DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Waves/Light/Modern Physics (UL)
Module Code PS471L
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eilish McLoughlin
Semester 2: Eilish McLoughlin
Autumn: Eilish McLoughlin
Module TeachersEilish McLoughlin
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

To introduce the student to general wave motion, optics and acoustics and to provide the student with a general introduction to special relativity and to atomic and nuclear physics.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the physical processes that underlie wave motion, optics, acoustics, special relativity and atomic and nuclear physics.
2. Describe the physical basis and experimental observations of wave motion, optics, acoustics, special relativity and atomic and nuclear physics.
3. Derive relevant equations describing wave motion, optics, acoustics, special relativity and atomic and nuclear physics from basic laws and principles.
4. Solve numerical problems, from information provided, on the topics covered.
5. Discuss the importance of wave motion, optics, acoustics, special relativity and atomic and nuclear physics in applied physics.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hours of asychronous lectures per week accessed as pre-recorded videos
Online activity242 hours of scheduled synchronous online activities per week
Tutorial24Student learning support facilitated through small-group tutorials with flexible provision.
Fieldwork53Student self directed learning
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

Oscillations and Waves
Oscillations and simple harmonic motion: transverse and longitudinal waves, superposition, speed, reflection, harmonic waves.

sound waves, sound intensity, Doppler effect.

EM Spectrum, Sources of light, Geometrical optics; reflection, refraction, dispersion, achromatic optics; Physical optics; interference,diffraction, diffraction gratings, polarisation

Optical systems
the microscope, the telescope, the eye.

Special Relativity
Einstein's Postulates, time dilation, length contraction, the Lorentz Transformation, relativistic momentum and energy conservation.

Classical models, Planck's quantum hypothesis, the Bohr atom, The photoelectric effect; quantized energy; the de Broglie wavelength.

The nucleus
nucleons; isotopes; nuclear structure; binding energy. Radiation: X rays, alpa, beta and gamma radiation, the law of radioactive decay. fission and fusion; nuclear reactors. Detection, dosage.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activitySolve physics problem based on mathematical/quantitative aspects of module concepts.100%As required
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 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Young and Freedman: 2020, University Physics with Modern Physics,, 15 Ed.,,, https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/Young-Modified-Mastering-Physics-with-Pearson-e-Text-Standalone- Access-Card-for-University-Physics-with-Modern-Physics-15th-Edition/PGM2485469.html,
  • Eugenia Etkina, Gorazd Planinsic and Alan Van Heuvelen: 2019, College Physics: Explore and Apply,, 2nd Ed. [ISBN: 978- 01346018],
  • Raymond A. Serway and John W. Jewett: 2007, Physics for Scientists and Engineers 7th Edition, Brooks Cole,
Other Resources

0, Simulations, 0, Phet simulations, https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations /,
Programme or List of Programmes
PDITPProfessional Diploma in Teaching Physics
SMPSCSingle Module Prog Science and Health

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement