Learn about the theory and applications of physics
- Start any time.
- Study from anywhere and at your own pace.
- Course Duration: 100 hours.
Develop a fundamental understanding of physics, as a foundation to applying theoretical physics in any world situations, from engineering and environmental management to rural industries and health sciences
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
There are 10 lessons in this course as follows:
Lesson 1: Review of Basic Algebra
- Equations and formulae.
- Quadratic equations.
- Basic formulae.
- Angles and radians.
- Logarithms and exponentials.
Lesson 2: Introduction – Scope & Nature of Physics
- Observing, measuring, modelling, predicting.
- Units of measurement.
- Converting between units.
- Precision of measurements and identifying significant digits.
Lesson 3: Forces and Mechanics
- Physics and motion.
- Speed and velocity.
- Force of gravity.
Lesson 4: Waves
- What are waves.
- Properties of waves: longitudinal waves, transverse waves.
- Wave terminology.
- Relationship of frequency or period.
- Wave speed.
- Electromagnetic radiation and waves.
- Sound waves.
- Sound spectrum.
- Measuring sound.
- Speed of sound.
- Doppler effect.
- Standing waves and resonance.
Lesson 5: Electricity and Magnetism
- Conductors and insulators.
- How to make an electroscope.
- Coulomb's law.
- The electric field.
- Electricity and electric circuits.
- Ohm's law.
- Circuits: series, parallel.
- Magnetic forces.
- Creating magnets.
- Earth's magnetic fields.
- Geomagnetic reversal.
- Electromagnetism and solenoids.
- Electric motors.
- Magnetic force.
- Right hand rule.
- Lenz's law.
Lesson 6: Energy and Work
- What is energy.
- Mechanical energy.
- Potential energy.
- Kinetic energy.
- Conservation of total energy and mechanical energy.
- Converting kinetic energy into potential energy.
- Work and force.
- Conservative and non conservative forces.
- Conservation of mass energy.
Lesson 7: Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
- Temperature measurement units.
- Converting between units.
- What is heat.
- Heat transfers: thermal equilibrium.
- Thermal expansion and thermal contraction.
Lesson 8: Light and Optics
- What is light.
- Demonstration of refraction.
- Index of refraction.
- The electromagnetic spectrum.
- How a rainbow forms.
- What are mirrors.
- Flat mirrors.
- Convex mirrors.
- Concave mirrors.
- Converging lenses.
- Diverging lenses.
Lesson 9: Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity
- Structure of matter.
- The periodic table.
- What is radioactivity.
- Alpha radiation.
- Beta radiation.
- Gamma radiation.
- Radioactivity applications.
- Nuclear medicine -diagnostic and therapy.
- Radioactive tracers in agriculture.
- Food irradiation.
- Archaeological and geological dating.
- Radiocarbon dating.
- Half life.
- Power generation.
- Radiation effects and injuries.
- Cancer and burns caused by radiation.
Lesson 10: Astronomy, Cosmology and Astrophysics
- What is astronomy.
- The pioneers of astronomy.
- The branches of astronomy.
- Sub fields of astronomy.
- Astronomy in our daily life.
- The most important discoveries in astronomy.
- What is Cosmology.
- How did cosmology evolve.
- Hubble's law.
- Cosmological principle.
- Calculate the age of the universe using the Hubble constant.
- What is astrophysics.
Understanding the Physical World
If you look at all the objects around you at any point in time (tables, trees, chairs, houses, stones, water, oxygen, etc.) you can generally classify all objects as either solids, liquids or gases. But have you ever thought about the smallest building block of those objects?
An atom is the building block of matter, and this means that all matter is made of atoms. Scientists have undergone extensive research to determine the composition and structure of the atom, and back in 1911, a British scientist called Ernest Rutherford introduced the “Solar System Model” of the atom because his studies has shown that an atom is composed of a central nucleus containing positive charges, with negative charges orbiting in a cloud around the nucleus. The positive charges are called protons and the negative charges are called electrons.
It was later discovered that this model contains some deficiencies and scientists found out that the nucleus also contains neutral charges (called neutrons) inside the nucleus. The protons and neutrons move within the nucleus of the atom, and would never leave that nucleus. Since the Rutherford model was similar to the Bohr model, the new atom representation was later referred to as the Rutherford-Bohr model.
So basically, an atom is made of a nucleus surrounded by an outer cloud where electrons keep orbiting around the nucleus at a very high speed. The reason why this model was known as the “Solar System Model” is because in the solar system, the planets are also attracted to the sun which is in the centre of the solar system and they orbit around the sun in a similar way to the electrons.
An atom has a net charge of 0 (zero), because it contains the same number of protons in its nucleus and electrons orbiting its cloud. This means that an atom has an equal number of positive and negative charges which cancel out and yield a net charge of zero.
The charge of a single electron is -qe, it is equivalent to the elementary charge (e) (this is the charge carried by a single proton) but with a negative sign. Therefore the charge of a single electron is 01.602 x 10-19 C.
With the advent of quantum mechanics, the model of the Rutherford-Bohr model was replaced by the electron cloud model devised by Schrodinger in 1926.
Quantum mechanics incorporates the idea that moving matter has both particles characteristics and wave characteristics.
Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.
Success in a career depends upon many things.
Learning about physics is a fundamental starting point for so many different types of work: far more than just training for scientists!
Anyone who builds, moves, makes or uses any tool, materials or equipment; will benefit greatly from a better understanding of physics.
A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.
If you want to do the best that you can in anything, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.
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