100-level

PHYS101
Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves, Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics
Description
This is a required course for all Engineering Programmes as well as Physics and Astronomy degrees. PHYS101 builds on NCEA level 3 physics to develop Mechanics, Conservation Laws, Fluids, Waves, Thermal Physics, and Electromagnetism into an essential foundation for science and technology understanding.
Occurrences
Summer Dec 2023
Semester One 2024
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
1) a) PHYS111 or NCEA 14 credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Physics, and b) MATH101 or 14 Credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics (including the standards 'Apply differentiation methods in solving problems (91578)' and 'Apply integration methods in solving problems(91579)), or 2) Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in both Physics and Mathematics, or 3) IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in both Physics and Mathematics, or 4) a) TRNS008 with a B+ or better grade, and b) TRNS017, or 5) approval of the Head of Department based on alternative prior learning.1) a) PHYS111 or NCEA 14 credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Physics, and b) MATH101 or 14 Credits (18 credits strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics (including the standards 'Apply differentiation methods in solving problems (91578)' and 'Apply integration methods in solving problems(91579)), or 2) Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in both Physics and Mathematics, or 3) IB: 4 at HL or 6 at SL in both Physics and Mathematics, or 4) approval of the Head of Department based on alternative prior learning.
Restrictions
PHYS113, PHYS112

PHYS102
Engineering Physics B: Modern Physics and Electromagnetism (2)
Description
An essential course for students advancing in physical sciences and engineering who need a good understanding of electromagnetism and concepts of modern physics. The first section introduces aspects of modern physics such as quantum effects in atoms and materials, radioactivity and nuclear processes. The second section covers the E&M necessary to understand basic circuit theory, magnetic field concepts and finally applications such as power technology and electronics.
Occurrences
Summer Nov 2023
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
PHYS101. These prerequisites may be replaced by other background as approved by Head of Department
Restrictions
PHYS114, PHYS115

ASTR109
The Cosmos: Birth and Evolution
Description
In this "astronomy for poets" course, we take a grand tour of the universe! We will explore how our societies connect to our place in the cosmos, build your own personal awareness of how the Earth and sky relate, and gain an understanding of astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science, beginning with our Solar System and expanding outward to visit exotic stars, remote planets, and distant galaxies. During the journey we will learn about the ways we build this understanding, from voyaging Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa | the Pacific to mapping the structure and origin of the Universe itself. Suitable for inclusion in any course of study.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Semester One 2024 (Distance)
Points
15 points
Restrictions
(1) PHYS109. (2) Students who have been credited with ASTR112 cannot subsequently be credited with ASTR109.

PHYS111
Introductory Physics for Physical Sciences and Engineering
Description
An introductory physics course covering mechanics, oscillations, waves, D.C. circuits, geometrical optics, wave optics, nuclear physics.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Restrictions
Students who have been credited with any of PHYS101, PHYS102, PHYS113 or PHYS114 cannot subsequently be credited with PHYS111.

COSC131
Introduction to Programming for Engineers
Description
Computer programming in a high-level language with special emphasis on numerical computation. This course is required for engineering intermediate and is an alternative to COSC121 as a prerequisite for COSC122 and all 200 level COSC and SENG courses. COSC131 teaches the fundamentals of computer programming using the Python language and can be taken by students who have no previous programming background. Topics include expressions, assignment, selection and iteration, structured data (lists, dictionaries, tuples, arrays), functional decomposition, file processing, numerical computation with numpy, graph plotting with matplotlib and an introduction to object-oriented programming.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
1) MATH101, or 2) NCEA 14 Credits (18 strongly recommended) at level 3 Mathematics (including the standards 'Apply differentiation methods in solving problems (91578)' and 'Apply integration methods in solving problems (91579)'), or 3) Cambridge: D at A level or an A at AS level in Mathematics, or 4) IB: 4 at HL or 5 at SL in Mathematics, or 5) approval of the Head of Department based on alternative prior learning.
Restrictions

200-level

PHYS203
Relativistic and Quantum Physics
Description
Introduction to relativistic mechanics, including space-time transformations, dynamics and collisions of relativistic particles. Introduction to quantum physics, bringing out its applications, including wave-particle duality, one dimensional barriers and wells, electron spin, electron configuration of atoms, lasers, semiconductors and quantum dots.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS102 or (PHYS101 and CHEM211); (2) MATH102 or EMTH118. These prerequisites may be replaced by a high level of achievement in level 3 NCEA Physics and Mathematics with Calculus or other background approved by the Head of Department. RP: MATH103 or EMTH119.
Restrictions
PHYS222

