Physics with Nuclear Science BSc (Hons)

Key information


physics-2

Module details

Programme Year One

The first year starts with a one week project to familiarise you with the staff and other students.

There will be two Maths modules in the first year and one in the second year, these are designed to provide the Mathematical skills required by Physics students.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Dynamics and Relativity (PHYS101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of classical mechanics at an elementary level. To introduce the postulates of Special Relativity and apply the Lorentz transformations.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics and Special Relativity.

    (LO2) Understand physical quantities with magnitudes, directions (where applicable), units and uncertainties.

    (LO3) Apply the laws of mechanics to statics, linear motion, motion in a plane, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion and gravitation.

    (LO4) Apply the laws of relativity to linear motion.

    (LO5) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of non-relativistic linear and rotational motion and of relativistic linear motion.

    (LO6) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the non-relativistic analysis of orbits and gravity.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to situations involving mechanical systems.

  • Thermal Physics and Properties of Matter (PHYS102)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The module aims to make the student familiar with
    • The concepts of Thermal Physics
    • The zeroth, first and second laws of Thermodynamics
    • Heat engines
    • The kinetic theory of gases
    • Entropy
    • The equation of state
    • Van der Waals equation
    • States of matter and state changes
    • Mechanical properties of solids
    • The basis of statistical mechanics

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Be able to link the microscopic view of a system to its macroscopic state variables

    (LO2) Be able to derive and use Maxwell's relations

    (LO3) Calculate the linear and volume thermal expansions of materials

    (LO4) Analyse the expected performance of heat engines, heat pumps and refrigerators

    (LO5) Calculate the heat flow into and work done by a system and how that is constrained by the first law of thermodynamics

    (LO7) Understand the PV and PT diagrams for materials and the phase transitions that occur when changing the state variables for materials

    (LO9) Use the theory of equipartition to relate the structure of molecules to the measured heat capacity

    (LO10) Relate the second law of thermodynamics to the operation of heat engines, heat pumps and refrigerators, particularly the Carnot engine

    (LO11) Understand the kinetic theory of gases and calculate properties of gases including the heat capacity and mean free path

    (LO12) Understand the basis of entropy and relate this to the second law of thermodynamics and calculate entropy changes

    (S1) Problem Solving Skills

  • Wave Phenomena (PHYS103)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of wave phenomena. To highlight the many diverse areas of physics in which an understanding of waves is crucial. To introduce the concepts of interference and diffraction.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module, the should be able to:Demonstrate an understanding of oscillators.

    (LO2) Understand the fundamental principles underlying wave phenomena.

    (LO3) Apply those principles to diverse phenomena.

    (LO4) Understand wave reflection and transmission, superposition of waves.

    (LO5) Solve problems on the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in vacuo and in dielectric materials.

    (LO6) Understand linear and circular polarisation.

    (LO7) Understand inteference and diffraction effects.

    (LO8) Understand lenses and optical instruments.

    (LO9) Apply Fourier techniques and understand their link to diffraction patterns.

    (LO10) Understand the basic principles of lasers

    (S1) Problem solving

  • Foundations of Quantum Physics (PHYS104)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the concepts and the experimental foundations of quantum theory. To carry out simple calculations related to quantum mechanical problem tasks. To show the impact of quantum theory on contemporary science.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding why classical mechanics must have failed to describe the properties of light, and the properties of microspopic systems.

    (LO2) An understanding of why quantum theory is the conceptual framework required to explain the behaviour of the universe.

    (LO3) A basic knowledge on the experimental and theoretical concepts which founded modern physics, i.e. quantum theory needed to explain certain phenomena.

    (LO4) An understanding of the quantum theory of light and the ability to apply energy-momentum conservation in the explanation of phenomena such as the. photo-electric effect and the Compton effect.

    (LO5) An understanding of de Broglie waves and their interpretation.

    (LO6) An ability to explain the experimental evidence for de Broglie waves, for example through the scattering of electrons, X-rays and neutrons.

    (LO7) An understanding of the principles of quantum mechanical measurements and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

    (LO8) An understanding of the identity principle of microscopic particles and the basic idea of quantum (Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein) statistics.

