PHY216 Modern Physics (8)

Modern Physics is a second level physics subject which contains a foundation of physics necessary to examine the fundamental physical principles of the universe. By exploring historic experiments and utilising theories developed in classical physics, students will make amendments to classical theories and derive theories that comprise modern physics. This is achieved through a study of electromagnetism, relativity, quantum physics and quantum mechanics and the applications to atomic, molecular and nuclear physics as well as particle physics and cosmology. Practical experience is developed through experimentation of quantum processes, developing skills in analysis of data and demonstration of concepts.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to examine classical and modern theories and experimentation; and to establish theories/derive equations within modern physics.
  • be able to utilise, identify and apply theories and equations in modern physics to conceptually/analytically solve problems, obtain values/model results and communicate information to an audience.
  • be able to apply electromagnetism, relativity, quantum physics and quantum mechanics to analyse results of atomic, molecular and nuclear physics as well as particle physics and cosmology.
  • be able to conduct experiments of both classical and modern processes with developed skills in analysis of data to demonstrate and communicate concepts.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Electromagnetic Waves and applications
  • Relativity
  • Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Molecules and Solids
  • Nuclear Physics and Applications
  • Particle Physics and Cosmology

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHY216 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 %
Problem set 1
Practical work and reports
Problem set 2
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school will provide an opportunity to complete a practical component of the subject which is an essential part of physics studies as it develops skills in simple experimental design, use of experimental equipment,  equipment setup (e.g. calibrating equipment, equipment installation, etc.) data acquisition, data analysis and communication of results. This exposure to the experimental side of modern physics will further extend understandings in both the experimental and theoretical nature of modern physics studies.

Special Resources

Travel to and accommodation is required for distance education students attending the compulsory residential school at a CSU campus.
All students are required to have a lab coat, safety glasses and covered footwear for lab based practicals.

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.