PHYS205
Waves, Optics and Mechanics
Description
In this course we study the physics of wave oscillations and their applications in numerous different physical systems. The geometric theory of image formation is developed and applied to various optical instruments. We will study interference and diffraction problems using Fourier techniques. Its use in optical instruments such as diffraction grating spectrometers, interferometers and lasers is highlighted. The course will also provide a review of 100 level mechanics material and then develop a deeper understanding of mechanics than addressed at 100-level, particularly the motion of rotating bodies and the application of these ideas to real-world systems such as the weather and orbits.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS101; (2) MATH102 or EMTH118. These prerequisites may be replaced by a high level of achievement in level 3 NCEA Physics and Mathematics with Calculus or other background approved by the Head of Department. RP: (1) PHYS102; (2) MATH103 or EMTH119; (3) COSC131 or COSC121
Restrictions
PHYS201, PHYS202

PHYS206
Electromagnetism and Materials
Description
The treatment of electromagnetic forces and potentials in vector form. Development of the fundamental laws of electromagnetism through to the Maxwell equations in integral form. Practical application of electromagnetic theory to various physical situations. Introduction to modern materials starting with their different classifications, their physical structure and their basic electronic properties. Later sections will include discussion of nanomaterials and semiconductors. Frequent reference will be made to the technological relevance of the material as well as the basic physics at its foundation.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS102 or (PHYS101 + CHEM211); (2) MATH102. These prerequisites may be replaced by a high level of achievement in level 3 NCEA Physics and Mathematics with Calculus or other background approved by the Head of Department. RP: MATH103 or EMTH119.
Restrictions
PHYS202, PHYS314

CHEM251
Foundations of Materials Science and Nanotechnology
Description
This course covers foundational topics in materials science and nanotechnology, including molecular symmetry, quantum mechanics, transition metal chemistry and electromagnetic properties of materials.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
Restrictions
CHEM241 and CHEM245

PHYS285
Technical and Professional Skills for Physicists
Description
A laboratory based course in experimental techniques, data acquisition and analysis, scientific writing and career skills for second-year physics/astronomy students.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS101; and (2) MATH102 or EMTH118; and (3) COSC131 or COSC121 or another approved course in computer programming. These prerequisites may be replaced by a high level of achievement in level 3 NCEA Physics and Mathematics with Calculus or other background approved by the Head of Department. RP: (1) PHYS102; and (2) MATH103 or EMTH119.
Restrictions
PHYS281, PHYS282

300-level

PHYS310
Thermal, Statistical and Particle Physics
Description
Development of statistical mechanics from thermodynamic principals. Entropy interpreted from both the thermodynamic and statistical viewpoint. Applications in nuclear and particle physics including radioactivity.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS203; (2) MATH103 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH201
Restrictions
PHYS204, PHYS440

PHYS311
Quantum Mechanics
Description
Development of quantum mechanics from basic postulates, using operator techniques, with application of the formalism to a variety of systems; time-independent perturbation theory.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS203 or (PHYS206 and CHEM251); (2) MATH103 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH201 and MATH203

PHYS313
Advanced Electromagnetism and Materials
Description
The development of the Maxwell equations in differential form. The propagation of electromagnetic waves in free space, dielectrics and conducting media, their behaviour at dielectric interfaces and their production from radiating sources. Advanced topics in modern materials science. Development of the electronic theory of solids leading to band-structure calculations and on to band-structure engineering in quantum architectures. Advanced semiconductor physics including devices in modern opto-electronics.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS206; (2) PHYS203 or CHEM211; (3) MATH103 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH201
Restrictions
PHYS312, PHYS314, PHYS443

PHYS323
Laser Physics and Modern Optics
Description
The aim of this course is to discuss the physics of the atom-radiation interaction, optical materials, laser physics as well as quantum and non-linear optics with particular reference to key topical applications such as femtosecond lasers and non-linear spectroscopy.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
1) PHYS203; (2) PHYS206; (3) MATH103 or MATH109 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: PHYS205, MATH201
Restrictions

PHYS326
Classical Mechanics and Symmetry Principles
Description
The Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics which provide essential preparation for all advanced courses in theoretical physics. Techniques learned have wide use in advanced quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, general relatively, particle physics and statistical mechanics.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS202 or PHYS205; (2) PHYS203; (3) MATH201 RP: MATH202 and MATH203

PHYS330
Environmental and climate modelling
Description
This is a hands-on course in which students will learn the fundamentals of modelling the Earth’s climate system. Using the Python programming language, students will develop parameterisations for simple climate models, and learn how to run more advanced models. Students will learn how models are used to support decision making through geoinformatics and science in the areas of: climate change; air pollution; the ozone layer; numerical weather prediction, and its application in renewable energy and agricultural meteorology. Particular focus will be given to how these issues affect Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Pacific.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(COSC131 or COSC121 or BIOL209) AND (PHYS285 or ENVR201 or ENVR209 or GEOG201)
Restrictions

