Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will have:

  1. a working knowledge of the fundamentals of physics
  2. enhanced problem solving skills
  3. been encouraged in critical thinking in the subject areas
  4. an ability to define and explain some fundamental concepts in physics, and apply those concepts to solving problems.
    • Linear and circular motion
    • Energy and momentum
    • Applications
    • Electric and magnetic fields
    • Oscillatory motion and waves
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this subject:


A final scaled score of 60% or more in secondary year 12 Physics (3A/3B in Australia) or pass in SCI16. A final scaled score of 55% or more in secondary year 12 Calculus Mathematics or pass in MAS120.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject covers the principles of classical physics, which relate to engineering and metallurgy as well as physical, biological and health sciences. Content will include: linear and circular motion, vectors, dynamics of mass and weight, friction, motion in resistive fluids (terminal velocities), energy and energy transfer, conservative and non-conservative forces, potential and forces, momentum and its conservation, collisions, calculations of centres of mass, rotational kinematics, torque and vector products, angular momentum, universal gravitation and planetary motion, fluid pressure, buoyancy, Bernoulli's equation, oscillatory motion, mechanical waves, waves and the wave equation, harmonics and musical instruments, electricity and magnetism, electric field calculations, electric potential and charge distribution, capacitance, dielectric materials, DC circuits, electric power, RC circuits, magnetic fields, forces on a moving charge, cyclotrons and synchrotrons.

Assessment in this subject is designed to facilitate student learning on a continual basis. There are 5 multiple choice tests to help students consolidate their knowledge. Two assignments of a problem solving type help students develop their problem solving skills and one assignment where students write a scientific report based on a small proof-of-concept experiment, develops their experimental design and communication skills. Self-tests on the unit website allow students to practice what they learn, without penalty. The final exam focuses on understanding and problem solving. Students can do more than the minimum amount of work to get a better understanding of the material by working through the questions and problems at the end of each chapter in the textbook.

  • Assignment (28%)
  • Workshops and Test (12%)
  • Invigilated Exam (50%)
  • Laboratory Reports (10%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Textbook information is pending.