Core Course Units

PHY101GC2: Practical Physics I

(90 hours of practical)


  • Improve skills in basic measurements; every measurement involves an estimation of errors
  • Assess different types of experimental errors and propose methods to reduce them
  • Plan and execute experiments to extract maximum possible information and report scientifically 

Course Description: 

  • Students have to attend weekly practical sessions each of three hours duration
  • Students will be trained on estimating and minimizing experimental errors
  • On completion of each weekly experiment, students should submit a brief report
  • During each semester, students have to submit at least two full reports on experiments chosen by the lecturer in-charge


Continuous assessment on practical classes and lab reports  20 %
Four full reports   20 %
End of semester practical examinations 40 %
In-course assessment on basic measurements and error analysis  20 %

Recommended Readings:

  • G.L. Squires, Practical Physics (4th edition), Cambridge University Press (2001)
  • Yaakov Kraftmakher, Experiments and Demonstrations in Physics (2nd edition), World Scientific (2014)
  • Paolo Fornasini, The Uncertainty in Physical Measurements: An Introduction to Data Analysis in the Physics Laboratory, Springer (2008)

PHY104GC3: Mechanics, Waves and Vibration

(45 hours of lectures and tutorials)


  • Apply the principles of Newtonian mechanics to a wide variety of problems observed in nature
  • Solve different types of vibratory motions using the basic principles of physics 
  • Analyze different kinds of vibrations and waves




  • Laws of motion, inertial and non-inertial frames of reference, inertial mass, inertial forces, conservation of mass and momentum, work and kinetic energy, conservative forces and potential energy, conservation of total energy, collision of particles.
  • Motion in the centre of mass frame of reference, motion relative to a rotating frame of reference, torque and angular momentum, conservation of angular momentum, rotational motion of rigid bodies, moment of inertia, gyroscopic motion

Fluid Mechanics:

  • Fluid motion, Bernoulli’s theorem, Poiseuille’s law for flow through a capillary tube, Stokes’ law.

Gravitational field:

  • The law of universal gravitation, gravitational mass and the principle of equivalence, motion of planets and satellites, Kepler’s laws, atomic analogue of planetary motion, concept of reduced mass. 


  • Simple harmonic and damped harmonic oscillations, free and forced oscillations, coupled oscillations, normal modes, resonance, oscillation in an LC circuit, relative phases of voltages and currents, phasor diagrams, superposition of oscillations, beats, amplitude modulation.

Complex representation of oscillations:

  • Representation of oscillations in the complex plane, complex current and voltage in resistors, capacitors and inductors, complex impedance, electrical resonance in an LCR circuit, simple filter, bandwidth, mechanical impedance. 


  • Waves on a string, 1-D wave equation, sinusoidal solutions, running and standing waves, the wave-vector, superposition of waves, phase and group velocities, beats, Doppler Effect.



In-course assessments 30%
End of course examination 70%


Recommended Readings:

  • Daniel Kleppner and Robert Kolenkow, An Introduction to Mechanics (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press (2013)
  • David J. Morin, Problems and Solutions in Introductory Mechanics, Create-Space Independent Publishing Platform (2014)
  • H.J. Pain, The Physics of Vibrations and Waves (6th edition), Wiley (2005) 
  • A.P. French, Vibrations and Waves, The MIT Introductory Physics Series, CBS Publishers and Distributors (2003)

PHY105GC3: Electricity, Electromagnetic Fields and Electronics

(45 hours of lectures and tutorials)


  • Develop problem solving skills in electric circuits
  • Summarize basic laws of electromagnetic fields
  • Explain the working principles of electronic components and their applications



Electrical circuits:

  • Voltage, current and charge in circuits, electrical resistance, Kirchhoff’s Laws, resistors in series and parallel, circuits with exponential decays, discharge of a capacitor through a resistor, decay of current through an inductor.

Electromagnetic fields:

  • Coulomb’s Law, electric field, electrostatic potential, Gauss’s Law in electrostatics, capacitance, energy in electrostatics, force on moving charges, magnetic flux density, Ampere’s Law, magnetic flux in circuits, Faraday’s Law, self-inductance, energy in magneto-statics, motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, J.J. Thomson’s experiment.


p-n junctions:

  • Diodes and their characteristics, rectification, smoothing, voltage regulation using Zener diodes, photovoltaic devices, light emitting devices and photodiodes.


  • Junction transistors and their characteristics, some basic transistor circuits, the common emitter, common base and common collector amplifiers, Field Effect Transistors (FET) and their characteristics, FET amplifiers, feedback circuits.

Op-amp and digital circuits:

  • Typical operational amplifiers, the 741 op-amp, functions of op-amps to perform mathematical operations.

Introduction to digital electronics:

  • Boolean algebra, logic gates, combinational circuits, introduction to flip-flops and sequential circuits.


In-course assessments 30%
End of course examination 70%

Recommended Readings:

  • B.I. Bleaney and B. Bleaney, Electricity and Magnetism, Vol 1 (3rd edition), Oxford University Press (2013)
  • I.S. Grant and W.R. Phillips, Electromagnetism (2nd edition), Wiley-Blackwell (1990)
  • J. Millman, C.C. Halkias and S. Jit, Electronic Devices and Circuits (3rd edition), McGraw Hill Education (India) Pvt. Ltd. (2013)
  • M. Morris Mano and Michael D. Ciletti, Digital Design with an Introduction to the Verilog HDL (5th edition), Pearson Education (2013)