KL3004 - Applications of Physics

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to key physics topics through a range of industrial and practical contexts. The contexts will include space technology and astrophysics, medical applications including bioengineering and non-invasive testing, music, renewable energy technologies, geophysics and the history of physics.
The physics topics studied in this module are:
- waves and oscillations including reflection, refraction, polarisation, stationary waves, simple harmonic motion and damping.
- material properties including flow of liquids and viscosity, properties of materials and Young modulus
- particle and nuclear physics including the structure of the atom, radioactive decay, nuclear fusion and fission, luminosity of stars and blackbody radiators.
- nature of light including wave-particle duality, photoelectric effect, photovoltaic cells, absorption and emission spectra, and energy levels

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures and problem solving sessions (some practical), as well as directed and independent learning. The lectures will follow an integrated approach to learning with initial information dissemination, followed by the opportunity to practice the application of knowledge through structured questions and a formative approach to assessment with problems to solve. Seminar sessions will allow you to contextualise further the topics introduced in the lectures. You will also be provided with passages of contemporary text and research papers to read and respond to during seminars. There will also be online problem solving activities (Isaac Physics) which will be completed between lectures. Some sessions will involve group tasks to foster teamwork and enhance your knowledge of the contexts through peer engagement.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During the problem solving seminars, module tutors will provide verbal feedback and comments. Such comments may be generic and applicable to all students, or could be more directed to your individual learning and understanding of the subject. Appropriate use of the eLearning Portal (online platform) is made in the module where the module taught content is provided along with links to both the reading list support, tutorial questions and appropriate web sites providing deeper or further contexts in relation to the topics in the module. You will be additionally supported in this module in the form of Individual contact -- students may visit the office of Lecturers/Lab tutors to ask questions related to the module outside the scheduled contact time.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

Indicative texts are: Storm in a tea cup: The physics of everyday life, H.Czerski, Bantam Press, 2016; Physics, J.Breithaupt, Pagrave, 2015, 4th Ed.

What will I be expected to achieve?

You will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1. Demonstrate the use of physics concepts in an applied context.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO2. Use appropriate physics knowledge to interpret a range of physics problems.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO3. Describe information and ideas in written and oral form.
MLO4. Manage time and resources to complete assignments.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:
There will be 2 summative assessments.

1. CW – Written assignment (50%) as a research report (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3, MLO4) (2000 words max).

2. CW – Written assignment on scientific literature (50%) aimed at assessing the understanding of the content and of the use of physical principles in one or more scientific papers (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3, MLO4) (2000 words max or equivalent limit)

Formative assessment
Verbal formative feedback will be provided in problem solving seminars. This feedback will assist students in advancing their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Online feedback will be provided using Isaac Physics.





Module abstract

Applications of Physics introduces you to a wide range of real-world contexts where physics concepts are key for understanding. The module focuses on waves and oscillations, material properties, particle and nuclear physics and the nature of light. The module further shows how these concepts can be used in a variety of ways to help you in analysing and solving physical problems. Problem solving seminars will allow you to put this into practice, and also introduce some hands-on practical problems solving activities. The module is assessed by means of a written research report assignment and a written paper review assignment, weighting 50% and 50% of the final mark respectively. These assignments will support the development of your subject knowledge and also your ability to present information in written forms. These are key employability skills that are valued by employers.

Course info

UCAS Code F233

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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