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This is a required course for all Engineering Programmes as well as Physics and Astronomy degrees. PHYS101 builds on NCEA level 3 physics to develop Mechanics, Conservation Laws, Fluids, Waves, Thermal Physics, and Electromagnetism into an essential foundation for science and technology understanding.
Summary of the Course Content
The topics covered in this course are:•
Laws of Motion, motion in 1 and 2D dimensions• Energy of systems, kinetic and potential energy, work, power• Dynamics of particles, momentum and collisions• Conservation Laws• Rotational motion, angular momentum, rotational kinematics. Moment of inertia and torque
• Fluid statics and dynamics• Oscillations and simple harmonic motion, the pendulum• Wave motion – travelling and standing waves • Thermal physics including thermal expansion and heat transfer• Thermodynamic cycles and laws of Thermodynamics• Heat engines and the Carnot cycle
• Electrostatics – charge, field, potential, dielectrics• Electric current – model for resistance. Character of metals, semiconductors, superconductors.• Magnetic fields and forces, electric motors. Electromagnetic induction, power generation.
The goal of this course is to provide foundation knowledge of Mechanics, Conservation Laws, Fluids, Waves, Thermal Physics and Electromagnetism for students advancing in physical science and engineering degrees. Students will obtain basic competency in analysing and solving physical problems in these areas. They will also obtain basic physics laboratory skills and data analysis techniques.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
1) a) PHYS111 or NCEA 14 credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Physics, and b) MATH101 or 14 Credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics (including the standards 'Apply differentiation methods in solving problems (91578)' and 'Apply integration methods in solving problems(91579)), or 2) Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in both Physics and Mathematics, or 3) IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in both Physics and Mathematics, or 4) approval of the Head of Department based on alternative prior learning.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
and Simon Brown
To pass the course you must score at least 40% on the final exam AND 50% for the course overall. Note also that satisfactory performance in the laboratory work is required to pass the course as a whole.If you score between 40% and 50% on the final exam the maximum grade you can be allocated is R. Note that this is not a progressing grade i.e. you would not be able to use PHYS101 as a prerequisite for any other course, including 1st Pro Engineering or Second Year Physics.Previous years exam papers are downloadable from the library website and available on LEARN.
R. Serway, J.Jewett, K.Wilson, A. Wilson;
Physics Volume 1 and 2;
Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited, 2013.
100-level physics course information
Please consult General Information for Physics and Astronomy Students (57KB)
Domestic fee $937.00
International fee $5,125.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
School of Physical & Chemical Sciences on the department and colleges page.