    (LO9) An understanding why quantum theory is the conceptual framework to understand the microscopic properties of the universe.

    (LO10) A basic knowledge of contemporary applications of quantum theory and their impact on our society.

    (LO11) A basic understanding of the Schrodinger equation.

    (LO12) An understanding of de Broglie waves and their statistical interpretation.

    (LO13) An understanding of Bohr's theory of the atom and its application to the H-atom including the concept of principal quantum numbers.

    (S1) Problem solving skills relating to quantum phenomena.

  • Introduction to Computational Physics (PHYS105)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop the ability to break down physical problems into steps amenable to solution using algorithms To develop skills in using computers to perform and run algorithms To introduce techniques for analysing and presenting data To introduce elemenatry Monte Carlo techniques To introduce basic computer algebra To illustrate the insight into physics which can be obtained using computational methods

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to produce algorithms to solve simple physical problems.

    (LO2) Ability to program and use simple algorithms on a computer

    (LO3) Ability to analyse and present physical data

    (LO4) Ability to produce simple Monte Carlo models

    (LO5) Ability to carry out basic symbolic manipulations using a computer

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

  • Practical Physics I (PHYS106)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide a core of essential introductory laboratory methods which overlap and develop from A-Level; to introduce the basis of experimental techniques in physical measurement, the use of computer techniques in analysis, and to provide experience in doing experiments, keeping records and writing reports; to complement the core physics program with experimental examples of material taught in the lecture courses.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An awareness of the importance of accurate experimentation, particularly observation and record keeping.

    (LO2) An ability to plan, execute and report on the results of an investigation using appropriate analysis of the data and associated uncertainties.

    (LO3) An ability to organise their time and meet deadlines.

    (LO4) An understanding of the interaction between theory and experiment, in particular the ties to the material presented in the lecture courses.

    (LO5) Experience of the practical nature of physics.

    (LO6) Developed analytical skills in the analysis of the data

    (LO7) Developed communication skills in the presentation of the investigation in a clear and logical manner

    (LO8) Developed investgative skills in performing the experiment and extracting information from various sources with which to compare the results

    (LO9) Developed the ability to organise their time and meet deadlines

    (LO10) Understand the interaction between theory and experiment, in particular the ties to the material presented in the lecture courses.

    (S1) Practical and technical skill required for physics experimentation and an appreciation of the importance of a systematic approach to experimental measurement.

    (S2) Problem solving skills of a practical nature.

    (S3) Communication skills in the presentation of the investigation in a clear and logical manner.

    (S4) Analytical skills in the analysis of the data.

    (S5) Investgative skills in performing the experiment and extracting information from various sources with which to compare the results.

  • Mathematics for Physicists I (PHYS107)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To provide a foundation for the mathematics required by physical scientists. To assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to use the mathematics developed in the module.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) A good working knowledge of differential and integral calculus

    (LO2) Familiarity with some of the elementary functions common in applied mathematics and science

    (LO3) An introductory knowledge of functions of several variables

    (LO4) Manipulation of complex numbers and use them to solve simple problems involving fractional powers

    (LO5) An introductory knowledge of series

    (LO6) A good rudimentary knowledge of simple problems involving statistics: binomial and Poisson distributions, mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean

    (S1) Problem solving skills

  • Mathematics for Physicists II (PHYS108)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To consolidate and extend the understanding of mathematics required for the physical sciences. To develop the student’s ability to apply the mathematical techniques developed in the module to the understanding of physical problems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to manipulate matrices with confidence and use matrix methods to solve simultaneous linear equations.

    (LO2) Familiarity with methods for solving first and second order differential equations in one variable.

    (LO3) A basic knowledge of vector algebra.

    (LO4) A basic understanding of Fourier series and transforms.

