PHY102 Electricity and Waves (8)

This calculus-based subject gives students a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of static and dynamic electricity, electromagnetism, wave motion and geometric and physical optics.


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

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHY102. 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 Biomedical Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have a basic understanding of the manner in which charged bodies behave in an electric field;
  • understand the nature of the direct electric current and how it is affected by various circuit components;
  • understand the concept of capacitance and the manner in which it is utilised for the storage of energy;
  • understand the physical phenomena of wave motion;
  • understand the concepts of geometrical optics and apply them to simple optical instruments;
  • 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:
  • Charge, Coulombs law, lines of force, electric field, E, flux, Gauss law, electric potential;
    Potential energy;
  • Capacitors and capacitance, energy storage in electric field, parallel plate capacitor, dielectrics;
  • Electromotive force, resistance, resistivity, Ohms law, multiloop circuits, Kirchoffs laws, RC circuits;
  • Magnetic force on electric current, torque on current loop, Hall effect, Amperes laws, lines of magnetic field B, long solenoid, Biot-Savart law;
  • Faradays law of Induction, Lenzs law;
  • Mechanical waves, sound waves, wave equation, energy transmission, Doppler effect, resonance;
  • Huygens principle, laws of reflection and refraction, total internal reflection, spherical mirrors, thin lenses, simple optical instruments;
  • Polarising sheets, polarising by reflection, polarisation by scattering double refraction, Law of Malus;
  • Youngs experiment, phase change on reflection, Michelson interferometer, interference in thin films, single and double slit
  • Fraunhofer diffraction, diffraction grating, crystal diffraction.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHY102 in Session 2 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 %
Assignment 1 electromagnetism
Laboratory reports
Assignment 2 waves and optics

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

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.