School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

Faculty of Natural Sciences

For academic year: 2024/25 Last Updated: 16 September 2024

PHY-10020 - Oscillations and Waves

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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.

http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/phy-10020/lists

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: 1,3

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: 1,3

Lectures: 34.5 hours

Maths tutorials: 10 hours

Examination: 2.5 hours

Maths Class Tests: 2 hours (2x1h)

Directed Reading/Independent Study: 83 hours Problem Sheets: 18 hours

Maths tutorials: 10 hours

Examination: 2.5 hours

Maths Class Tests: 2 hours (2x1h)

Directed Reading/Independent Study: 83 hours Problem Sheets: 18 hours

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Unseen written examination

A 2.5-hour exam worth 100 marks consisting of short questions with no degree of choice.

Class Test

Two 1-hour unseen Mathematics examinations

Problem sheets

Students complete a number of problem sheets. Equivalent to ~1000 words.