Module Overview

Physics Theory IV

Note: This module comprises 4 sections, each student will complete three sections as required by their individual programmes and outlined within this module descriptors

TU 878 Physics with Energy and Environment

TU877 Physics Technology

DTU879 Physics with Medical Physics and Bioengineering

Section 1 ( TU878 , TU877 ,TU879) 

Electronics and Instrumentation 1

The student should understand the principles governing systems and devices commonly used in the electronic processing of signals, and the different advantages offered by analogue and digital approaches. The student will then be able to design, simulate, build and test basic systems typical of those useful in experimental physics; to understand and analyse more complicated systems encountered in commercial instruments; and to specify appropriately characteristics of more sophisticated instruments to be designed by professional engineers.


Section 2 (TU878 , TU877)

Thermal Physics

This section of the module introduces students to the basic principles of thermodynamics and applies these concepts to various physics systems. The concepts covered include: laws of thermodynamics, entropy, introduction to the statistical basis of thermodynamics, ideal and real gases, phase changes, heat engines and maximum work.


Section 3 (TU878 TU877 ,TU879)

Ionising Radiation and Nuclear Physics

The section of the module introduces the fundamental and quantum mechanical principles of nuclear physics, nuclear interactions, nuclear decay and the interaction of nuclear radiations with matter. It extends this knowledge to developing the fundamental principles of controlled nuclear fission and fusion, with an emphasis on production of nuclear power. Some allusion to the uses of these principles in biology and medicine together with a discussion of the fundamentals of radiation protection is included.


Section 4 (TU879)

Rehab Engineering, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials and Biosensors

This section of the module is to give the student an understanding of the principles of the physical sciences and ancillary sciences as they are applied to the design and manufacture of bio prostheses, implants, rehabilitation engineering (force platforms, hearing aids, cochlear implants, pacemakers) and biosensors.  The application of the different models of viscoelasticity for modelling the behaviour of tissue and new synthetic tissue materials.

Module Code

PHYS 3002

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Section 1 ( DT221,DT222,DT235)

Electronics and Instrumentation 1 (24 Lectures)

Relation between information and signals. Operations on waveforms representing signals, square, triangular, pulse, sinusoidal.


Series and parallel CR elements:  time and frequency effects; use in energy storage, timing, differentiation, integration. Passive low-,  high-band-pass filtering. Bode plots.


Feedback theory: General treatment, voltage/current, series/shunt, effects on input and output impedance. Ideal and real op amp chips.


Negative feedback circuits: simplifying assertions, summing point, virtual ground. Inverting configuration. Weighted summer and difference amplifier. Non-inverting configuration; voltage follower. Integrator circuit. Non-linear and logarithmic amplifiers. Phase shifting circuits.


Positive feedback circuits: Clockwise and anticlockwise Schmitt triggers and noise rejection. Op amp oscillators, square-           wave (relaxation) and sinusoidal (Wien bridge) circuits.


Electrical properties of pn junctions: Applications in rectification, peak detection, signal limiting, level clamping, light detection, light emission, varactors, voltage reference, non-linear feedback circuits, wave form shaping.


Device modelling.  Load line analysis. Dissipation limits


Comparison of actions of unipolar and bipolar transistors. Switching applications and necessary biasing, for both unipolar and bipolar transistors. Elementary single-stage common-emitter amplifier.


TTL circuit action:  Multiple emitters, totem-pole output, impedance considerations. CMOS logic circuit action. CMOS transmission gates and multiplexers.


Positional number representation, in binary, hexadecimal, octal bases. Positive and negative integers and fractions. Binary arithmetic and flags. BCD. Representation of characters and other entities.


Combinational logic; logic levels and voltage. AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, XOR symbols, truth tables. Applications for decoding, multiplexing, alarms, etc. Three-state gates.


Boolean algebra. Masking, forcing, toggling applications.


