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Honours 2019

From 2019, the Physics Honours program is available to be studied full time and part time, and students can commence in either Term 1 or Term 3. As all the coursework will be offered in Terms 1 and 2 only, with Term 3 devoted to research, where possible, it is advisable to commence in Term 1.

In addition to 24 UOC of coursework, students will complete one full-year research project, under the supervision of an academic within the School. Projects are offered in all areas of research in the School: Astrophysics; Biophysics; Condensed Matter Physics; Music Acoustics and Theoretical Physics. Projects are also offered by academics in the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. 

Please see below structure for Full time Enrolment:

Term 1
PHYS4141 Quantum Mechanics (Honours) (6UOC)
PHYS4142 Statistical Physics (Honours) (6UOC)
PHYS4144 Physics Honours Research A (6UOC)
Term 2
PHYS4143 Topics in Contemporary Physics (12 UOC)
PHYS4145 Physics Honours Research B (6UOC)
Term 3
PHYS4146 Physics Honours Research C (12 UOC)


Term 1 Honours courses:

  • Quantum Mechanics (6 UOC)

This advanced Quantum Mechanics course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation needed to understand relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, the standard model, and quantum information and computation. Topics include: The spin-statistics relationship; second quantisation; angular momentum; the density matrix; relaxation and decoherence; the Klein-Gordon equation; the Dirac equation; second quantisation of the Dirac field.

  • Statistical Physics (6 UOC)

In this Honours course, students will be introduced to concepts and methods in advanced statistical physics which will allow them to understand a wide range of effects encountered in many-body systems.  The course will cover the subjects of mean field theory, phase transitions, critical phenomena, the physics of non-equilibrium processes as well as a selection of more specialized topics.


Term 2 Honours courses:

  • Topics in Contemporary Physics (12 UOC)

Students will take two of the four lecture modules offered in general relativity; quantum field theory; astrophysics; and quantum matter, information and computing.

  1. Quantum Matter, Information and Computing will introduce students to quantum computing, the physics of superconducting devices, the Quantum Hall and other topological effects in materials, and the basics of Fermi liquid theory. Advanced topics will include Andreev scattering at semiconductor-superconductor interfaces and Majorana fermions, fractional quantum Hall effect, graphene and the two-dimensional Dirac equation.
  1. The Advanced Astrophysics module develops in-depth knowledge of topics in modern Astrophysics and equips students with a modern toolset to engage in cutting-edge research.  Students obtain a core understanding of the physics of relevant equations and develop fundamental physics intuition.  Topics include: radiative transfer; exoplanets; asteroseismology; interstellar medium and star formation; galaxy formation and evolution; cosmology; time-domain astrophysics; statistical techniques.
  1. Quantum field theory is an important tool in many branches of theoretical physics.  In fundamental physics, the QFT framework combines special relativity and quantum mechanics to explain the subatomic structure of matter and the physics of the early universe.   In condensed matter physics, it provides a quantum description of many-body systems.  This first course in QFT comprises an introduction to classical field theory, the Euler-Lagrange equations and Noether’s theorem, the Dirac and Klein-Gordon equations, the quantisation of free scalar, vector and spinor fields; and a selection of topics drawn from covariant perturbation theory, the S-matrix and Feynman diagrams; the computation of elementary processes in quantum electrodynamics; field theory approach to phase transitions; dimensional reduction in classical criticality;  critical indexes in low-dimensional systems; non-linear sigma-model and topological solutions.
  1. The General Theory of Relativity is Einstein's geometric theory of gravitation that unifies the Special Theory of Relativity and Newton’s law of gravitation.  This first course in General Relativity will provide an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry, Einstein’s equation; spherically symmetric solutions of Einstein’s equations (Schwarzschild solution), the weak field limit; Gravitational collapse, black holes; linearised gravity, gravitational waves and their production and observation; Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker cosmology, the standard hot Big Bang model.