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PHY1911 Physics Concepts 2

Semester 2, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Alex Hons
Moderator: Brad Carter


Physics is about the natural laws governing our universe of matter, energy, space and time. Because physics deals with the fundamental laws of nature, it is a dynamic science helping us understand everything from the subatomic world of quarks to the behaviour of the universe as a whole, and from the momentary interactions of two atoms to the history of the cosmos. Physics teaches us that a small set of profound natural laws can be used to make sense of the complexities of the world around us. Physics is also the science underpinning much of our technology, and is embedded into the design of things we use every day. An understanding of physics can benefit professionals working in a wide range of careers. For example, science educators can explain natural phenomena to their students; engineers can learn the physical principles at work in technology; biomedical scientists can appreciate the physics underpinning everything from human movement to molecular interactions. Physics is literally universal in its application.


Physics is about the fundamental natural laws governing our universe. Taken as a whole, physics can be considered as the behaviour of just two fundamental quantities (space-time and mass-energy) in the presence of just four fundamental forces (gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces). Using physics, a small set of profound natural laws thus can be used to make sense of the complexities of the natural world, as well as the design and operation of our technology. Physics can be divided into different fields of study, with "classical physics" covering mechanics, acoustics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism and optics, and "modern physics" encompassing relativity and the quantum mechanics of light of matter. This course is called Physics Concepts 2 as it examines the conceptual basis of electromagnetism, optics and modern physics and is a companion course to Physics Concepts 1, which covers mechanics, acoustics and thermodynamics. In this course students are provided with an introduction to key concepts, and obtain practice with relevant problem solving and experiments.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Discuss key fundamental concepts in electromagnetism;
  2. Understand the physical basis of optics;
  3. Discuss key fundamental concepts in modern physics;
  4. Solve simple numerical problems in physics;
  5. Conduct and interpret basic physics experiments.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Electromagnetism 20.00
2. Optics 20.00
3. Modern Physics 20.00
4. Problem-solving in physics 20.00
5. Experimental physics 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Carter, B. D, Introductory / Study Book for PHY1911 Physics Concepts 2, USQ Publications, Toowoomba.
  • Wolfson, R 2012, Essential University Physics, 2nd edn, Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco.
    (ISBN-10: 0805302964, ISBN-13: 9780805302967,3110,0805302964,00.html.)
  • Experiment Kit for PHY1911 Physics Concepts 2 (USQ Physics: Toowoomba).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Computer Managed Assessment 24.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 24.00
Private Study 76.00
Report Writing 24.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
REPORT 20 20 03 Oct 2014
CMA 20 20 24 Oct 2014
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAM 60 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the Semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete the CMA Test satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for them. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for assignments is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the students to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 48 hours if required by the Examiner.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.