    (LO5) A basic understanding of series methods for the solution of differential equations

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Teamwork

  • Introduction to Nuclear Science (PHYS135)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    This module will provide students with a broad introduction to the physics of nuclear science. It will also provide the students with the physics basis for measurements used in nuclear science.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Basic understanding of the underlying physics properties and ideas that are utilised in nuclear science

    (LO2) Basic knowledge of the physics involved in measurement techniques used in nuclear science

    (LO3) Understanding of the techniques used in measurements in nuclear applications

    (LO4) Ability to solve simple problems in nuclear science

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

Programme Year Two

In year two you will broaden your understanding of Physics, with modules designed to ensure you have mastered the full range of Physics concepts.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Electromagnetism I (PHYS201)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetism, Maxwell's equations, and electromagnetic waves; to introduce differential vector analysis in the context of electromagnetism; to introduce circuit principles and analysis (EMF, Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's rules, RC and RLC circuits); to introduce the formulation fo Maxwell's equations in the presence of dielectric and magnetic materials; to develop the ability of students to apply Maxwell's equations to simple problems involving dielectric and magnetic materials; to develop the concepts of field theories in Physics using electromagnetism as an example; to introduce light as an electromagnetic wave.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a good knowledge of the laws of electromagnetism and an understanding of the practical meaning of Maxwell's equations in integral and differential forms.

    (LO2) Apply differential vector analysis to electromagnetism.

    (LO3) Demonstrate simple knowledge and understanding of how the presence of matter affects electrostatics and magnetostatics, and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

    (LO4) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the laws are altered in the case of non-static electric and magnetic fields and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to the study of electromagnetic phenomena.

    (S3) Mathematical skills applied for the development of deep intuition on electromagnetic phenomena and to the study of physical systems.

  • Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The aims of this module are to introduce the most important and basic concepts in condensed matter physics relating to the different materials we commonly see in the world around us. Condensed matter physics is one of the most active areas of research in modern physics, whose scope is extremely broad. The ultimate aim of this module is to introduce its central ideas and methodology to the students.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will have the knowledge and skills to understand the basic concepts of bonding in solids, establish an understanding of electron configuration in atoms and in the condensed matter in terms of bonding, and relating them to band structure description.

    (LO2) Students will be able to understand how solid structures are described mathematically and how material properties can be predicted.

    (LO3) Students will be able to establish a foundation in basic crystallography, using Bragg's law, and understand the concept of the reciprocal lattice.

    (LO4) Students will understand basic transport properties, both electronic and thermal, in solids.

    (LO5) Students will understand the concept of electron and hole carrier statistics, effective masses and transport in intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors

    (LO6) Students will learn the basics of magnetism, the atomic origin and classical treatment of diamagnetism and paramagnetism, quantization of angular momentum and Hund's rule, and introduced to weak magnetism in solids.

    (LO7) Students will become familiar to the general language of condensed matter physics, key theories and concepts, ultimately enebling them to read and understand research papers.

  • Quantum and Atomic Physics I (PHYS203)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce students to the concepts of quantum theory. To show how Schrodinger's equation is applied to bound states (well potentials, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atoms, multi-electron atoms) and particle flux (scattering) . To show how quantum ideas provide an understanding of atomic structure.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should have an understanding of the reasons why microscopic systems require quantum description and statistical interpretation.

    (LO2) At the end of the module the student should have knowledge of the Schrodinger equation and how it is formulated to describe simple physical systems.

    (LO3) At the end of the module the student should have understanding of the basic technique of using Schrodinger's equation and ability to determine solutions in simple cases.

    (LO4) At the end of the module the student should have understanding of how orbital angular momentum is described in quantum mechanics and why there is a need for spin.

    (LO5) At the end of the module the student should have understanding how the formalism of quantum mechanics describes the structure of atomic hydrogen and, schematically, how more complex atoms are described.

  • Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS204)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce Rutherford and related scattering; to introduce nuclear size, mass and decay modes; to provide some applications and examples of nuclear physics; to introduce particle physics, including interactions, reactions and decay; to show some recent experimental discoveries; to introduce relativistic 4-vectors for applications to collision problems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) A basic understanding of Rutherford, electron on neutron scattering.

    (LO2) An understanding of the basic principles that determine nuclear size, mass and decay modes.

    (LO3) The knowledge of examples and applications of nuclear physics.

