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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Distance Learning Physics Foundation Course

Gain an understanding and learn about theoretical applications

  • 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.
  • Start any time.
  • Study from anywhere and at your own pace.

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Learn about the theory and applications of physics

  • Learn about principles of energy and motion.
  • Learn about light - what it is and how it is affected by optics.
  • Learn about radioactivity; the periodic table and forms of dating.
  • Learn about waves, electricity, magnetism, thermodynamics and more.
  • 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


There are 10 lessons in this course as follows:

Lesson 1: Review of Basic Algebra
  • Introduction
  • Equations and formulae
  • Variables
  • Quadratic equations
  • Graphing
  • Geometry
  • Triangles
  • Basic formulae
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Angles and radians
  • Logarithms and exponentials
  • Trigonometry
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
  • Displacement
  • Speed and velocity
  • Acceleration
  • Force
  • Force of gravity
  • Work
  • Power
  • Energy
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
  • Electrostatics
  • Conductors and insulators
  • How to make an electroscope
  • Coulomb's law
  • The electric field
  • Electricity and electric circuits
  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Resistance
  • Power
  • Ohm's law
  • Circuits: series, parallel
  • Magnets
  • Magnetic forces
  • Ferromagnetism
  • Creating magnets
  • Earth's magnetic fields
  • Geomagnetic reversal
  • Electromagnetism
  • Electromagnetism and solenoids
  • Electric motors
  • Magnetic force
  • Right hand rule
  • Inductors
  • 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
  • Fahrenheit
  • Celsius
  • Kelvin
  • Converting between units
  • What is heat
  • Heat transfers: thermal equilibrium
  • Thermal expansion and thermal contraction
Lesson 8: Light and Optics
  • What is light
  • Reflection
  • Refraction
  • Demonstration of refraction
  • Index of refraction
  • Diffraction
  • The electromagnetic spectrum
  • How a rainbow forms
  • What are mirrors
  • Flat mirrors
  • Convex mirrors
  • Concave mirrors
  • Lenses
  • 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.

Quantum mechanics incorporates the idea that moving matter has both particles characteristics and wave characteristics.

Career Opportunities

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.


Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now - or,

If you have any questions or want to know more about the course - use our FREE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact our specialist Science tutors.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Jacinda ColeJacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Check out our eBooks

Aerobic FitnessAerobic exercise is critical for maintaining every aspect of a persons wellbeing. This book shows you the exercise you need to do to keep your lungs, heart and circulatory system fit. Originally published as a printed book by Simon and Schuster. This new edition is improved and available as an ebook. It explains what aerobic fitness is and the exercises you can do to maintain an peak level of aerobic fitness. It is a valuable reference both for fitness professionals, and also for anyone just wanting to improve their own personal fitness.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
Business OperationsA text book for business students, or a guide book for anyone operating a business. Six chapters: Daily Challenges of Running a Business, Managing People, The Law, Fiance, Product Management and Risk Management.
Caring for DogsA book for both students and dog owners. This book has been designed to complement our dog care and pet care courses; but also to provide a sound foundation for choosing the right breed, and caring for a dog whether as a pet, or a working animal. Contents cover Breeds, Creating a healthy home for dogs, legal issues, dog biology, recognising poor health, parasites, illnesses, nutrition, reproduction, dog psychology, behavioural development, training tips, behaviour problems, grooming, working in the dog industry, and more.