PHYS1131 Higher Physics 1A


Semester 1:
Weeks 1-6:     Professor Joe Wolfe
Weeks 7-12:   Professor Alex Hamilton

Semester 2:
Weeks 1-6:     Professor John Webb
Weeks 7-9:     Professor Paul Curmi
Weeks 10-12: Dr. Dennis Stello




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 Higher Physics 1A being the higher of the two levels. While the same content is covered as Physics 1A, Higher Physics 1A features more advanced assessment.
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 syllabus of the course 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 Joe Wolfe

Joe Wolfe

Scientia Professor

Alex Hamilton

Photo of Paul Curmi

Paul Curmi

Photo of Dennis stello
Senior Lecturer and ARC Future Fellow

Dennis Stello

Photo of John Webb

John Webb