    (LO4) An understanding of the basic properties of particles and their interactions

    (LO5) An understanding of conservation laws and their role in particle decays and reactions

    (LO6) A basic understanding of relativistic 4-vectors

    (LO7) A basic understanding of drawing Feynman diagrams. Knowledge of some particle physics results: neutrino physics, measurement of top quark and W masses, structure of the proton

    (LO8) Knowledge of particle physics results: Large hadron collider, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, super-symmetry

  • Computational Physics (PHYS205)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To revise and further develop Python programming skills.
    To develop the ability to devise new and apply existing algorithms to solve physical problems.
    To develop the ability to clearly and efficiently implement algorithms using Python.
    To develop skills in modelling physical situations and problems using computational techniques.
    To develop students' skills in small-group working, including planning and coordinating group work.
    To further develop written and oral communication skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge of basic Python programming techniques.

    (LO2) An appreciation of a range of algorithms appropriate to, and some experience of devising simple algorithms for, the solution of physical problems.

    (LO3) A basic understanding of the requirements for writing efficient and comprehensible Python programs.
    Some experience of working in and managing small groups.

    (LO4) An understanding of how results can be communicated in a clear and interesting manner, on a poster, in a written report and orally.

    (S1) Programming in Python

    (S2) Problem solving

  • Practical Physics II (PHYS206)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    PHYS206 Practical Physics II will provide opportunities for students to develop their experimental and project work. This will include developing skills in experimental design, health and safety, data acquisition, practical and technical skills required for electronics experimentation and recording their experimental process. There will be extended opportunities to compare experimental results with theoretical expectations, interpret experimental uncertainties, use computer software for simulation and data analysis and draw conclusions about the experiment and the physical world around us.
    The module will also provide opportunities to develop skills associated with report writing, team work, communication, time and project management.
    Experiments and electronics work will also help students to understand the physical processes behind them and how to apply programming techniques, control software and electronics in physical and technical applications

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Design and plan an experimental investigation.

    (LO2) Take and record data using a variety of measuring devices and sensors.

    (LO3) Analyse experimental data using computational techniques and interpret the results with consideration of theoretical predictions or models.

    (LO4) Select the appropriate method of uncertainty analysis, apply it to estimate experimental uncertainties and apply an understanding of uncertainty to interpretation of the data.

    (LO5) Construct logical arguments to communicate the results of their work in an appropriate scientific format (e.g. journal paper).

    (LO6) Conduct risk assessment of practical work, minimise risks and record the results of it in an appropriate manner.

    (LO7) Design, plan and undertake a lengthy open-ended group project.

    (S8) Business and customer awareness basic understanding of the key drivers for business success – including the importance of innovation and taking calculated risks – and the need to provide customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty.

    (S9) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations.

    (S10) Communication and collaboration online participating in digital networks for learning and research.

    (S11) Information technology (application of) adopting, adapting and using digital devices, applications and services.

    (S12) Positive attitude/ self-confidence A 'can-do' approach, a readiness to take part and contribute; openness to new ideas and the drive to make these happen.

    (S13) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S14) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others.

    (S15) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning.

    (S16) Self-management readiness to accept responsibility (i.e. leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning.

    (S17) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics.

    (S18) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media.

  • Mathematics for Physicists III (PHYS207)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To re-inforce students' prior knowledge of mathematical techniques To introduce new mathematical techniques for physics modules To enhance students' problem-solving abilities through structured application of these techniques in physics

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should be able to: Have knowledge of a range of mathematical techniques necessary for physics and astrophysics programmes Be able to apply these mathematical techniques in a range of physics and astrophysics programmes

    (S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Reason with numbers/mathematical concepts

    (S2) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

  • Accelerators and Radioisotopes in Medicine (PHYS246)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the students to ionising and non ionising radiation including its origins and production; to introduce the various ways in which radiation interacts with materials; to introduce the different accelerators and isotopes used in medicine and to give examples of their use.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) A basic knowledge of the origins of radiation and its properties.

    (LO2) An understanding of ways in which radiation interacts with materials.

    (LO3) An understanding of how accelerators operate and how isotopes are produced.

    (LO4) Knowledge of applications of the use of accelerators and isotopes in medicine.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

Programme Year Three

The third year comprises a mix of core modules and many optional modules in Physics. You will undertake a research project with a member of staff and one of our partner companies on an aspect of Nuclear Physics.

