PHY-10020 - Oscillations and Waves
Coordinator: Daniela Plana Room: LJ1.46 Tel: +44 1782 7 34998
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

In this module, you will study the physical principles and mathematical description of oscillatory and wave phenomena, which find application in many areas of classical and modern physics and astrophysics. For this you will require a firm grasp of the material covered in Level 4 Mechanics, and it sets the stage for the treatment of more advanced topics in optics, and electromagnetism at Levels 5 and 6. As part of the mathematics component, you will study fundamental techniques routinely used and practiced in physics.

To introduce and develop the basic concepts of oscillation and wave theory, which underpin many topics in physics, and the mathematics necessary to achieve this understanding. To develop the transferable, problem solving, mathematical and analytical skills those are required by the practicing physicist or astrophysicist.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Solve the equations of motion for simple harmonic, damped, and forced oscillators. Formulate these equations and understand their physical content in a variety of applications: 1,2,3
Solve first- and second-order linear differential equations. Use these and other mathematics techniques, including series and approximations, to solve physical problems. Use complex numbers and partial differentiation in physics applications: 1,2,3
Understand the mathematical description of travelling and standing waves. Recognize the one-dimensional classical wave equation and solutions to it. Understand the principle of superposition and its relevance to physical phenomena such as standing waves, interference, and diffraction:

Study hours

Lectures: 24 hours
Maths lectures: 10 hours
Maths tutorials: 8 hours
Examination: 2 hours
Maths Class Test/Unseen Exam: 2 hour
Directed Reading/Independent Study: 86 hours Problem Sheets: 18 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Unseen Exam weighted 40%
2-hour unseen written examination
2-hour (100 marks) exam with a degree of choice

2: Class Test weighted 40%
Class Test
Two 1-hour unseen Mathematics examinations

3: Problem Sheets weighted 20%
Problem sheets
Students complete a number of problem sheets. Equivalent to ~1000 words.