Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Dynamics, Waves and Heat
Academic Year
Semester 1
A Level Physics and Mathematics or equivalent.
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework  30%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Examination  70%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Recall and state fundamental principles of dynamics, waves and thermal physics.

Derive and apply the theory for translational, rotational and oscillatory motion, wave propagation and applications, and thermal physics.

Construct well-defined mathematical equations to express problems in the topics of dynamics, waves and thermal physics, and explain the application of the equations in the specified contexts.

Apply mathematical techniques to solve well-defined numerical problems on dynamics, waves and thermal physics.

Interpret and explain answers to problems in the physical sciences context.

Brief description

The module presents core topics in Physical Sciences degree schemes and their applications. It comprises three main parts. The first part covers translational, rotational and oscillatory motion. The second part introduces waves and the behaviour of light. Thermal physics on macroscopic and atomic scales is considered in the final section.


The aim of the module is to develop the student's understanding of the principles and techniques underlying dynamics, waves and heat and their applications. Emphasis is placed on applying the principles to solve problems with numerical examples provided for the student to practice. The module covers core topics in physical sciences degree schemes and prepares the student for use of the topics in more advanced Part 2 modules.


Introduction to vectors: vector and scalar quantities; resolving vectors; scalar and vector products
Translational and circular motion: kinematics; Newton's laws of motion; work, energy and power; collisions
Rotational motion of a solid: moment of inertia; parallels with translational motion
Oscillatory motion: simple harmonic motion; damped, forced oscillatory motion

Travelling waves
Wave phenomena: superposition of waves; Doppler effect
Nature of light: geometrical optics and wave nature
Dispersion; interference; diffraction
Applications and limits for optical instruments

Zeroth Law of thermodynamics: temperature scales
Thermal expansion of solids
Heat capacity and latent heat
Ideal gas: state variables
First law of thermodynamics: thermal equilibrium; internal energy; heat; work
Kinetic theory of gases: Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Creative Problem Solving Problem solving skills are developed throughout the module and are assessed in assignments and the semester examination.
Digital capability Students are expected to research topics within the module through the internet.
Professional communication Clear presentation of work by the students in courseworks and the semester examination develop written communication skills.
Subject Specific Skills Dynamics, waves and thermal physics are core topics in Physics degree schemes. Students are expected to gain understanding of these topics.


This module is at CQFW Level 4