- Code PHYS6205
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Physics and Engineering
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Physics
- Areas of interest Policy Studies, Economics, Physics, Science, Engineering
This course builds 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. Students 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.
This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On satisfying the requirements for this course students will be able to:
- Critically analyse physical claims quantitatively using physical principles and methods;
- Evaluate physical quantities efficiently using 'back-of-the-envelope' techniques, including dimensional arguments;
- Use the above skills to make reasoned arguments to validate or criticise ideas and to fact check;
- Apply error and uncertainty estimation and sensitivity analysis to enable risk management;
- Communicate quantitative analysis and reasoned decision making on complex subjects to a diverse audience.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
- Assignments and online questions (50%; LO 1-5)
- Oral presentation (20%; LO5)
- Exam (30%; LO 1-4)
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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.withouthotair.com/
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
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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.