• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Craig Savage
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Physics 2 follows on from Physics 1, PHYS1101.  It is an essential course for any student intending to study physics in later years as it introduces foundational knowledge in the areas of waves and optics, electromagnetism, least action principles, and special relativity. Applications to research, technology, and everyday life are disscussed. The course develops experimental and computational methods as parts of an integrated approach to physics.  Lectures include problem solving activities.
This course together with Physics 1 provide the basis for further study of physics. They underpin the study at second year level of the core physics areas of: quantum mechanics, statistical and thermal physics, electromagnetism, and waves and optics.

Honours Pathway Option

An Honours Pathway option is offered.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements for this course students will:

1. Understand introductory special relativity, waves and optics, thermal physics, and Maxwell's equations for electric and magnetic fields.
2. Be able to apply physics principles to the solution of problems, including complex problems, and to the conduct of experiments.
3. Have a developed understanding of uncertainty in the context of physics, and how to handle it.
4. Have developed laboratory skills including equipment skills, data gathering, record keeping, data analysis, experiment design, and presentation.
5. Have developed computational skills and be able to apply them to solving problems.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment comprises:

Laboratory write-ups (30%; LO 2, 3, 4, 5)

Homework assignments (30%; LO 1, 2, 3, 5)

Lecture and tutorial activities (10%; LO 1, 2, 3)

Final exam (30%;LO1,2,3)

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.


Three lectures per week. Eight  three hour laboratories. One tutorial per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed PHYS1101 and either MATH1013 or MATH115 and have successfully completed or be currently studying MATH1014 or MATH1116.

Prescribed Texts

R. Chaby and B. Sherwood, Matter and Interactions.




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:
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
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1525 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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