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • Radiation Physics Advanced Practical (PHYS380)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    • To give further training in laboratory techniques, in the use of computer packages for modelling and analysis, and in the use of modern instruments

    • To develop the students' independent judgement in performing radiation physics experiments

    • To encourage students to research aspects of physics complementary to material met in lectures and tutorials

    • To consolidate the students ability to produce good quality work against realistic deadlines.

    • To introduce the students to writing professional scientific reports in advance of final-year projects.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An awareness of the importance of accurate experimentation, particularly observation and record keeping

    (LO2) An ability to plan, execute and report on the results of an investigation using appropriate analysis of the data and associated uncertainties.

    (LO3) An ability to organise their time and meet deadlines

    (LO4) An understanding of the interaction between theory and experiment, in particular the ties to the material presented in the lecture courses.

    (LO5) Experience of the practical nature of physics

    (LO6) Developed analytical skills in the analysis of the data

    (LO7) Developed communication skills in the presentation of the investigation in a clear and logical manner

    (LO8) Developed investigative skills in performing the experiment and extracting information from various sources with which to compare the results

    (LO9) Developed the ability to organise their time and meet deadlines

    (LO10) Understand the interaction between theory and experiment, in particular the ties to the material presented in the lecture courses.

    (S1) Practical and technical skill required for physics experimentation and an appreciation of the importance of a systematic approach to experimental measurement.

  • Nuclear Science Project (PHYS398)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To give students experience of working independently on an original problem related to nuclear science To give students an opportunity to display the high quality of their work To give students an opportunity to display qualities such as initiative and ingenuity To improve students ability to keep daily records of the work in hand and its outcomes To give students experience of report writing displaying high standards of composition and production To give an opportunity for students to display communication skills

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should have: Experience of participation in planning all aspects of the work Experience researching literature and other sources of relevant information Experience in different aspects of modern medical imaging techniques including Monte Carlo simulations Improved skills and initiative in carrying out investigations Improved ability to organise and manage time Improved skills in making up a diary recording day by day progress of the project Improved skills iin report writing Improved skills in preparing and delivering oral presentations

  • Quantum and Atomic Physics II (PHYS361)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To build on the second year module on Quantum and Atomic Physics.
    To develop the formalism of quantum mechanics.
    To develop an understanding that atoms are quantum systems.
    To enable the student to follow elementary quantum mechanical arguments in the literature

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understanding of the role of wavefunctions, operators, eigenvalue equations, symmetries, compatibility/non-compatibility of observables and perturbation theory in quantum mechanical theory.

    (LO2) An ability to solve straightforward problems - different bound states and perturbing interactions.

    (LO3) Developed knowledge and understanding of the quantum mechanical description of atoms - single particle levels, coupled angular momentum, fine structure, transition selection rules.

    (LO4) Developed a working knowledge of interactions, electron configurations and coupling in atoms.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to quantum systems

  • Electromagnetism II (PHYS370)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    To build on first and second year modules on electricity, magnetism and waves by understanding a range of electromagnetic phenomena in terms of Maxwell's equations; to understand the properties of solutions to the wave equation for electromagnetic fields in free space, in matter (non-dispersive and dispersive dielectrics, and conductors); to understand the behaviour of electromagnetic waves at boundaries; to understand the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in cavities, waveguides and transmission lines; to understand the properties of electric dipole radiation; to introduce an explicity covariant formulation of electromagnetism in special relativity'o further develop students' problem-solving and analytic skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding of the properties of solutions to the wave equation for electromagnetic fields in free space and in matter (non-dispersive and dispersive dielectrics, and conductors).

    (LO2) An understanding of the behaviour of electromagnetic waves at boundaries.

    (LO3) An understanding of the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in cavities, waveguides and transmission lines.

    (LO4) An understanding of the properties of electric dipole radiation.

    (LO5) The ability to explain an explicity covariant formulation of electromagnetism in special relativity.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Numeracy.

