BEng/MEng Mechanical Engineering with an Integrated Foundation Year / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Waves and Particles Phys 3

Course unit fact file
Unit code FOUN10072
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


An introduction to oscillations, waves, atomic and nuclear Physics  


The aim is to introduce students to oscillations, waves, atomic and nuclear Physics.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course unit a student will be able to: 

  • describe the fundamental properties of a system in simple harmonic oscillation 

  • represent sinusoidal travelling and standing waves graphically and in equation form 

  • explain harmonics and resonance, including their influence on the pitch and timbre of sound 

  • relate the intensity of a uniform wavefront to emitted and received power 

  • predict how wave propagation is affected by interactions with matter (reflection, refraction or diffraction) 

  • discuss the origins and significance of radiation from across the electromagnetic spectrum 

  • with reference to both electromagnetic and matter waves, explain the evidence for wave-particle duality 

  • describe radioactive decay in terms of the fundamental processes and decay parameters 

  • use mass-energy equivalence to calculate the energy of simple nuclear reactions 

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, tutorials, drop-in sessions, private study. 

Knowledge and understanding


Intellectual skills


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Written assignment (inc essay) 20%

Feedback methods

  • ​​​​​​Formative feedback will be given during lectures, tutorials and drop-in sessions. Targeted feedback will be given following coursework assessments. Summative and formative feedback will be given following assessments, including the final exam (exam script viewing is encouraged).


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 24
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 63

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Sly Unit coordinator

Additional notes


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