PHYSICS 1A and HIGHER PHYSICS 1A (PHYS1121 and PHYS1131)
Resources and information for students in PHYS1131 and PHYS1121. Lecture notes, recordings, multimedia etc. The course is administered via a Moodle site. (Due to an overflow in enrolments and lectures, some students in 1121 are having lectures with 1131. The syllabi are the same.)
We've now covered the Mechanics syllabus. If you need revision, it is approximately the same as the Physclips volume on mechanics. Physclips doesn't do thermal physics (yet) but it does do Waves and Sound and Light.
So next week it's over to Dr. Angstmann, whom you know from lecture 1 and from the Moodle site. I wish you well for the rest of your study and for your careers.
We'll be seeing lots of this picture: the first 15 month's results from the Planck telescope – cold off the CCDs. A few hundred thousand years after the big bang, the wavelengths of the original photons had expanded (with the universe) until very few of them had enough E = hc/λ to ionise hydrogen, so the universe became transparent for the first time, and we can see the hot (dense) and cold regions of that time. The result is slightly surprising. AIP's story here.
Lab classes are on your timetable. Make a period on your timetable for lab preparation.
You need to do the lab safety on-line unit and score at least 9/10 before the first lab class.
You must also do lab pre-work before lab classes. For lab exercises, video introductions are available.
Times and places
The times for your labs, lectures and problem solving classes have been allocated centrally by UNSW Student Central and should be printed on your timetable. For problems with your timetable, see the First Year Office.
The best times to consult with me (Joe Wolfe) are Monday 10 or 2, Tuesday 12, Thursday 10 and 12 and Friday 2, after the lectures. Meet at the SouthEast door of the Burrows Theatre or the Physics Theatre (wherever the class has just finished) and we'll either discuss there, or in the foyer, or the study area or a room t.b.a. for further discussion.
(If these times are inconvenient, there are also the Teaching assistants on duty - see First year site).
Teaching assistants. From week 2, teaching assistants are available for consultation in Room 02, Old Main Building (immediately South of the lab).
Times on the First year site.
Teaching assistants can help you with lab prework and the homework booklet problems, or with questions you have about theory. They can not help you with the current Web Assign quiz questions (as this is an assessment task). If the teaching assistants are very busy we will increase the hours they are available for future weeks. You do not need to book in in advance, just show up with questions.
Questions about the overall administration of the course, including timetables, labs, problem solving classes, should be asked on the
Moodle site. Check that the answer to your question is not on the web page or the noticeboard outside the office before asking.
Important questions about the physics covered in the syllabus will be of general interest and should be asked of your lecturer in person, either in class when the topic arises or at the end of it. If there is no time, you can also discuss them on the 1131-1121 Discussion Forum .
Questions about particular problems on homework sheets will be discussed in the problem solving class, and may also be discussed with one of the Teaching assistants on duty. But first discuss them with other students: if you can work it out together you'll learn more.
Interesting physics questions that fall outside the syllabus may be asked on Physics Questions, a discussion forum set up specially for physics students in 1121/31 or 1221/31. You may also wish to answer questions on the bulletin board or to contribute to the discussion.
Questions about assessment need to be asked in public (ideally on the bulletin board) and not in private. It would be unfair to answer such a question to one student.
Course pack, lab book, homework book. Either download and print from the course Moodle site, or else: Buy the lab notes from the bookshop. Then take your lab book to the First Year Lab, show them the lab notes and they will give you a homework book.
You will need to have regular access to a text book, even if you don't buy one. Yes, good text books are expensive. If you can't afford one, you might consider using the copies on open reserve in the library, or sharing a text book among two or three students. If you can afford it, it will serve for both the first and second sessions physics subjects, will be great background for second year physics and engineering subjects and you will probably use it as a useful reference book for much of a career in science, technology or engineering.
There are also summary slides for Serway and Jewett.
"The Cartoon Guide to Physics" by L. Gonick and A. Huffman is a really good physics book! It's not a text book – no problems, no references, and it's short on detail – but it's a very good presentation and explanation of much of the material in first year physics courses. Although it's out of print, on-line sellers have new or second-hand copies.
How will you know if you are keeping up? What feedback will you get?
Labs are marked as you finish them.
On-line quizzes are marked as you finish them.
On-line tutorials give you feedback and hints while you are doing them.
Homework problems are not marked, but are really good feedback on your understanding, and excellent rehearsals for the end of session test. Make sure you have tried every problem before you go to your problem solving class.
Exam question of the week. Most homework sheets have a question from a past paper testing the material you have done in each week. (Of course you can also do other appropriate questions from other past papers .)
The Preliminary test is an optional test, in the style of the end-of-session test, but based on the material covered in the first two weeks or so. Doing this under simulated exam conditions gives you early feedback on how you would go in an exam. Do this test some time after your week 3. Download Marking scheme for self-test, in .pdf format. Do not download this until you have done the self-test.
A sheet of formulae (mechanics and thermal physics) will be provided in the end-of-session test.
Questions about tests. To ensure fairness, any question about the tests must be answered in front of the whole class, on the course bulletin board. A lecturer cannot answer a question about assessment that you ask in person.
Past papers and solutions
Note that the syllabus changed in 2006 and 2008, so some older questions will be no longer relevant. The midsession tests up to 2009 used written answers and thus are in the style of the current end-of-session test. The 2010 test will be multiple choice, and thus in the style of the fortnightly quizzes. The quiz questions will give you practice for the mid-session test. Past papers and solutions are on the
First Year Office site.
Lecture notes. The notes linked below are provided so that you can make best use of lecture time. They should not be considered as the syllabus, nor are they a substitute for a text book. These will be added as the course progresses. If you print them out and bring them to the lecture, you will be able to follow the lecture without much writing, although you will probably want to add notes of your own.
* In lecture 12, I did some revision problems. Due to an ancient fertility ritual associated with the Northern hemisphere's spring equinox, there was no lecture on Friday 29 March. For the class that meets on Fridays, I did lecture that revision lecture (12) at 8 am, Thursday 28/3.
+ Microphone turned off during the abseiling so there's probably a gap in the recording. Apologies.
++I forgot to put the microphone back on after the last demonstration, so the last several minutes will be faint.
Sketched solutions to homework problems
The solutions will be posted on Moodle after the problem solving classes.
Links to topics closely related to material in the course.
Physclips is a multimedia resource covering all of the mechanics and waves sections of the syllabus.
Links to topics raised in lectures, but outside of our syllabus.