PHYS1121 Physics 1A


Semester 1:
Weeks 1-6:        Dr. Dimi Culcer and Professor Joe Wolfe
Weeks 7-12:      Dr. Elizabeth Angstmann and Professor Alex Hamilton

Semester 2:
Weeks 1-6:        Dr. Maria Cunningham
Weeks 7-12:      Professor Chris Tinney


Fundamentals of Physics (Extended) 10th Edition, Halliday, Resnick & Walker, Pub. Wiley, ISBN: 9781118730232

Wiley website link to purchase any version of the textbook:

Physics Vol 1, Asia-Pacific Edition, R. Serway, J.Jewett, K. Wilson and K. Wilson, Pub. Cengage Learning, ISBN: 978-0170189309
Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, 8th Edition, Serway & Jewett, Pub. Thomson.

Course Coordinator: 

Dr Elizabeth Angstmann (First Year Director)

Course Description : 

This course provides an introduction to Physics. It is a calculus based course. The course is examined at two levels, with Physics 1A being the lower of the two levels.
Mechanics: particle kinematics in one dimension, motion in two and three dimensions, particle dynamics, work and energy, momentum and collisions.
Thermal physics: temperature, kinetic theory and the ideal gas, heat and the first law of thermodynamics. Waves: oscillations, wave motion, sound waves.

Assumed Knowledge: HSC Physics and Mathematics Extension 1 or equivalent. If you have not reached this level of physics and mathematics you may wish to take PHYS1111 Fundamentals of Physics before enrolling in this course.

The course syllabus is available here

Course Structure: 

6 hours per week: 3 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour problem solving workshop, 1 x 2 hour laboratory period






Quizzes (Moodle quizzes 10% + 2 invigilated quizzes 10% each)


End of Semester Final Examination





Semester(s) Offered: 

Semester 1 and Semester 2
In UNSW3+ (2019) this course will be offered in Terms 1, 2 and 3 (T1, T2 & T3).


MATH1131 or MATH1141 or MATH1151

Additional Information: 

Laboratory Exemption for Repeating Students:
If you are a repeating student you may apply for a laboratory exemption. Your previous lab grade will determine whether you qualify for a laboratory exemption; you need a mark of 15/20 or above.
To apply for laboratory exemption please complete and submit the form online: Lab Exemption form for the Repeating Students.

Photo of Dimitrie Culcer
Senior Lecturer

Dimitrie Culcer

Photo of Joe Wolfe

Joe Wolfe

Photo of Elizabeth Angstmann
Senior Lecturer

Elizabeth Angstmann

Scientia Professor

Alex Hamilton

Photo of Maria Cunningham
Senior Lecturer

Maria Cunningham

Photo of Chris Tinney

Chris Tinney