Sequential logic: Latches and flipflops. Timing diagrams. Clocking and edge triggering. SR, D, JK, T.


Binary counters and scalers, BCD counters and display applications.


Shift registers, serial and parallel conversion, multiplication uses.


Section 2 (DT221,DT222)

Thermal Physics (24 Lectures)

Temperature and temperature scales. Absolute zero. Ideal gas law.


Work in reversible and irreversible systems – first law of thermodynamics and the fundamental thermodynamic relation


Second law and entropy – Clausius inequality, Clausius and Kelvin statements of the second law


Heat engines, engine efficiency. Carnot cycle.


Calculations of entropy change for simple systems.


Introduction to the statistical basis of thermodynamics: macrostates, microstates, statistical weight , Postulate of

Equal a Priori Probabilities, and entropy.


The Joule expansion – ideal gas, virial expansion, van der waals gas


The Joule-Thompson expansion – liquefaction of gases


Available and unavailable energy. Maxwell's relations. Thermodynamic potentials,


Difference in principal specific heat capacities of various substances.


Phase transitions, the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.


Thermodynamic applications: Adiabatic demagnetisation, rubber bands, reversible voltaic cells.


Review of properties of matter at low temperatures.


Specific heats of metals. Liquid helium, superfluidity, superconductivity.


Section 3 (DT221, DT222, DT235)

Ionising Radiation and Nuclear Physics (24 Lectures)

Fundamental Considerations:

Radiation interaction mechanisms (photoelectric effect, Compton effect, pair production, Cerenkov radiation). Principles of quantum mechanics. The nuclear radius. Nuclide mass and abundance. Nuclear binding energy. Nuclear parity, electromagnetic moments and excited states. Forces between nucleons (proton-proton, neutron-proton and neutron-neutron). Nuclear models (lquid drop model).


Nuclear decay and radioactivity:

Alpha decay systematics, angular momentum and parity. Fermi theory of beta decay, angular momentum and parity selection (neutrino physics, double beta decay and nonconservation of parity). Gamma decay, energetics, distribution, polarization, angular momentum and parity selection rules. Detection of ionising radiations. Nuclear spins and moments.


Nuclear reactions, fission and fusion:

Experimental techniques, scattering and reaction cross-sections. Absorption and moderation of neutrons, neutron capture. Nuclear fission (controlled fission reactions). Nuclear fusion (controlled fusion reactions). Accelerators. Particle detectors.


Section 4 (DT235)

Rehab Engineering, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials and Biosensors (24 Lectures)


Physical Principles of Biomechanics

Mechanics of Hard and Soft Body Tissue. Analysis of stress and strain functions in hard and soft body tissue. Joint Articulation and Lubrication. Cardiac Biodynamics. Mechanics and Transport in Circulation; models of viscoelasticity applied to tissue behaviour


Rehabilitation Engineering

Physiological process involved in maintaining balance (seated, standing and walking). Measurement of balance - Posturography (Seated and Standing) and Gait Analysis

Instrumentation for balance assessment and Posturography Rehabilitation



Process of hearing, measurement of sound, hearing tests for different types of hearing disorders.  Subject evaluation for hearing aids. Different types of hearing aids.


Design of Biomaterials and Implants

Metallic Biomaterials, Ceramic Biomaterials, Polymeric Biomaterials. Composites. Biodegradable and Tissue-Derived Biomaterials. Soft Tissue and Hard Tissue Replacements. Preservation Techniques for Biomaterials. Hip Joint Prosthesis Fixation Issues. Biomaterial surface to tissue interactions;      



Physical Sensors (Thermal, Capacitive, Resistive, Ultrasonic and Piezoelectric), Biopotential Electrodes, Potentiometric Biosensors, Optical Biosensors, Immunosensors;                             



Physics of the cardiovascular system. Basic fluid dynamics



Flipped Lectures

Problem-solving assignments


Use of computer based learning software (including online quizzes / problem solving)

On-line videos

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %