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SFY0014 : Foundation Physics A2

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jerry Hagon
  • Lecturer: Dr Adrian Oila
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the essentials of forces, energy, atomic and nuclear physics at foundation level without a requirement for A level physics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Forces and Fields

Introduction: units, dimensions, scalar and vector quantities, velocity, acceleration.

Forces: momentum, impulse, conservation of momentum, collisions. Newton’s laws. Gravitational and inertial mass.

Energy: work, energy, power, potential energy, conservation of energy.

Moments: centre of mass, centre of gravity.

Circular motion: angular velocity and acceleration, centripetal and centrifugal forces. Rotation about centre of mass, moment of inertia, angular momentum.

Fields: gravitational fields, potential and potential energy in fields. Inverse square law.

Structure of the atom

Atomic physics: Rutherford scattering experiment. The wave/particle nature of light. The photo-electric effect. The photon and atomic structure. The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom. The spectrum of atomic hydrogen. Multi-electron atoms. The Periodic Table. X-rays. X-ray production. Spectra. Absorption. Applications

Nuclear Physics: Atomic number, atomic weight, isotopes. Stability of nuclei.

Natural radioactivity: alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Sources of radiation. Half-life. Equation of radioactive decay.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Physics problems relating to the course are set during the module. Mostly assigned as homework.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion19:009:00Exam Revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Written Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study155:3055:30N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SFY0015Foundation Physics A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The subject material is highly knowledge based and requires lectures to disseminate the material. The problems-solving classes are required to enhance and consolidate the students’ understanding of the material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A90N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
SFY0015Foundation Physics A1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Weekly tests
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is intended to provide a factual knowledge base. A formal written examination is most appropriate in this case and the in course assessment encourages a consistent approach to learning.

Reading Lists