  • Statistical Physics (PHYS393)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    • To build on material presented in earlier Thermal Physics and Quantum Mechanics courses
    • To develop the statistical treatment of quantum systems
    • To use theoretical techniques to predict experimental observables
    • To introduce the basic principles governing the behaviour of liquid helium and superconductors in cooling techniques

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understanding of the statistical basis of entropy and temperature

    (LO2) Ability to devise expressions for observables, (heat capacity, magnetisation) from statistical treatment of quantum systems

    (LO3) Understanding of Maxwell Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose Einstein gases

  • Nuclear Physics (PHYS375)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To build on the second year module involving Nuclear Physics; to develop an understanding of the modern view of nuclei, how they are modelled and of nuclear decay processes.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge of evidence for the shell model of nuclei, its development and the successes and failures of the model in explaining nuclear properties.

    (LO2) Knowledge of the collective vibrational and rotational models of nuclei.

    (LO3) Basic knowledge of nuclear decay processes, alpha decay and fission, of gamma-ray transitions and internal conversion.

    (LO4) Knowledge of electromagnetic transitions in nuclei.

    (S1) How to use mathematics to describe the physical world.

    (S2) How to tackle problems in physics and formulate an appropriate solution.

    (S3) How to compare results critically with predictions from theory.

  • Nuclear Power (PHYS376)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    To develop an ability which allows educated and well informed opinions to be formed by the next generation of physicists on a wide range of issues in the context of the future energy needs of man. To describe and understand methods of utilising renewable energy sources such as hydropower, tidal power, wave power, wind power and solar power. To give knowledge and understanding of the design and operation of nuclear reactors To give knowledge and understanding of nuclear fusion as a source of power To give knowledge and understanding relevant to overall safety in the nuclear power industry To describe the origin of environmental radioactivity and understand the effects of radiation on humans

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Learned the fundamental physical principles underlying nuclear fission and fusion reactors

    (LO2) Studied the applications of these principles in the design issues power generation

    (LO3) An appreciation of the role of mathematics in modelling power generation

    (LO4) Learned the fundamental physical principles concerning the origin and consequences of environmental radioactivity

    (LO5) Developed an awareness of the safety issues involved in exposure to radiation

    (LO6) Developed problem solving skills based on the material presented

    (LO7) Developed an appreciation of the problems of supplying the required future energy needs and the scope and issues associated with the different possible methods

Year Three Optional Modules

  • Physics Internship (PHYS309)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Provide students with an insight into the process of scientific research and debate or communicating science in a STEM-related setting different from the University of Liverpool;

    Expose students to new research, cultural and working environments;

    Develop the confidence to work independently and in a team, to effectively and efficiently apply science to attain a STEM-related goal;

    Develop students’ ability to communicate scientific concepts and findings in a variety of formats;

    Develop students' employability skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) to maintain accurate records of experiments or classroom related experiences, and reliable and comprehensive account of any methodologies used

    (LO2) to prepare and deliver oral presentations to high scientific and professional standards that describes the experiences during the internship, the research objectives and the rationale behind the project design.

    (LO3) to write a professional report on the project priorities, the internal and external drivers of the project strategy and the potential impact of the project on the local and wider community.

    (LO4) to analyse and evaluate data, information and experiences and to draw valid conclusions while working in a professional environment.

    (LO5) to identify and articulate their personal and professional transferable skills and connect them to their employability.

  • Computational Modelling (PHYS305)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    • To revise Python programming skills and reinforce object-oriented concepts and methods of a high-level Object-oriented programming language.

    • To apply Python for the computational modelling of physical phenomena and solution of complex physics problems using Monte Carlo techniques and numerical integration.

    • To further develop the ability to efficiently implement algorithms using Python and verify the results.

    • To give students experience of working independently and in small groups on an original problem.

    • To give students an opportunity to display the high quality of their work, initiative and ingenuity.

    • To give students experience of report writing displaying high standards of composition and production.

    • To give an opportunity for students to further develop and display oral communication skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Acquire a deep knowledge of a high level programming language including object-oriented elements.

    (LO2) Gain experience how to apply computational methods to the solution of physics problems, including the set up of a complex model of physical phenomena or experimental situation

    (LO3) Experience in researching literature and other sources of relevant information

    (LO4) Experience in testing model against data from experiment or literature

    (LO5) Improved ability to organise and manage time.

    (LO6) Improved skills in report writing.

