• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Prof Joseph Hope
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This core third year physics course develops the theoretical aspects of physics in the areas of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and special relativity.  It emphasizes the methods and skills required for solving complex, realistic problems in theoretical physics.

The least action formulation of classical mechanics is developed and related to quantum mechanics.  Quantum mechanics focuses on: approximate methods, symmetries, and angular momentum. Special relativity is developed using a geometrical approach, leading to a relativistic treatment of electromagnetism. This course is a prerequisite for PHYS3002 and PHYS3031.  It is required for the theoretical physics major, and is recommended for those intending to do the honours year in Physics.

Honours Pathway Option

Students taking this option will complete an assignment comprising 15% of the total assessment. This replaces that portion of the exam weighting.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements for this course students will:

1. Have an advanced understanding of classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and special relativity.
2. Understand the relationships between these different areas of physics.
3. Be able to apply these principles to the solution of problems, including complex problems.
4. Have good computational skills and be able to apply them to solving problems.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment consists of:

  • Homework assignments (36%; LO 1-4)
  • Projects (20%; LO 1-4)
  • Exam (44%; LO 1-3)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One three hour workshop and a tutorial per week (with online lecture material).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed PHYS 2013 and PHYS2016

Assumed Knowledge

In addition, it is expected that students will have successfully completed PHYS2017 and PHYS2020. However, students taking a combined program who have not studied all of these courses should consult with the Academic Contact to determine whether their prior studies in physics are sufficient.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3276
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2489 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions