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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Life, the Universe and Everything
Module Code PS114
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Robert Brose
Semester 2: Robert Brose
Autumn: Robert Brose
Module TeachersJennifer Gaughran
Robert Brose
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

Life, the Universe and Everything is an introductory module to the astronomy and biomedical sciences streams in our suite of physics degrees. This module will help inform students about the different degree streams available in second and subsequent years.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the motion of the Sun, Moon & planets in the sky
2. Calculate the motion of the plantets in the solar system using Kepler's Laws
3. Describe the composition & nature of the sun and its power source.
4. Quantify the different types of stars and their life cycle.
5. Describe the structure and functions of human body systems
6. Explain the role of physics in the human body, including respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
7. Calculate fluid velocities and pressures within different parts of the body.
8. Discuss energy and energy transfer in the body, including work, temperature and heat, and metabolism.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Lectures on astronomy & biomedical sciences
Tutorial12Tutorials and 2 in class tests
Independent Study89Independent worl
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The Sky
Movement of the Sun, Moon & planets. Ptolemaic & Copernican models. Earth’s orbit, time & eclipses.

The Solar system
Solar system; Sun, terrestrial planets & gas giants, minor bodies & extra solar planets. Kepler’s Laws, gravity, and motion of the planets. Solar constant & habitable zone.

Spectrum, composition and structure of the Sun. Nuclear fusion in the Sun

Life cycle of stars
Types of stars and their luminosity. HR diagram, life cycles of stars, supernovae

Introduction to Human Body
Jargon, Anatomical coordinate systems, Regions of the body.

Fluid Flow and Pressure
The basics of fluid pressure, volume, and viscosity and how they are interrelated. Blood pressure measurement. Blood and air flow in the body.

Cardiovascular System
Pulmonary and Systemic systems. Operation of cardiovascular system and vassals involved. Properties of blood. Blood flow in vessels. Blood flow under different conditions.

Respiratory System
Lung structure. Microphysics of the lung alveoli. Macrophysics of the lung and the breathing process. Breathing under difficult conditions. Energy and work required to breath.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class TestPlanetary motion, solar irradiation and fusion.10%Week 7
In Class TestPhysics of the human body10%Week 10
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Hugh D. Young,Roger A. Freedman: 0, University Physics with Modern Physics in SI Units, 1-292-31473-7
  • Irving P. Herman: 2016, Physics of the Human Body, 2, 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, Springer, 9783319239309
  • Ian Morison: 2008, Introduction to Astronomy & Cosmology, Wiley,
  • Seeley & Tate, McGraw Hill, UK: 2011, Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology,
Other Resources

60581, Lecture notes and lecture recordings on LOOP, 0, PS114 Lecture notes,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
PGEPhysics General Entry
SEBSc Science Education
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)

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