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SFY0014 : Foundation Physics A2

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Adrian Oila
  • Lecturer: Dr Tiago Marinheiro
  • 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


Kinematics: 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.
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 ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PiP sessions combined with non-synchronous online.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:008:00Preparation for Assessments
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study170:0070:00Review lecture notes and recommended texts.
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.

Plan B: In case of Covid-19 disruption:

• PiP lectures will switch to non-synchronous and synchronous online learning (delivered via Canvas and Zoom)

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1A60Online test
Computer assessment1M10Online test
Computer assessment1M10Online test
Computer assessment1M10Online test
Computer assessment1M10Online test
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