- Code PHYS2205
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Physics
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Physics
- Areas of interest Policy Studies, Economics, Physics, Science, Engineering
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:
- 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
- Assignments and online questions (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- Oral presentation (20) [LO 6]
- Exam (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
• Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 3 hour workshop and 1 x 1 hour Tutorial per week. 5 x 3 hour site visits will be scheduled over the semester.
• Approximately 67 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks.
To be determined
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.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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