Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y N
Course Code PHYS1150
Date2019/07/23 19:14
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS1150 Problem solving in physics (6 credits) Academic Year 2018
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr M K Yip, Physics < mankit@.hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr M K Yip,Physics)
Course Objectives This is the first course in our course series that introduces problem solving, mathematical and computational skill sets that are commonly used in the study of university-level physics. Instead of adopting a cookbook approach, we focus on training students how to think and work as physicists through tackling simple physics problems by both analytical and numerical means. After completion, interested students may take the second level courses in this series, namely, PHYS2150 and/or PHYS2155. (Knowledge of Module 1 or Module 2 in HKDSE Mathematics, or MATH1011, or equivalent is advantageous, though not required.)
Course Contents & Topics This course trains students to think and act as physicists by introducing basic problem solving, mathematical and computational skills that are commonly used in the study of university-level physics. Topics include: the use of vectors and their operations, differentiation, integration, differential equations, several variables differentiation, matrix operation, conic sections, complex numbers, and rudiment of numerical methods in tackling simple physics problems.  Basic MATLAB commands will be introduced and used in this course.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 state physical systems by the language of mathematics and employ mathematical logic and reasoning to read physics
CLO 2 apply calculus to solve problems
CLO 3 review the features of various solving tools in physics as well as plan and select appropriate tools when solving physical problems
CLO 4 describe the connections between mathematical equations and physical problems
CLO 5 formulate and operate physical problems both qualitatively and quantitatively
CLO 6 interpret and judge the physical meaning of result after calculations
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Level 3 or above in HKDSE Physics or equivalent, or Pass in PHYS1240
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2018 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Physics ( Core/Compulsory )
Course to PLO Mapping 2018 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,4 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y        1st sem    2nd sem    Examination Dec    May     
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Course Type Lecture-based course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Lectures 36
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self study 80
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments Including computational assignments 20 CLO 1,2,3,4,5,6
Examination 2-hour written exam 50 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Test 30 CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Lecture notes provided by Course Coordinator
R. Shankar: Basic Training in Mathematics - A Fitness Program for Science (Springer, 1995)
Steven C. Chapra: Applied Numerical Methods with MATLAB for Engineers and Scientists (McGraw-Hill Education, 2017, 4th edition)
Joel R. Hass, Maurice D. Weir, and George B. Thomas, Jr: University Calculus: Early Transcendentals (Pearson, 2015, 3rd edition)
Course Website http://moodle.hku.hk
Additional Course Information NIL
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