PHY-10022 - Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity
Coordinator: Coel Hellier Room: LJ2.04 Tel: +44 1782 7 34243
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This level 4 module builds on A-level physics by taking the familiar subject of mechanics, but integrating it into calculus-based mathematics, thus laying the foundation for physics and astrophysics degrees. Topics include Special Relativity, linear mechanics, rotational mechanics, and gravity. The module develops skills in applying physical principles and mathematical techniques to physical and astrophysical situations.
A mathematics component is included, in which fundamental techniques routinely used in physics are taught and practised. There is also a laboratory component, which involves bench work, computing and communication exercises.

To provide an understanding of mechanics, gravity and special relativity, and to develop the use of mathematics to solve physical problems. To develop the transferable, practical and computational skills that are required by the practising physicist or astrophysicist.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Use of mathematics (including vectors and complex numbers) as the language of physics, and its use in solving physical and astrophysical problems, will be achieved by assessments
Understand basic concepts in classical mechanics and Newtonian gravity, and the principles of special relativity. Demonstration of this understanding by solving physical problems, particularly in astrophysical situations, will be achieved by assessments.
Understanding of mathematical techniques necessary for application to physics, will be achieved by assessments.
Perform practical work and keep accurate accounts of it, including professionally maintained records of purpose, methodology, and results. Communicate the process and results of practical work in formal, written presentations. Enter, manipulate, and present data with the aid of computer tools, will be achieved by assessments.

Study hours

Lectures 24h
Problem classes 6h
Problem sheets 18h
Examination 2h
Maths support classes 5h
Maths problem classes 6h
Maths class test/unseen examination 1h
Laboratory sessions 18h
Laboratory reports 12h
Directed reading/independent study 58h

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Unseen Exam weighted 40%
Two hour unseen written examination
Exam paper has two: Section A - 8 short questions with total marks 32/100; Section B - choice of 3 out of 4 long questions worth 69/100 marks.

2: Class Test weighted 20%
One hour unseen Mathematics examination

3: Laboratory Assessment weighted 20%
Laboratory and Computing Sessions
Continuous assessment of a laboratory diary containing several experiments (weight 30%). Assessment of a formal lab report (weight 60%). Assessment of a computer programming exercises (weight 10%).

4: Problem Sheets weighted 10%
Problem sheets
Three assessed problem sheets.

5: Tutorial weighted 10%
Problem Classes
Tutor-moderated classes in which students complete assigned problems on Maths, Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity, with assistance given as necessary. Assessment is based on weekly attendance and engagement.