Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y N
Course Code PHYS4999
Date2019/07/23 20:05
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS4999 Physics project (12 credits) Academic Year 2018
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Prof K S Cheng, Physics < hrspksc@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Various teachers in the department,Physics)
Course Objectives This capstone course is offered to students majoring in physics, physics (intensive), math/physics or astronomy. It is designed for those who are interested in tackling a research project in physics and/or astronomy. It should be taken normally in their final year of study. It provides students with the opportunity to study a specific problem by themselves, either theoretical, experimental or numerical, under the supervision of an academic staff using the knowledge the student gained in all years of his/her major study. The available projects are close to postgraduate level research in physics and/or astronomy.
Course Contents & Topics Students interested in taking this course should contact their prospective supervisors in May to determine the contents and the nature of their projects in the coming academic year.  They must get the approval from both the prospective supervisor and the course coordinator to take this course.

For theoretical and numerical projects: Students will receive training in research literature reading and reviewing, and make investigation which is close to research work in nature, under the supervision of a staff member.  The student may need to perform some original calculations, to fill in mathematical gaps of some sophisticated derivations, or a combination of both.  For numerical projects, students also need to use computers to find numerical or simulation results.

For experimental projects: Students will carry out experiments in research labs under the supervision of a staff member.  The student will receive a comprehensive training in advanced experimental techniques, including preparation of samples, determination of physical properties, measurement of small signals obscured by noise, laser, high-vacuum and low-temperature techniques and so on.  Wide reading of the relevant scientific literature and originality in experimental design are expected.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 plan and execute a theoretical, numerical or experimental research project on a topic in physics or astronomy
CLO 2 review the knowledge of a physics or astronomy problem in depth through literature review of books and research journals based on what they have learnt in their majors
CLO 3 criticize existing approaches for solving the selected physics or astronomy problem
CLO 4 describe and explain connections between the physical principles and the study problem
CLO 5 identify the key issues of the problem and solve them independently either by analytical or numerical means, and compare the results with predictions or existing solutions (for theoretical or computational projects)
CLO 6 propose and execute physics experiments or astronomical observations, analyze results and sources of errors of the experiment or observation in comparison with predictions (for experimental projects)
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in at least 24 credits of advanced level (3XXX level or above) disciplinary core/elective courses of the Physics Major, Physics (Intensive) Major, Mathematics/Physics Major or Astronomy Major curriculum.
This capstone course is for Astronomy, Mathematics/Physics, Physics, and Physics (Intensive) Majors students only.
The earliest that a student is allowed to take this capstone course is their year 3 study.
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2018 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2018 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2014 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2014 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y        Year long    Examination No Exam     
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough grasp of the subject. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought. Insightful use and critical analysis/evaluation of information drawn from a full range of high quality sources and to quote/reference aptly. Critical use of data and results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills. Work of A+ should show considerable additional work beyond that is required in wider areas relevant to the topic.
B Demonstrate substantial grasp of the subject. Evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking. Critical use of relevant information from sources, showing ability to make meaningful comparisons between different secondary interpretations and to quote/reference aptly. Correct use of data of results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete grasp of the subject. Evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking. Use of relevant information from sources, showing ability to make comparisons between different interpretations and to quote/reference aptly. Mostly correct but some erroneous use of data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited grasp, with retention of some relevant information, of the subject. Evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Demonstrate use and reference of several sources, but mainly through summary rather than analysis and comparison. Limited ability to use data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate evidence of little or no grasp of the knowledge and understanding of the subject. Evidence of little or lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Limited use of secondary sources and no critical comparison of them. Misuse of data and results and/or unable to draw appropriate conclusions. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Course Type Project-based course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Meeting with supervisor 54
Reading / Self study 126
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Oral presentation including supervisor's comments (10%) 30 CLO 2,4,5,6
Research report 70 CLO 1,2,3,4,5,6
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
To be provided by individual project supervisor
Course Website NIL
Additional Course Information NIL
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