ASTR332
Theoretical and Observational Cosmology
Description
This course is an account of modern cosmology. It will include a discussion on the large scale homogenous and isotropic nature of the Universe and how the Universe is expanding with time. This will be followed by a brief review of the aspects of General Relativity that we will need in the course. After that, we will discuss the constituents of the Universe and how the expansion of the Universe has changed over time. The apparent accelerating expansion of the Universe and the proposed dark energy explanation for it will also be discussed. The evidence for dark matter and what properties it appears to have will be reviewed. We will use the Boltzmann equation to understand big bang nuclear synthesis and the cosmic microwave background. These are two of the main observational pillars of the big bang model of the Universe. The Boltzmann equation will be used to study a thermal relic model of dark matter. We will then go on to study the inhomogeneity of large scale structure such as galaxies, galaxy clusters and the cosmic web. The anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background will be analysed. We will see how observations of both of these phenomena can allow us to tightly constrain many properties of the Universe. Pre-requisites - additional info: Prior astronomy courses would be useful but are not essential as we will cover any needed subjects during the course.
Occurrences
Semester One 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS205 and PHYS203; and (2) MATH103 or MATH109 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH202
Restrictions
ASTR422, ASTR322

ENVR356
Field-focused Research Methods in Environmental Science
Description
This course links field-based learning and/or data collection with instruction in research methods and tutorials dedicated to working in research teams analysing, processing and interpreting data in the broad subject area of environmental science.
Occurrences
General non-calendar-based 2024
Special non-calendar-based Two 2024
Points
30 points
Prerequisites
Enrolment in the Frontiers Abroad programme and Head of Department approval. RP: Completion of course(s) at home institution in the broader field of Earth Systems Science and Environmental Science and Studies.
Restrictions
GEOL356. This course is not open to non-Frontiers Abroad students

ASTR381
Advanced Experiments in Physics and Astronomy
Description
Execution and write-up of selected laboratory experiments.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS285; (2) 30 points from PHYS201-206 including either PHYS202 or PHYS205). (3) MATH103 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH201
Restrictions

PHYS381
Advanced Experimental Physics and Astronomy
Description
Execution and write-up of selected laboratory experiments.
Occurrences
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) PHYS285; (2) 30 points from PHYS201-206 including either PHYS202 or PHYS205); (3) MATH103 or EMTH119 or MATH201. RP: MATH201
Restrictions

PHYS391
Introductory Physics Research
Description
150 hours of research undertaken with the supervision of an active researcher. To be assessed with an oral presentation 20%, and a short written report 80%. This course may be started at any time with the agreement of the HOD. Note that start and end dates may affect entitlement to Studylink support.
Occurrences
Summer Nov 2023
Semester Two 2024
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) MATH103 or MATH109 or equivalent (2) 44 points from PHYS200 (3) Entry subject to a supervisor approved by the Head of Department, being available

Not Offered Courses in 2024

100-level

PHYS109
The Cosmos: Birth and Evolution
Description
ASTR109 / PHYS 109 will take you on a grand tour of the universe! We will survey a range of topics in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology beginning with the denizens of our solar system and expanding outward to visit exotic stars and distant galaxies. During the journey we will learn about how the universe works and will highlight the key discoveries that have led us to this understanding.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024
For further information see PHYS109 course details
Points
15 points

200-level

PHYS208
Special Topic
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020
For further information see PHYS208 course details
Points
15 points

PHYS209
Special Topic
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020
For further information see PHYS209 course details
Points
15 points

300-level

PHYS319
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Climate Dynamics
Description
Principles of the dynamics of a rotating fluid applied to large-scale motion of the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and climate will be detailed. The first portion of the course will focus on atmospheric thermodynamics and large-scale dynamics in the atmosphere. Details of the global energy balance driving the observed general circulation of the atmosphere and the impacts of variations in atmospheric composition (changes in greenhouse gases) and solar irradiance on this energy balance and climate change will be discussed. The latter section of this course will examine ocean dynamics and their linkages to atmospheric circulations, the El Niño Southern oscillation will be used as an example of atmosphere-ocean linkages in this discussion.
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2015 , 2018 , 2019 , 2021 , 2023
For further information see PHYS319 course details
Points
15 points

PHYS327
Special Topic
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2016 , 2017 , 2018 , 2019 , 2020
For further information see PHYS327 course details
Points
15 points

PHYS328
Special Topic
Occurrences
Not offered 2024, offered in 2018 , 2019 , 2020
For further information see PHYS328 course details
Points
15 points

PHYS391
Introductory Physics Research
Description
150 hours of research undertaken with the supervision of an active researcher. To be assessed with an oral presentation 20%, and a short written report 80%. This course may be started at any time with the agreement of the HOD. Note that start and end dates may affect entitlement to Studylink support.
Occurrences
PHYS391-24S1 (C)
Semester One 2024 - Not offered
For further information see PHYS391 course details
Points
15 points
Prerequisites
(1) MATH103 or MATH109 or equivalent (2) 44 points from PHYS200 (3) Entry subject to a supervisor approved by the Head of Department, being available