CY4056  Foundations of Physics (2023/24)
Module specification  Module approved to run in 2023/24  
Module title  Foundations of Physics  
Module level  Certificate (04)  
Credit rating for module  15  
School  School of Human Sciences  
Total study hours  150  


Assessment components 


Running in 2023/24 (Please note that module timeslots are subject to change) 

Module summary
The module provides an introduction to key topics of Physics relevant to Chemistry and the Natural Sciences including classical mechanics, waves and vibrations, quantum mechanics, electrostatics, electromagnetism, optics and atomic spectroscopy. It gives an appreciation of the importance of modelling physical systems mathematically in order to predict the behaviour of chemical or biological systems.
Prior learning requirements
N/A
Available for Study Abroad? YES
Syllabus
Classical Mechanics
Newton’s laws of motion (including the use of vectors); the conservation of momentum and energy; kinetic and potential energy; power, fields and potentials; and angular motion.
Waves and Vibrations
Simple harmonic motion; the harmonic oscillator; normal modes of vibration for diatomic and linear triatomic molecules; wave motion including superposition, standing waves and beats; constructive and destructive interference.
Electrostatics
Coulomb’s law; the Bohr model of the H atom; the ionic model (including lattice energies); electric fields; electric dipole interactions; and intermolecular forces.
Electromagnetism
Introduction to magnetism; magnetic flux and flux density (including examples); particle motion in electric and magnetic fields; the Hall effect; Faraday’s Law of induction; magnetic properties of materials (diamagnetism, paramagnetism and ferromagnetism); magnetic fields in spectroscopy (NMR, ESR, the Zeeman effect).
Optics
Electromagnetic waves; polarised light; reflection and refraction; revision of interference patterns and Young’s double slit experiment; interferograms and Fourier transforms, diffraction and diffraction gratings; and Bragg’s Law.
Quantum Mechanics
Introduction to quantum mechanics; blackbody radiation; the photoelectric effect; line spectra; waveparticle duality; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle; wavefunctions; the Schrödinger equation; and particle in a 1D box (including applications).
Atomic Spectroscopy
Absorption and emission of radiation; spectroscopic units, general features of experimental methods; line widths; quantum numbers; angular momenta; and an introduction to atomic terms and states.
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lecturerled lectures (20 hours) and tutorials (10 hours); directed webbased learning and through the guided use of studentcentred learning resources. Problem based workshops (6 hours) will be used to consolidate student knowledge with guidance for directed activities. Self managed time and private study should be spread out over the whole semester and not left until the final weeks. In addition, there will be weekly dropin sessions, of one hour duration, which students can make use of in order to consolidate their understanding of the subject matter.
Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
1. Describe the basis of the theories underpinning the various branches of physics covered
2. Predict the outcome of an experiment based on a specific model for system behaviour
3. Perform mathematical calculations correctly and manipulate data accurately
4. Analyse experimental data appropriately using tabular and graphical forms
5. Calculate the value of specified variables and critically review the results
6. Understand and analyse the limitations of individual models.
Assessment strategy
The module will be assessed by means of an interactive problembased workshop (50 %). The workshop is comprised of a coursework assignment and test and will assess the classical mechanics, waves and vibrations, electrostatics and electromagnetism topics. A 1hour unseen written exam (50%) will assess the optics, quantum mechanics and atomic spectroscopy topics. The students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.
Bibliography
https://rl.talis.com/3/londonmet/lists/66D5836EF9D3283E0B60C58ED5224ED2.html?lang=enUS