- Code PHYS2205
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Physics Education Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Physics
- Areas of interest Policy Studies, Economics, Physics, Science, Engineering
- Academic career UGRD
- Dr Igor Skryabin
- Prof Kenneth Baldwin
- Mode of delivery In Person
Second Semester 2019
See Future Offerings
This second year course is an elective unit that will build on the understanding of physical principles and methods and apply them to quantitative analysis of real-world problems. Case studies will be drawn from energy systems, climate science, communications, defence, sensing/imaging, measurement standards and forensics. Course graduates will be able to use their skills to, for example, fact-check statements in the media by public figures that claim a particular outcome for a physical system. These skills will include understanding scientific method, quantitative reasoning, measurement units, noise / error estimation, sensitivity analysis, risk management assessment and truth validation. There will be lectures by guest experts drawn from government, industry and research institutions who have practical experience in the application of physics to real-world problems and public policy. The course may include site visits, but there is no laboratory component.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Apply the scientific method in unfamiliar contexts
- Analyse physical claims quantitatively using physical principles and methods
- Estimate physical quantities efficiently using 'back-of-the-envelope' techniques, including dimensional arguments
- Apply error and uncertainty estimation and sensitivity analysis to enable risk management
- Use the above skills to validate or criticise ideas and to fact check
- Apply physical principles to analyse a range of practical applications
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
- Assignments and online questions (50%; LO 1-6)
- Oral presentation (20%; LO6)
- Exam (30%; LO 1-6)
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WorkloadThree contact hours per week (with online lecture material), optional weekly tutorial, including site visits.
Requisite and Incompatibility
"Physics and Technology for Future Presidents", Richard A. Muller Princeton University Press (2010)
"Sustainable Energy — without the hot air", David JC MacKay (2007) - downloadable book - http://www.
Assumed KnowledgeAssumed knowledge in mathematics or physics at university entry level
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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