PH10132: Core physics
[Page last updated: 23 October 2023]
Academic Year:  2023/24 
Owning Department/School:  Department of Physics 
Credits:  12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits] 
Notional Study Hours:  240 
Level:  Certificate (FHEQ level 4) 
Period: 

Assessment Summary:  EXCB 50%, EXOB 50% 
Assessment Detail: 

Supplementary Assessment: 

Requisites:  You must have Alevel Physics (or equivalent) to take this module 
Learning Outcomes: 
After taking this unit the student should be able to:

Content:  You will advance your knowledge and understanding of some fundamental areas of Physics, particularly quantum mechanics, vibrations, waves and optics. 
Content:  Vibrations and waves (11 lecture hours): Simple harmonic motion: Oscillations, including damped and forced oscillations. Resonance, Qfactors. Coupled oscillations and introduction to normal modes. Wave motion as the limit of coupled oscillations. The wave equation (1D). Introduction to waves: Transverse and longitudinal waves. Plane, circular and spherical waves. Waves on strings; sound, water, particle and light waves. Mathematical representation of 1D plane waves; wavefunction, amplitude, frequency, wavelength, wavenumber, speed, energy, intensity and impedance. The Doppler effect. Superposition; standing waves, beats, interference. Phase and group velocity; dispersive and nondispersive media. Complex exponential notation. Mechanical impedance. Reflection and transmission at boundaries.
Quantum mechanics in 1D (15 lecture hours): Motivation: evidence for QM, Planck's quantum hypothesis, waveparticle duality, de Broglie & PlanckEinstein relations, uncertainty principle. Wave mechanics: Wave functions, probability density and normalisation. Observables; position, momentum and energy. Schrödinger's equation; time dependence of the wavefunction, stationary states, superposition and measurement, timeindependent Schrödinger equation. Motion in one dimension: Eigenfunctions of the infinite square well, parity of solutions, superposition states. Dirac notation. Bound states of the finite square well. Motion of free particles. Reflection and transmission at a step. Tunnelling through a barrier. The harmonic oscillator. Optics (10 lecture hours): The propagation of light: Optical path length. Huygen's and Fermat's principles, Snell's Law. Reflection and refraction. Lenses; the focal plane. Geometric optics for thin lenses. Aberrations. Principles of the telescope and microscope. Interference and diffraction: Coherence. Young's slits experiment. The Michelson interferometer. The FabryPerot etalon. Interference between N equally spaced sources. Fraunhofer diffraction as farfield case. Derivation of Fraunhofer pattern for single slit. Discussion of circular aperture, diffraction limits on optical systems, definition of resolution, Rayleigh criterion. The diffraction grating. Resolving power of the telescope and grating. 
Course availability: 
PH10132 is Optional on the following courses:Department of Mathematical Sciences

Notes:
