for PHYS107 in semester 1.

Web Resources

More information on the required text as well as additional ressource material can be found at http://www.matterandinteractions.org/

There are also other high quality learning resources on the web which we would recommend to you to use in your studies. The HyperPhysics site hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University is widely acclaimed and used. The site also has mathematics learning resources on the maths used in physics.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html (Mechanics, and, Electricity & Magnetism).

Increasingly there are excellent web-based interactive simulations available – some are in the on-line resources that support the textbook. We encourage you to conduct your own web searches for others, and to develop your own critical judgment of which sites provide high quality resources that assist your learning. Two that we recommend to you are:

• http://www.explorelearning.com/ The Explorelearning Gizmos: follow links to Grade 9-12, Physics, Motion and Force; and Electricity & Magnetism. You will have to register to use this site.

• http://phet.colorado.edu/simulations/index.php?cat=Featured_Sims The University of Colorado, Boulder, Physics Education Technology (PhET) Simulations: follow the links to Motion; Energy, Work & Power; and Electricity, Magnets and Circuits. This site also contains maths resources, for example vector addition.

Technology Used and Required 

Lecture notes, tutorial questions and answers, weekly exercises, and other resources will be posted on the PHYS106 iLearn site.

Learning and Teaching Strategy

This unit is taught through lectures and tutorials and through undertaking laboratory experiments. We strongly encourage students to attend lectures because they provide a much more interactive and effective learning experience than studying a text book. The lecturer is able to interpret the physics that you will be learning, showing you the relationships between different components/concepts and emphasising the key physics principles involved. Questions during and outside lectures are strongly encouraged in this unit - please do not be afraid to ask, as it is likely that your classmates will also want to know the answer. You should aim to read the relevant sections of the textbook before and after lectures and discuss the content with classmates and lecturers.

This unit includes a compulsory experimental component. The experiments are stand-alone investigations and may include topics not covered by the lecture content of this course - they are an important part of the learning for this unit and the skills learned are essential for a well-rounded physics graduate.

You should aim to spend an average of 3 hours per week understanding the material and working on the tutorial problems and exercises. Attempting tutorial questions and weekly exercises is one of the key learning activities for this unit. It is by applying knowledge learned from lectures and textbooks to solve problems that you are best able to test and develop your skills and understanding of the material.

As mentioned, there are many useful web resources on this material and we encourage you to seek out youtube videos on electromagnetism and other resources.  However, while reading over the lecture notes and reading the textbook are very important, reading notes and watching physics videos are passive learning activities. It is critical that a substantial portion of your study time in physics is devoted to active learning strategies by attempting numerous problems from the text, tutorials, assignments and past exams. It is simply impossible to become adept in this subject by watching physics problems, you must do physics problems.

Unit Schedule

Lectures:

There are three lectures per week, as timetabled. Lectures follow the chapters from Volume II of the textbook Matter and Interactions.

Week 1: The electric field

Week 2: Electric fields in matter

Week 3: Electric fields of distributed charges

Week 4: Electric potential 

Week 5: Electric field and circuits

Week 6: Circuit elements

(The midsemester exam will cover content up to this point)

Week 7: Magnetic field

Week 8: Magnetic force

Week 9: Patterns of field in space

Week 10: Faraday's law

Week 11: Electromagnetic radiation

Week 12: Waves and particles

Week 13: Revision

Tutorials

You should attend one tutorial per week. 

Laboratory work

Lab experiments start in week 1. See the section on Laboratory Practicals. 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Lectures

There will be three one hour lectures per week. During these the content of the unit will be explained, example problems will be solved and physics principles demonstrated.

Exercises

Each week we will release a set of short worked exercises. These will cover the main basic skills from lectures that week, and will be of a similar length and difficulty to the in-tutorial quizzes. Quizzes will not be closely based on any single exercise.

Tutorials

There must attend one tutorial per week. During this time students will work through problems related to the previous week's lecture content. Questions will be released in advance, and it is strongly recommended that you attempt the questions yourself before each tutorial.

Laboratory practicals

See the Laboratory Practical section below.

In-tutorial quizes

There will be a test of 5-10 minutes duration in each tutorial. from week 2 onwards. These short quizzes are designed to test a key concept from the work from one week earlier ; e.g. week 1 lecture material and exercises will be the topic in week 1 tutorial problems and will be tested in the week 2 quiz. Quiz answers from each of the tutorials will be released, forming a set of basic revision questions.

