APHYS11123A (HAM)
Physics in Context  Ahupūngao o te Ao
15 Points
Staff
Convenor(s)
Marcus Wilson
4834
EF.3.04
marcus.wilson@waikato.ac.nz

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What this paper is about
This is an introductory paper in physics for students who have not studied much physics or mathematics at NCEA level 2 or 3. It is intended to support a major in other science subjects. Emphasis is placed on describing everyday physics concepts using correct terminology. Examples of physics in action are drawn from many science areas such as biology (e.g. photosynthesis), ocean science (e.g. ocean waves), geology (e.g. seismic effects) and chemistry (e.g. atomic effects). Topics include Newton's laws of motion; energy and heat, electricity and magnetism; vibrations and waves; the structure of matter and the universe. It is a Disciplinary Foundations paper for first year science and will provide opportunities for students to develop skills in scientific reading and information literacy, academic integrity, oral and written communication, numerical calculations and digital literacy.
While maths is kept to a minimum, this paper is not "maths free" and students need to be competent in rearranging equations (e.g. rearrange a = bc/d for c), using scientific notation (e.g. 6.02 times ten to the power 23) and entering large and small numbers into calculators, calculating means, and knowing what is meant by the sine of an angle.
How this paper will be taught
This paper consists of timetabled lecture sessions and laboratory sessions. However, the lecture sessions will be run in practice as a mix of lecture (talking about new material) and tutorial (including opportunities for students to work through problems).
Students will attend one laboratory session a week. The laboratory sessions are drawn from the Investigative Science Learning Environment in which students are asked to formulate their own experiments to test their own hypotheses; such an approach has been proven to lead to student learning in physics.
Please refer to the detailed timetable of events on Moodle for a full description of what activities happen when.
Required Readings
Recommended Readings (These are not required)
Hewitt, P. G. Conceptual Physics. 12th edition, Global edition. Pearson, 2015. This presents physics concepts without relying heavily on mathematics
Etkina, E., Gentile, M. J. and Van Heuvelen, A. College Physics, Pearson, 2012. This has a great presentation – built around the Investigative Science Learning Environment and works well with the laboratories – but its mathematical presentation is more than we expect of students for this paper
Cutnell, J., Johnson, K., Young, D. and Stadler, S., Jnes, H., Collins, M., Daicopoulos, J. & Blankleider, B. Physics, First Australian and New Zealand Edition. Wiley, 2021. This is a new textbook that is comprehensive (covers everything except astrophysics) and has a moderately low mathematics level.
Serway, R. A. and Vuille, C. College Physics, 11th edition, Cengage, 2018. This book is comprehensive and informative but it does use maths that may be beyond the abilities of some students.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:
Assessments
How you will be assessed
Assessment is composed of nine laboratory sessions (30% total), four assignments (5% each), two tests (5% each) and an exam (40%).
The laboratory sessions are assessed through a notebook that the student keeps in the lab and submits at the end of the lab.
The first three assignments are written; the fourth is a presentation done in a small group at the end of trimester.
The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40. The final exam makes up 40% of the overall mark.