This module advances the material you will have learnt in Modules 1-4 and allows you to explore the concepts and significance of electric fields, electromagnetism, capacitors and nuclear and particle physics. We then finish by combining concepts learned and applying them to medical physics.
We will be focussing on the following areas – please click on the relevant one for more information:
This section provides knowledge and understanding of Coulomb’s law, uniform electric fields, electric potential and energy. You will also study how an electric field influences the motion of charged particles placed within it.
This section provides knowledge and understanding of magnetic fields, motion of charged particles in magnetic fields, Lenz’s law and Faraday’s law. The application of Faraday’s law may be used to demonstrate how science has benefitted society with important devices such as generators and transformers. Transformers are used in the transmission of electrical energy using the national grid and are an integral part of many electrical devices in our homes. The application of Lenz’s law allows discussion of the use of scientific knowledge to present a scientific argument.
This section introduces the basic properties of capacitors and how they are used in electrical circuits. The use of capacitors as a source of electrical energy is then developed. This section introduces the mathematics of exponential decay, which is also required for the decay of radioactive nuclei in the next module. It also provides a knowledge and understanding of capacitors and their exponential decay rate. A varied use of capacitors gives plenty of opportunities for the consideration of their uses in many practical applications.
Nuclear and Particle Physics
This section provides knowledge and understanding of the atom, nucleus, fundamental particles, radioactivity, fission and fusion. Nuclear power stations provide a significant fraction of the energy needs of many countries. They are expensive; governments have to make difficult decisions when building new ones. The building of nuclear power stations can be used to evaluate the benefits and risks to society. Ethical, environmental and decision making issues will also be discussed.
This section provides knowledge and understanding of X-rays, CAT scans, PET scans and ultrasound scans. It will help show how the developments in medical imaging have led to a number of valuable non-invasive techniques used in hospitals. Not all hospitals in this country are equipped with complex scanners. You will have the chance to discuss the ethical issues in the treatment of humans and the ways in which society uses science to inform decision making.