    (LO7) Improved skills in explaining project under questioning.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Organisational skills

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) IT skills

  • Particle Physics (PHYS377)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To build on the second year module Nuclear and Particle Physics
    To develop an understanding of the modern view of particles, of their interactions and the Standard Model

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should have: Basic understanding of relativistic kinematics (as applied to collisions, decay processes and cross sections)

    (LO2) Descriptive knowledge of the Standard Model using a non rigorous Feynman diagram approach

    (LO3) Knowledge of the fundamental particles of the Standard Model and the experimental evidence for the Standard Model

    (LO4) Knowledge of conservation laws and discrete symmetries

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Solid State Physics (PHYS363)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To develop concepts introduced in Year 1 and Year 2 modules which relate to solids; to consolidate concepts related to crystal structure; to introduce the concept of reciprocal space and diffraction; to enable the students to apply these concepts to the description of crystals,transport properties and the electronic structure of condensed matter; to illustrate the use of these concepts in scientific research in condensed matter; to introduce various other solids.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Familiarity with the crystalline nature of both perfect and real materials.

    (LO2) An understanding of the fundamental principles of the properties of condensed matter.

    (LO3) An appreciation of the relationship between the real space and the reciprocal space view of the properties of crystalline matter.

    (LO4) An ability to describe the crystal structure and electronic structure of matter

    (LO5) An awareness of current physics research in condensed matter.

    (S1) An ability to describe the crystal structure and electronic structure of matter.

  • Materials Physics and Characterisation (PHYS387)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    • To teach the properties and methods of preparation of a range of materials of scientific and technological importance
    • To develop an understanding of the experimental techniques of materials characterisation
    • To introduce materials such as amorphous solids, liquid crystals and polymers and to develop an understanding of the relationship between structure and physical properties for such materials
    • To illustrate the concepts and principles by reference to examples

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding of the atomic structure in crystalline and amorphous materials

    (LO2) Knowledge of the methods used for preparing single crystals and amorphous materials

    (LO3) Knowledge of the experimental techniques used in materials characterisation

    (LO4) Knowledge of the physical properties of superconducting, liquid crystal and polymer materials

    (LO5) An appreciation of the factors involved in the design of biomaterials

    (S1) Problem solving skills

  • Magnetic Properties of Solids (PHYS399)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    Students will develop an understanding of the phenomena and fundamental mechanisms of magnetism in condensed matter. They will be able to assess and compare the quantum mechanical interactions at play in different solids, and their impact on observable magnetic properties.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Atomic structure basis for magnetic moments.

    (LO2) Definition of Magnetisation, magnetic susceptibility, diamagnetism, paramagnetism

    (LO3) Magnetic moments of ions.

    (LO4) Crystal fields and local environments

    (LO5) Magnetic ordering, M vs T curve.

    (LO6) Types of magnetic order: Ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism, ferrimagnetism.

    (LO7) Quantum origin of magnetism

  • Semiconductor Applications (PHYS389)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To develop the physics concepts describing semiconductors in sufficient details for the purpose of understanding the construction and operation of common semiconductor devices

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should have: Knowledge of the basic theory of p-n junctions Knowledge of the structure and function of a variety of semiconductor devices An overview of semiconductor device manufacturing processes Knowledge of the basic processes involved in the interaction of radiation with matter Understanding the application of semiconductors in Nuclear and Particle physics

  • Statistics for Physics Analysis (PHYS392)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To give a theoretical and practical understanding of the statistical principles involved in the analysis and interpretation of data. To give practice in analysing data by computer program. To show how to write code to solve problems in data analysis.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge of experimental errors and probability distributions

    (LO2) The ability to use statistical methods in data analysis

    (LO3) The ability to apply statistical analysis to data from a range of sources

    (LO4) Using statistical information to determine the validity of a hypothesis or experimental measurement

    (LO5) The ability to write code to analyse data sets

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Digital scholarship participating in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems

    (S4) IT skills

  • Energy Generation and Storage (PHYS372)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The module aims to enable students to understand physical concepts related to key sources of energy generation and to carry out related analysis.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Learned the fundamental physical principles underlying energy production using conventional and renewable energy sources

    (LO2) Studied the applications of these principles in the design issues power generation

    (LO3) An appreciation of the role of mathematics in modelling power generation

    (LO4) Developed problem solving skills based on the material presented

    (LO5) Developed an appreciation of the problems of supplying the required future energy needs and the scope and issues associated with the different possible methods

  • Medical Applications (PHYS384)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the physics principles of radiation therapy and treatment planning; to understand interactions of radiation with biological materials and detectors; to understand the need for modelling in radiobiological applications; to obtain a knowledge of imaging modalities used for diagnosis and treatment verification; to construct a simple model of a radiation therapy application.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To understand the principles of radiotherapy and treatment planning.

