Mathematical Physics modules
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Semester 1, 7.5 credits, 36 lecture hours, 12 tutorial hours
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the basics of Mechanics and Special Relativity. At the end of the module the student should be familiar with and have a working knowledge of the basic ideas and methods of mechanics and special relativity and will have developed good problem solving skills.
On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
- apply the concepts of velocity and acceleration to solving problems in kinetics
- carry out basic vector algebra operations including dot and cross products
- make appropriate use of vectors in the description of physical quantities
- calculate the properties of particles interacting via conservative and non-conservative forces
- formulate and solve problems involving conservative forces and energy conservation
- describe the basic concepts of special relativity and apply them to solving problems involving time dilation and space contraction
Linear kinematics and dynamics of a particle and of a system of particles. Principles of momentum and energy. Particle dynamics in more than one dimension. Vector methods. Motion in a circle, motion under constant gravity. Introduction to special relativity: Postulates of special relativity, spacetime, time dilation, length contraction, Doppler shift.
Total Marks 100. Two-hour written examination at the end of Semester 1 80%. 20% will be allocated for continuous assessment applied to the student's advantage.
To introduce students to the basic concepts underlying the physics of linear, oscillatory and rotational motion, as well as key concepts in quantum physics. On completing the module, the students shall be able to
- use conservation of momentum to analyse simple collision problems
- describe and calculate the properties of systems undergoing simple harmonic motion
- define the centre of mass for a system of particles or an extended object, and use it to describe the motion of the system as a whole
- apply the concepts of angular velocity, moment of inertia and torque to solve problems involving rotational motion
- describe how the particle nature of light and the wave nature of matter manifest themselves
One and two dimensional dynamics of a system of particles, including collision and impulse. Centre of mass and moment of inertia. Rotational motion: angular velocity, torque, angular momentum. Simple harmonic motion, wave phenomena. Projectile motion. Quantum Physics: Photoelectric effect, wave-particle duality, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, Bohr atom.
Total Marks 100%. Two hour written examination at the end of Semester 2 80%. 20% will be allocated for continuous assessment applied to the student's advantage.