Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The content of this unit introduces and develops the foundations and interpretations of quantum theory and relativity. Quantum theory explains the world at the smallest scales, while relativity explains the relationships between space, time and matter. Both theories continue to be experimentally verified with extraordinary precision and are central to the ongoing technological revolution that humankind is creating. Despite the phenomenal power of these theories, their predictions are at odds with our everyday experience of the world, and their more profound interpretations are still debated. In this unit, students are introduced to the foundations and interpretations of these theories and a range of applications and physical contexts.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Quantum Computing major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) analyse the concepts and physical principles involved in the foundations of quantum mechanics; (2) communicate ideas, both orally and written, relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics ; (3) communicate ideas, both orally and written, relating to the foundations of relativity ; (4) execute an experiment relevant to physics; (5) analyse the concepts and physical principles involved in the foundations of relativity; and (6) analyse the results of an experiment relevant to physics.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester tests and assignments; (2) laboratory; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Vincent Wallace
Unit rules
Successful completion of
PHYS1021 Applied Physics A or equivalent
PHYS1002 Modern Physics
or PHYS1200 Modern and Frontier Physics
Contact hours
Online recorded lectures: 2 x 45 minutes per week
Laboratory: 5 x 3 hours
Practical Classes: 2-hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.