Major Overview

Description

Physics examines the world around us at the most fundamental level, from the origin and fate of the universe, to the behaviour of matter on subatomic length scales—and everything in between. The overarching objective of the Physics major at UWA is to provide students with access to the frontiers of modern physics via an emphasis on essential mathematical skills. You apply the key pillars of relativity and quantum physics to atomic, molecular, nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics, photonics and astrophysics. You understand the role of physics as the driving force behind many advanced technologies, from radar to lasers, from GPS to quantum computers and MRI and PET scanners. The choice of Western Australia as the site for part of the Square Kilometre Array makes the Physics major an exciting prospect.

Outcomes

Students are able to (1) develop increasing levels of conceptual understanding of the physical principles which underpin a wide range of applications; (2) develop and apply increasing levels of critical thinking skills in a range of physical situations; (3) develop and apply problem identification, exploration and solution skills in physical situations that range from simple to complex; (4) apply increasing levels of appropriate mathematical sophistication in the expression and communication of physical concepts; (5) develop in-depth understanding of the physical principles of measurement, experimental technique, quantitative analysis and data analysis; and (6) develop and demonstrate skills relevant to the communication of physics concepts including writing, oral presentations, critical information literacy skills and interpersonal skills.

Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to Broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so if this suits your aspirations. Over the next few months you will find here some broadening suggestions related to your degree-specific major. While we know that many students value guidance of this sort, these are only suggestions and students should not lose sight of the opportunity to explore that is afforded by your Broadening Choices. Advice can also be sought from your Allocated Student Advising Office.

Prerequisites
(Mathematics Specialist ATAR or Mathematics Methods ATAR with an additional mathematics units taken in the first year) and (Physics ATAR or an additional physics bridging unit taken in the first year). Recommended subjects: Mathematics Specialist ATAR, Mathematics Methods ATAR and Physics ATAR.
Incompatibilities

MJD-FRODM Frontier Physics

Courses

Physics can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:

Units

Key to availability of units:
S1
Semester 1
S2
Semester 2

Level 1

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (30 points):

Students taking the Physics major in conjunction with Engineering Science substitute CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python with CITS2002 System Programming or CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation.

Students taking the Physics major in conjunction with Engineering Science substitute CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python with CITS2002 System Programming or CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation.

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python
Prerequisites
Mathematics Applications ATAR
or MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals or equivalent
Incompatibility
CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation
S1, S2 MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus
Prerequisites
Mathematics Specialist ATAR
or MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist or equivalent
S1, S2 MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods
Prerequisites
Mathematics Specialist ATAR
or MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist or equivalent
S1, S2 PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Prerequisites
Physics ATAR
or PHYS1030 Physics Bridging Unit
and
Mathematics Methods ATAR
or MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
Co-requisites
MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist
Incompatibility
PHYS1100 Classical and Frontier Physics
S1, S2 PHYS1002 Modern Physics
Prerequisites
PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
Incompatibility
PHYS1200 Modern and Frontier Physics
Bridging units

If required, students are advised to take bridging units in their first year of study.
Students without Mathematics Specialist ATAR or equivalent or higher take MATH1722.
Students without ATAR Physics or equivalent or higher take PHYS1030.

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist
Prerequisites
Mathematics Methods ATAR
or MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
or
Mathematics Specialist ATAR [with a scaled score of less than 50] or equivalent
Incompatibility
Mathematics Specialist ATAR [with a scaled score of 50 or greater] or Equivalent or higher
S1, S2 PHYS1030 Physics Bridging Unit
Prerequisites
Mathematics Methods ATAR
or MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
or
Mathematics Specialist ATAR
or MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist
Incompatibility
a scaled score greater than
or equal to 50 per cent in Physics ATAR or equivalent
or PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
or PHYS1002 Modern Physics
or PHYS1100 Classical and Frontier Physics
or PHYS1200 Modern and Frontier Physics

Level 2

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (18 points):

Students taking the Physics major in conjunction with Engineering Science substitute MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications with MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods.

Students taking the Physics major in conjunction with Engineering Science substitute MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications with MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods.

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
Prerequisites
MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus
Co-requisites
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods
Incompatibility
MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications
and GENG4407 Advanced Engineering Mathematics
S1 PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism
Prerequisites
PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
or PHYS1100 Classical and Frontier Physics
and
PHYS1002 Modern Physics
or PHYS1200 Modern and Frontier Physics
and MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus
Co-requisites
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods
or a Level 2 Mathematics major unit
S2 PHYS2002 Many Particle Systems
Prerequisites
PHYS1001 Physics for Scientists and Engineers
or PHYS1100 Classical and Frontier Physics
and
PHYS1002 Modern Physics
or PHYS1200 Modern and Frontier Physics
and
MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus
or MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods

Level 3

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (12 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 PHYS3001 Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics
Prerequisites
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism and
MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
or or MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications
S2 PHYS3002 Electrodynamics and Relativity
Prerequisites
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism
and PHYS2002 Many Particle Systems and
MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
or MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications or equivalent
Incompatibility
PHYS3100 Electrodynamics, Special and General Relativity
Degree-specific major units

Take unit(s) to the value of 12 points:

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 PHYS3003 Astrophysics and Space Science
Prerequisites
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism
and PHYS2002 Many Particle Systems and
MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
or MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications or equivalent
Incompatibility
PHYS2100 Stellar Astrophysics and Frontier Astronomy
S1 PHYS3005 Quantum Computation
Prerequisites
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods or equivalent
and PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism
Incompatibility
PHYS4021 Frontiers in Quantum Computation
S2 PHYS3011 Mathematical Physics
Prerequisites
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism and
MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
or MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications or equivalent
Co-requisites
PHYS2002 The Physics of Particles
S2 PHYS3012 Topics in Contemporary Physics
Prerequisites
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism
and PHYS2002 The Physics of Particles
and
MATH2501 Advanced Mathematical Methods
or MATH3023 Advanced Mathematics Applications