    (LO2) To develop a knowledge of radiation transport and the interaction of radiation with biological tissue.

    (LO3) to understand the need for Monte Carlo modelling and beam modelling

    (LO4) to have a knowledge of the principles of common imaging modalities used in medicine

    (LO5) to have a basic understanding of radiobiology

    (LO6) to have experience developing a simple radiotherapy treatment plan

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

  • Planetary Physics (PHYS355)
    Level3
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To provide a background in Geophysics and solar system planetary science towards the understanding of exoplanet system research; to introduce methods of exoplanet detection, and current physical understanding of exoplanet systems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understanding of the principles of physics applied to understanding the interior of the Earth.

    (LO2) Understanding of theories of solar system formation and evolution, including orbital evolution.

    (LO3) Understanding of models of the interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres of planets in the solar system.

    (LO4) Understanding and application of methods of exoplanet detection.

    (LO5) Introduction to planetary study of non-solar system bodies.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Numeracy.

    (S3) IT skills.

  • Physics of Galaxies (PHYS373)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To provide students with a broad overview of these complex yet fundamental systems which interact at one end with the physics of stars and the interstellar medium and at the other with cosmology and the nature of large-scale structures in the Universe; to develop in students an understanding of how the various distinct components in galaxies evolve and interact.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Interpret physically the properties of normal galaxies along the Hubble sequence

    (LO2) Account for the stellar, gas, dust and dark matter content of galaxies

    (LO3) Describe the formation and evolution of galaxies in a cosmological context.

    (LO4) Analyze the structure and dynamics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies, using advanced classical mechanics and Newtonian gravity.

    (LO5) Apply fundamental physics to calculate the dynamical state of groups and clusters of galaxies, their intracluster gas, and their dark matter content.

    (LO6) Describe large-scale structure in the Universe, the nature of the first galaxies, and their implications for dark matter and cosmology.

    (LO7) Identify, summarise and present the content of research papers relevant for the field of galactic astronomy

    (S1) Organisational skills

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Communication skills

  • Relativity and Cosmology (PHYS374)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce the ideas of general relativity and demonstrate its relevance to modern astrophysics; to provide students with a full and rounded introduction to modern observational cosmology; to develop the basic theoretical background required to understand and appreciate the significance of recent results from facilities such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) The ability to explain the relationship between Newtonian gravity and Einstein's General Relativity (GR).

    (LO2) Understanding of the concept of curved space time and knowledge of metrics.

    (LO3) A broad and up-to-date knowledge of the basic ideas, most important discoveries and outstanding problems in modern cosmology.

    (LO4) Knowledge of how simple cosmological models of the universe are constructed.

    (LO5) The ability to calculate physical parameters and make observational predictions for a range of such models.

The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


Teaching and Learning

Our research-led teaching ensures you are taught the latest advances in cutting-edge physics research. Lectures introduce and provide the details of the various areas of physics and related subjects. You will be working in tutorials and problem-solving workshops, which are another crucial element in the learning process, where you put your knowledge into practice. They help you to develop a working knowledge and understanding of physics. All of the lecturers also perform world class research and use this to enhance their teaching.

Most work takes place in small groups with a tutor or in a larger class where staff provide help as needed. Practical work is an integral part of the programmes, and ranges from training in basic laboratory skills in the first two years to a research project in the third or fourth year. You will undertake an extended project on a research topic with a member of staff who will mentor you. By the end of the degree you will be well prepared to tackle problems in any area and present yourself and your work both in writing and in person. In the first two years students take maths modules which provide the support all students need to understand the physics topics.