Suggested book questions

We will each week publish a list of problems from the textbook. We recommend that you attempt these key problems to help you master the basic concepts covered in that week.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment task

  • Lab work

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Understand and be able to mathematically interpret the basic properties of waves and show an understanding of the concept of wave-particle duality.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of electricity and magnetism including charge, current, Coulomb's law, the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations.
  • Understand and be able to describe the distinction between electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electric and magnetic flux, electromotive force and electrical circuit properties such as voltage and current.
  • Demonstrate the understanding and use of key vector concepts including dot products, vector products, surface integrals over simple surfaces and electric and magnetic flux.
  • Demonstrate the application of the laws of electromagnetism to solve a variety of quantitative problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, induction and electromagnetic waves.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the use of, and the relations between, different electromagnetic SI units, and be able to correctly substitute physical quantities into formulae to obtain numerical answers.
  • Understand and be able to mathematically interpret the basic properties of waves and show an understanding of the concept of wave-particle duality.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate laboratory equipment and perform physical measurements with an understanding of the statistical nature of measurement uncertainties involved. Be able to record experimental results, analyses and conclusions in a clear, logical, concise and systematic manner with only moderate guidance.

Assessment tasks

  • Lab work
  • Midsession Exam
  • Final exam
  • In-tutorial tests

Laboratory Practicals

Laboratory Requirements

The laboratory component is an essential component of your studies and so counts for an appreciable fraction of your final assessment (25%).

The laboratory work is designed to introduce you to some of the basic skills and techniques that are used in experimental physical science. Some of the activities in the laboratory may not relate directly to the material in the lecture course. This is because the laboratory activities are intended not only to illustrate physical concepts but also to provide training in the experimental skills that are required of practicing physicists, scientists and engineers.

You will be provided with instructional material in the form of Laboratory Notes which can be found in the Laboratory Resources section of iLearn, and assisted in the laboratory by a team of demonstrators, many of whom are postgraduate research students. The laboratory program is designed to operate independently of the lectures, although some of the work topics will be discussed in lectures. Indeed there is some advantage in becoming familiar with a topic in an experimental situation before you meet it in lectures. That is often the case in real life!

You will be issued with a Laboratory Notebook in week 1. For each laboratory session, except in week 1, you are required to complete some preparatory work (Pre-Lab) before attending your nominated Lab session. Typically the Pre-Lab will require you to bring some material to the lab to be pasted into your lab book. A portion of your mark for each lab session is allocated to the Pre-lab work. To figure out which Prelab to do do, please consult the Laboratory Schedule on iLearn.

Location of the 100-level Physics Laboratory, E7B114.

The laboratory is located on the ground floor of building E7B, at the NE corner (room 114). Entry is from the courtyard at the opposite end to the main staircase.

Laboratory Attendance Requirements

You are required to attend and to satisfactory complete all rostered laboratory sessions. Each time you attend the laboratory you must sign in and out (legibly) in the attendance book.

If you miss a laboratory session and wish to lodge a "disruption to studies" request you can start this process at https://ask.mq.edu.au.  You will require a medical certificate or other form of evidence to complete this process - contact the unit convenor if you are unsure.

Laboratory classes are compulsory and students who do not attend all classes will be deemed to have failed to meet the learning outcomes of the unit. Moreover, it is a hurdle requirement that you must achieve at least 40% for each of the nine assessable laboratory sessions.

If you miss a laboratory class, or if you fail to meet the hurdle requirement (at least 40%) for any activity, then you must complete a “Request to schedule a Catch-up laboratory session” form. You will find it on iLearn, or you can click the link here. Catch-up lessons will be run in the mid-semester break and in week 13, at the following times:

  1. In the mid-semester break:
    • Monday 18th September at 9am
    • Wednesday 27th September at 2pm
    • Thursday 28th September at 2pm
  2. In week 13:
    • Wednesday 8th November at 2pm
    • Thursday 9th November at 9am
    • Thursday 9th November at 2pm

Laboratory Assessment

Details of the laboratory assessment have been outlined in the first section above.

Laboratory Safety

You are required to follow all safety guidelines given in the lab manual, and as outlined by your lab supervisor. Food and drink cannot be taken into the laboratory and students without suitable covered footwear will be refused admission.

Laboratory Schedule

The first laboratory session will be in the first week of semester. The schedule of labs is posted in the lab and on the iLearn page for your unit. Please attend your nominated laboratory session. If you have difficulty enrolling into a lab session that suits your timetable, then keep trying over a few days as students often move between sessions.