PHY101 Mechanics and Thermal Physics (8)

This subject is an introduction to physics suitable both as a basis for further studies in this field and for students whose major interest is in other areas. It gives a basic level of training in the topics of classical mechanics, elasticity, fluids and thermodynamics. The approach uses calculus as required.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHY101. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Dentistry and Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles determining the behaviour of bodies which are subjected to forces and/or torques;
  • Be able to appreciate the elastic behaviour of materials;
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles determining the behaviour of fluids;
  • Be able to solve quantitative and numerical problems using the concepts developed in the study;
  • Be able to appreciate the factors operating at the microscopic and macroscopic levels which determine the behaviour of materials and their response to a change in temperature;
  • Be able to conduct experiments which demonstrate some of the concepts developed during the study;
  • Be able to present experimental results in an acceptable manner, indicating the likely sources and magnitudes of any errors involved.


This subject will cover the following topics:

Measurement, vectors, motion equations, projectile motion, uniform circular motion. Newtons Laws of Motion, friction, inertial forces, gravitational forces, work, energy, conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, impulse, collisions; Rotational motion, rotational quantities as vectors, motion equations, relation between linear and angular quantities, torque and Newtons 2nd law, moment of inertia. Angular momentum, conservation of angular momentum, rotational kinetic energy, conservation of energy, work and power, precession; Simple harmonic oscillator, circle of reference, energy diagram, oscillating spring, simple pendulum, angular simple harmonic motion, torsion pendulum, compound pendulum; Hookes law, Youngs modulus, stress and strain, shear molulus, fracture, pressure, density. Archimedes principle, fluid flow, continuity, Bernoullis equation, surface tension; Thermal expansion, ideal gas law, Maxwellian distribution, PV diagrams, Van der Waals equation, internal energy, specific heat, latent heat, conduction, convection, radiation; Isothemal and adiabatic processes, 1st law, molar heat capacity (Cp and Cv), equipartition of energy, heat engines and refrigerators, 2nd law, Carnot cycle and efficiency, entropy.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHY101 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online assignment 1
Practical reports
Online assignment 2
Online assignment 3
Online exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.Complete 8 experimental exercises plus an exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.