• Class Number 8456
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Paul Francis
    • AsPr Cormac Corr
    • Prof Paul Francis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

Physics 1 introduces the fundamentals of university physics, and should be taken by all students planning to major or minor in physics.

The course focuses on using modelling and estimation to figure out the physics of complex real-world situations, on applying the mathematical concepts of vectors and vector fields, and on experimental skills. It is taught in small-group hands-on workshops and laboratories.

Syllabus: Mechanics, point-particle models, contact forces, rigid body models and rotation. Theory and practice of DC circuits and simple AC circuits. Thermal physics and heat transfer. Writing computer programs to numerically model dynamical situations, and to plot and fit data. Measuring and calculating uncertainties, interpreting uncertain data. Vectors and vector fields. Electrostatics, magnetostatics and induction.

Honours Pathway Option (HPO)

More advanced options are available in this course.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Construct and use appropriate physical models for complex, real-world physics problems in the fields of mechanics and thermal physics.
  2. Quickly estimate order-of-magnitude values for a wide range of physical quantities.
  3. Measure and calculate uncertainties, and interpret uncertain data.
  4. Use computer programs to analyse data and to model complex physical systems.Become proficient with vectors and vector fields
  5. Use vectors and vector fields to calculate electric and magnetic fields.
  6. Construct and analyse DC and simple AC circuits

Research-Led Teaching

This course will teach you the practical skills needed to apply your physics knowledge to real-world problems. It uses teaching techniques developed by educational researchers to help you learn as effectively as possible. All lecturers are active researchers and will use many current research examples in their teaching.

Required Resources

You must buy and bring a laboratory notebook. This should be A4 in size. It should have at least a hard back cover so than you can write on it while walking around. It should be bound – not a folder. Otherwise anything will do – it does not need to have graph paper or anything fancy.

In the laboratories you must wear covered shoes (i.e. not sandals), to protect your feet from falling equipment. You do NOT need a lab coat for the physics labs.

We provide full video and written notes, so no textbook is necessary. However, we recommend the free open-source textbook https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/college-physics

There is a textbook from MIT about the Ninja-physics approach – you can find free copies at


Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Weeks 1-7 Mechanics and Thermodynamics Modelling physical systems, contact and tension forces, rotation, angular momentum and moments of inertia, thermodynamics, harmonic oscillator, numerical solutions using Euler's Method and Python. Weekly online lessons and quizzes. Weekly homework
2 Week 8-12 Electricity and Magnetism Circuits, electric and magnetic fields, capacitors and inductors, vectors, Faraday's law. Uncertainties and data analysis. Weekly online lessons and quizzes. Weekly homework
3 Extension If you wish, you can sign up for the optional extension exercises. These can count as an ASE (for PhB students) or an Honours Pathway Option. Additional weekly homework

Tutorial Registration

You must sign up for a practical session. This can be done on Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Weekly Pre-Reading Quiz 10 % 27/07/2020 30/10/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6
Weekly Homework 30 % 27/07/2020 30/10/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6
Written Exam 40 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6
Practical Exam 20 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


You are required to participate in one workshop and one practical each week, unless you have been granted exemption ahead of time due to illness or an unavoidable clash. Both will be run online.


Refer to the examinations timetable and/or wattle for examination times and location.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/07/2020
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Weekly Pre-Reading Quiz

Complete this quiz on Wattle, after you have completed the lessons for that week. You will not be able to access it until you have completed the lessons. It will consist of multiple-choice and numerical questions. Answers will be automatically provided once the deadline has passed.

The date range for these tasks indicates the approximate due date for the first report (lab report, quiz etc], and the approximate return date for the last report. There are weekly quizzes due over the semester. It is intended that the marked quizzes will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 27/07/2020
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Weekly Homework

Each week you will be tested on what you have learned in the workshops and practicals. This test may be an online quiz, or you may need to submit some work online. If you need to submit something, your answers should be uploaded to Turnitin, via Wattle. You can either word process your work or hand-write it and then scan and upload a pdf file. Scanner apps can be found for mobile phones, or scanners used in the library. Your grades and feedback will typically be posted within a week of submission.

The date range for these tasks indicates the approximate due date for the first task, and the approximate return date for the last task. There are weekly tasks over the semester. It is intended that the marked tasks will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Written Exam

A written exam will be held during the examination period after the end of semester. It is an take-home open-book exam, which means that you do it at home, and can use any notes or reference materials.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the mid-semester exam.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Practical Exam

A practical exam will be an open-book take-home exam. It will test you on your ability to analyse data and model physical systems using computers.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable or the course Wattle site to confirm the date, time and location of the mid-semester exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

All work should be submitted electronically.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Tutors will mark the homework and post feedback and comments using TurnItIn. This will typically be done within a week.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Weekly homework cannot normally be resubmitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Paul Francis

Research Interests

Quasars, High Redshift Galaxies, Educational Research

Prof Paul Francis

Monday 16:00 17:00
Monday 16:00 17:00
AsPr Cormac Corr

Research Interests

AsPr Cormac Corr

Prof Paul Francis

Research Interests

Prof Paul Francis

Monday 16:00 17:00
Monday 16:00 17:00

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