Relativity and Quantum Physics

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Relativity and Quantum Physics

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Astronomy, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MATH 142, 151, PHYS 114

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    PHYS 221 will provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the theory of special relativity, the foundations of quantum mechanics and its application to atoms, nuclear physics and an introduction to the key concepts of elementary particles, general relativity and astrophysics.

    Course learning objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:

    • Describe and apply the key ideas and features of special and general relativity, including the mathematical formalisms arising from Lorentz transformations and visualisations involving spacetime diagrams;
    • Describe key experiments and ideas relating to particle-wave duality as a feature of quantum physics, including the meaning of the quantum wave function and quantum state superposition;
    • Solve the Schrödinger equation for basic types of potentials in one spatial dimension and understand/describe phenomena related to size quantisation/bound states/zeropoint motion, tunnelling/scattering of quantum particles;
    • Describe the Rutherford-Bohr model of atoms and understand how it is rooted in particle-wave duality;
    • Describe the basic properties of elementary particles and fundamental interactions as currently explained by the Standard Model, including ramifications for nuclear structure and cosmology;
    • Demonstrate mastery of mathematical and laboratory skills relevant to the course topics.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.