You must complete the non-assessed "Introduction to Scientific Computing". This will run in the week prior to the start of the semester (Orientation Week). There will be a variety of classes offered to meet the differing needs of the coursework options and research projects students have chosen.
The aim of the classes is to ensure you have the basic computing skills you need for the coursework sub-units you have chosen and / or the research project you will be embarking on. You can then build on these skills during the semester.
You will need to select six coursework sub-units. You must discuss appropriate selections with your potential project supervisor(s) as these sub-units must support your choice of research project.
Physics and Astrophysics Honours students may choose sub-units from the areas of Physics or Astrophysics listed below - though if you are studying Physics most choices are likely to come from the Physics options, and if you are studying Astrophysics most are likely to come from the Astrophysics area.
Some sub-units may be chosen from those offered by other Schools (such as the School of Mathematical Sciences) - for details, refer to the Honours information provided by those Schools. Permission to take sub-units outside of the School of Physics & Astronomy must be sought from the Honours Coordinator for the School of Physics & Astronomy.
Note: Due to a range of factors (such as ongoing course improvements, academic availability and the profile of the Honours' students for the relevant academic year) the details of the sub-unit options may vary prior to the start of the Honours course. Any major changes will be discussed with affected students.
Quantum Mechanics (Compulsory for PHS4200 students)
Associate Professor Meera Parish
This sub-unit covers relativistic quantum mechanics including the Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations, the basics of the quantised electromagnetic field, light-matter interactions, and elements of many-body theory.
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Professor Michael Morgan (Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy)
Advanced Quantum Mechanics covers the Feynman path integral formulation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, as well as an introduction to quantum field theory.
Quantum Field Theory
Associate Professor Peter Skands Associate Professor Csaba Balazs
The first half of this sub-unit focuses on free field theories and a review of basic prerequisites, such as tensor calculus.
The second half of this sub-unit covers propagators (in particular the Feynman propagator), Dyson's formula (the relation between normal ordering and time ordering), Wick's Theorem and Wick contractions, the S matrix and basic Feynman diagrams, spin in the context of representations of the Poincaré group; fermions, spinors, and the Dirac equation. Finally we will put these ingredients together and look at some real-world processes. Further discussion topics, if time allows, are: IR and UV singularities, factorization and renormalization.
Dr Jesper Levinsen
This sub-unit explores the physics of "Quantum Fluids" with particular emphasis on ultracold atomic gases. Topics include Bose-Einstein condensation, superconductivity and superfluidity of Fermi gases, topological superfluids, Majorana fermions.
Quantum Computation & Information Theory
Dr Kavan Modi
Quantum information, broadly speaking, deals with the processing of information using physical systems that are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics.
There are dozens of sub-fields of Quantum Information Theory e.g. computing, computational complexity, communication, metrology, cryptography, key distribution, error correction and generalised probability theories. All of these studies involve elements from physics, computer science, information theory, and mathematics. You will get a glimpse of how these multidisciplinary fields work together.
There are also dozens of ways of implementing quantum information processing e.g. nuclear magnetic resonance, ions in cavities, cold atoms, linear optics, and solid-state devices. There are many technical challenges to building working quantum computing devices. You will be introduced to the necessary ingredients to run quantum technologies and where the challenges lie in building non-trivial quantum technologies.
Professor Michael Morgan (Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy)
Description to be posted shortly.
Digital Image Processing
Dr Imants Svalbe
In this sub-unit you will cover the effects that finite discretisation and sampling has on physical measurements, the representation of signals on discrete lattices, and examine how various transforms and filters affect signal information (and noise) content. The sub-unit includes projective transforms as an example that is relevant to the tomographic reconstruction of image data.
Professor German Valencia
This sub-unit will cover advanced topics in the classical theory of electromagnetism.
Condensed Matter Physics
Dr Agustin Schiffrin Professor Michael Fuhrer
Condensed matter physics provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the structure, properties and dynamics of many particle materials systems. In Part 1 of this sub-unit, the student will tackle selected topics such as band theory, properties of semiconductors, magnetism, superconductivity and aspects of surface physics. Part 2 will cover: Landauer-Büttiker formalism, weak localization, graphene and carbon nanotubes, topological phases, the quantum Hall effect and the quantum spin Hall effect, and topological insulators.
Dr Marcus Kitchen
This sub-unit will cover: the basics of the interaction of X-rays with matter; X-ray scattering from electrons, molecules and crystals; X-ray optical elements; free space propagation of x-ray fields and phase contrast imaging; analyzer-based phase contrast imaging; the basics of optical coherence theory.
Computational methods underpin a huge amount of theoretical work in very diverse areas of astrophysics. Developing these methods is one of our specialities here at Monash. In this sub-unit you will cover the fundamentals needed to understand the methods used to simulate a variety of astrophysical phenomena. You will also gain experience in writing your own computer codes from scratch.
Professor Alexander Heger
Stars are the source of most light in the universe and forge almost all heavy elements beyond helium. This course will give an advanced overview of stellar evolution and nuclear astrophysics. It will cover evolution of stars and the nuclear burning phases over the entire mass range, from stars like the Sun to the most massive stars that die as supernovae, leaving behind a neutron star or a black hole. This course will combine theoretical background in lectures as well as practical aspects e.g. building your own stellar structure model or the use of stellar evolution codes to follow the evolution of your stellar model.
Dr Rosemary Mardling
This course will cover observational techniques, physical properties of planets and system architecture, and implications for theories of planet formation. The main focus of the course will be on the dynamics of planetary systems including the effects of tides and general relativity.
Interstellar Medium (ISM)
Dr Tyrone Woods
The interstellar medium is the lifeblood of galaxies, out of which new stars form and into which dying stars expel their chemically-enriched remains. Nebulae ionized by young massive stars and active galactic nuclei reveal ongoing star formation and accretion onto supermassive black holes, respectively. Furthermore, observations of any objects beyond our solar system inevitably entail looking through the interstellar medium. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand this diffuse gas between the stars. This course will cover the basics of radiative transfer in diffuse gases, the physics of recombination and collisionally-excited emission lines, thermal equilibrium in ionized gases, and numerical methods for modelling ionized nebulae. The primary goal of the course will be to enable the student to interpret an image, or better yet a spectrum, of a photoionized nebula and determine the properties of the ionizing source and its surrounding gas.
Dr Eric Thrane
An introduction to Einstein's theory of General Relativity.
If you are interested in studying Honours with the School of Physics & Astronomy, please first read the relevant pages on the School's website. After that, if you have any questions, please contact either:
Honours Coordinator for the School of Physics & Astronomy