Information for 3rd Year BSc Physics Students - 2013/14
This document provides information for third year students taking the BSc Physics degree course (F300). It should be read in conjunction with the general teaching documents here.
We hope that you will find this document useful, and it will help you to complete successfully your final year at University. If you consider that there is information which could usefully be added, or if you discover an error, Dr Robinson, who is Director of Studies, would be grateful if you could draw his attention to this.
Although we endeavour to ensure that this document is accurate, you should be aware that the official definition of every degree course is that given in the University of Warwick Course Regulations.
The second year introduced some of the most fundamental ideas of physics. When we try to apply these to explain the phenomena we observe, we nearly always require one more ingredient---approximation. In the third year, we will see that it is the case in nearly all branches of physics.
The type of approximations used to find satisfactory explanations of what we observe often turn out to be similar whether the underlying laws are those of classical mechanics, statistical mechanics or quantum mechanics. Typically, one sets up an idealised model of some phenomenon, solves the equations of the model (often with further approximations) and relates the results back to what is observed experimentally. Sometimes the same model and approximations turn out to be appropriate in very different circumstances. For example, the behaviour of electrons in metals and in white dwarf stars is described by the same model.
Away from the lecture theatre you will spend much of your time in the third year working on your project. Whether your project is experimental, theoretical, computational, or a combination of these, it will provide you with the experience of exploring a particular area of physics in depth, and of working with your supervisor to bring it to a successful conclusion within the permitted time. Through the project report it also serves to further develop your communication skills.
In brief this year's course has been designed with the following aims and objectives.
- To demonstrate how the laws of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and electromagnetism form the basis for explaining phenomena observed in at least some of condensed matter, nuclei, plasmas and stars.
- To provide the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and skills in areas such as business and foreign languages.
- To help students develop their transferable skills.
ObjectivesOn the completion of the third year, you should
- Have a good understanding of a broad range of topics in physics and an in depth knowledge of some topics.
- Be able, with appropriate supervision, to undertake project work in physics.
- Be well-prepared for the next step in your professional lives, whether this involves further training or moving directly into a career.