• 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 Paul Francis
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

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

Indicative Assessment

  1. Weekly online homework (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Weekly written homework (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. Weekly laboratory write-up (10) [LO 1,3,4,6]
  4. Final written exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,5,6]
  5. Final Laboratory exam (20) [LO 3,4,6]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which will consist of 1 x 3 hour laboratory and 1 x 2 hour workshop per week.
  • Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include listening/viewing the online lectures, preparation for the weekly online lectures, workshops/labs and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed or be currently studying MATH1013 or MATH1115.

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

There is no formal physics prerequisite but preparation is assumed and recommended. Recommended preparation is - NSW: a high standard in 2 unit physics or a multistrand science; ACT: a high standard in physics (major). Students without this level of preparation should take PHYS1001 first. You also need to meet the requirements of the maths co-requisites.




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

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3832 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8456 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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