• Offered by Department of Quantum Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Andrew Hogg
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course includes an on campus activity/ies. Check timetable for details. Contact course convener if you are unable to travel to Canberra.

“Fluids and Plasmas” is an applied physics course designed to give the students experience in working with, predicting and measuring the behaviour of fluid flows and plasmas. The course begins with an outline of the fluid equations of motion, which lead to solutions for waves in fluids, convection and buoyancy-driven flows. Fluid motion is compared and contrasted with the behaviour of plasma, including single particle motion and the behaviour of particles in electric and magnetic fields. There is a direct correspondence between plasma dynamics and ocean/atmosphere flows on the rotating earth, and the remainder of the course focuses on circulation, waves and geophysical/industrial applications of fluids and plasma. The course is supported throughout by examples from simple fluid systems, plasmas used for research and industry and ocean/atmosphere circulation. There is a laboratory component to this course, in which students will directly measure the behaviour of flow, waves, instabilities and turbulence in fluid systems and plasma.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements for this course students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Understand the dynamics governing rotating, stratified flows and plasma in electromagnetic fields.
  2. Apply the governing equations to predict the behaviour of simple fluid/plasma systems.
  3. Recognise common applications of fluid/plasma dynamics concepts in geophysical, environmental and industrial contexts.
  4. Use laboratory techniques to reveal aspects of fluid/plasma behaviour.
  5. Develop their problem-solving and physical modelling ability for a range of flows.
  6. Develop their ability in technical scientific writing.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment consists of:
  • Assignments (20%; LO1-3, LO5)
  • Laboratory work (40%; LO4, LO6)
  • Exam (40%; LO1-3, LO5)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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 two-hour workshop and a one-hour tutorial per week (with online lecture material), plus 16 hours
laboratory work.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed PHYS2201 and PHYS2016. Incompatible with PHYS3034.



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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
8403 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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