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Physics Honours Programme (Pietermaritzburg)

 

1. Programme Structure

The Physics Honours program is a one year long training which culminates in the degree of Honours in Physics after successful completion of the coursework and project thesis. The project thesis starts at the beginning of the year and is conducted in consultation with a project supervisor until the conclusion of the thesis. In this program, you will be able learn advanced physics concepts through well-organized modules accompanied by tutorials and assignments. The current courses for the program are given in the following table.
1. Programme Structure


The Physics Honours program is a one year long training which culminates in the degree of Honours in Physics after successful completion of the coursework and project thesis. The project thesis starts at the beginning of the year and is conducted in consultation with a project supervisor until the conclusion of the thesis. In this program, you will be able to learn advanced physics concepts through well-organized modules accompanied by tutorials and assignments. The current courses for the program are given in the following table:


Course code

Course Name

Credit

PHYS721

Special Topic in Physics I

16

PHYS735

Physics Project

32

PHYS741

Statistical Physics

16

PHYS752

Special Topic in Physics II

32

PHYS791

Quantum Mechanics

16  

PHYS792

Electrodynamics

16

 

Total 128



2. Taught Modules 

PHYS721 : Special Topic in Physics I - Special Relativity and Electromagnetism (Relativity principle, invariant intervals, Lorentz transformation of kinematic and dynamic quantities, relativistic Doppler effect, 4-vectors, covariance of Maxwell’s equations). Biomedical Optics (light-matter interactions, light-tissue interactions, biophysical optical treatment). 

PHYS735: Physics Project Specialized area of physics which students are interested to pursue research and postgraduate study. There are wide range of areas in the physics program which students can choose from in the field of experimental, theoretical, Computational or Educational physics. 

PHYS741: Statistical Physics Microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles. Thermodynamic fluctuations and the thermodynamic limit. Quantum statistics. The ideal fermion and boson gases. The photon gas. 

PHYS752: Special Topic in Physics II - Semiconductors and device Physics, Advanced Mathematical Methods, Theoretical Mechanics. 

PHYS791: Quantum Mechanics Abstract vectors, Quantum operators, position and momentum operators, coordinate representation, time evolution, Hellman-Feynman, Varial and hypervirial theorems, Shift operators, Quantum Oscillators, Angular momentum, Hydrogen atom, degeneracy of states, time-dependent perturbation theory. 

PHYS792 Electrodynamics Electrostatics & Magnetostatics, Maxwell’s equations, Electromagnetic potentials & gauge, Waves in: vacuum, lih media, plasmas, waveguides, Electromagnetic radiation, Electrodynamics and the Lorentz transformation. 


3. Projects 

Students are expected to choose a project title from the available research fields. Then, the candidate discusses the project title with his/her potential supervisor for the details of the research topic. Once the project title and a possible supervisor are determined, the student is expected to start working on the project from the first day of the program. Before the completion of the project work, students are expected to make at least two presentations. 

First Presentation: Progress about the project work. Date : 05 August 2017 

Second Presentation: Completed project work. Date : 21 October 2017  

Please note that a student cannot graduate without successful completion of the project. The passing mark for Honours courses is 50%. By the end of a semester, if a student scores above 40% of the total then he/she will be allowed to sit a supplementary examination. 

List of projects 2016 

List of projects 2017


4. Bursaries 

These are available for most projects and are usually around R20,000 - R40,000 in value if funded by NRF (R40,000 SARCHI / R20,000 Standard). Students should discuss this with potential project supervisors. Freestanding/Innovation/Scarce Skills NRF bursaries (R30,000 - R60,000) and SKA bursaries (R113,000) are also available. See the individual websites for application deadlines. 


For more information please contact Prof. Genene Mola.


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