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PH30094: Planetary physics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 3
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Mandatory extra work (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PH10004 and take PH20014 and take PH20029
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aim of this unit is to give an overview of our current picture of planetary physics, both in our solar system and beyond.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* describe current knowledge of the constituents of our own Solar System;
* describe the latest advances in our knowledge of exoplanetary physics;
* explain the tools of current and future planetary exploration, quantifying their advantages, limits and accuracies;
* explain the physical processes determining a planetary environment, from the magnetosphere to the core;
* quantify the variations of planetary parameters and explain their significance.

Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Review of the planetary bodies in the Solar System and other systems. Telluric planets, gas giants, large asteroids and comets. The tools of planetary exploration and their underlying physics (satellites, landers, instruments). Examples of recent planetary missions. Electromagnetism and remote sensing. Moments of inertia, gravity and orbital mechanics. Magnetic fields and planetary physics. Neutron mapping (Mars/Moon/Earth). Helioseismology and links with acoustics. Convection in planetary interiors (telluric planets, icy bodies, gas giants).
Applications presented will be taken from: Venus (from the magnetosphere to the core); Moon (formation and in-depth mapping); Mars (gravity studies, neutron mapping, presence of water and other useful elements); Europa and Io; Jupiter-sized planets in the solar system and elsewhere; comets.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30094 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB09 : BSc Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 4)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.