Yearbooks

Programme: BSc Physics

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
02133202 Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Duration of study: 3 years Total credits: 428

Admission requirements

  • In order to register NSC/IEB/Cambridge candidates must comply with the minimum requirements for degree studies as well as the minimum requirements for the relevant study programme. 
  • Life Orientation is excluded in the calculation of the Admission Point Score (APS).
  • Grade 11 results are used for the provisional admission of prospective students.
  • Final admission is based on the Grade 12 results.

 

Minimum requirements for 2016
Achievement level
Afrikaans or English Mathematics Physical Sciences APS
NSC/IEB HIGCSE AS-Level A-Level NSC/IEB HIGCSE AS-Level A-Level NSC/IEB HIGCSE AS-Level A-Level
5 3 C C 5 3 C C 5 3 C C 32
 
Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements may be considered for admission to the BSc or the BSc (Four-year Programme) based on the results of the NBT.

 

Other programme-specific information

Students may enrol for AIM 111 and AIM 121 instead of AIM 101 (the same content presented over 2 semesters).

CMY 117,127 are recommended. Electives can be chosen from eg Mathematics, Meteorology, Geology, Geography, IT, Mathematical Statistics, Computer Science, Biochemistry, Zoology etc.

Electives can be chosen from eg Mathematics, Meteorology, Geology, Geography, IT and Mathematical Statistics, etc. Students interested in further studies in astronomy are advised to consider the module PHY 210 Astronomy for physicists as an elective.

PHY 353 and/or PHY 363 can be chosen as elective modules. Students interested in further studies in astronomy or high energy physics are advised to consider PHY 300 Observational astronomy and PHY 310 Particle and astroparticle physics as electives.

 

Electives are chosen as follows:

First year – 64 credits

Second year – 48 credits

Third year – 72 credits

 

A student must pass all the minimum prescribed and elective module credits as set out at the end of each year within a programme as well as the total required credits to comply with the particular degree programme. Please refer to the curricula of the respective programmes. At least 144 credits must be obtained at 300-/400-level, or otherwise as indicated by curriculum. The minimum module credits needed to comply with degree requirements is set out at the end of each study programme. Subject to the programmes as indicated a maximum of 150 credits will be recognised at 100-level. A student may, in consultation with the Head of Department and subject to the permission by the Dean, select or replace prescribed module credits not indicated in BSc three-year study programmes to the equivalent of a maximum of 36 module credits.

It is important that the total number of prescribed module credits is completed during the course of the study programme. The Dean may, on the recommendation of the Head of Department, approve deviations in this regard. Subject to the programmes as indicated in the respective curricula, a student may not register for more than 75 module credits per semester at first-year level subject to permission by the Dean. A student may be permitted to register for up to 80 module credits in a the first semester during the first year provided that he or she obtained a final mark of no less than 70% for grade 12 Mathematics and achieved an APS of 34 or more in the NSC.

Students who are already in possession of a bachelor’s degree, will not receive credit for modules of which the content overlap with modules from the degree that was already conferred. Credits will not be considered for more than half the credits passed previously for an uncompleted degree. No credits at the final-year or 300- and 400-level will be granted.

The Dean may, on the recommendation of the programme manager, approve deviations with regard to the composition of the study programme.

Please note: Where elective modules are not specified, these may be chosen from any modules appearing in the list of modules.

It remains the student’s responsibility to acertain, prior to registration, whether they comply with the prerequisites of the modules they want to register for.

The prerequisites are listed in the Alphabetical list of modules.

Transitional measures

Transitional measures for Mathematics modules for 2016

  • Students who would have registered for any of the degrees BSc in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Geoinformatics, BCom, BCom in Economics/Statistics or BScIT Information and Knowledge Systems prior to 2016, and not successfully completed WTW 114, WTW 126 or WTW 128 will be allowed to register for WTW 134, WTW 146 and WTW 148, respectively.
  • Students who would have registered for BSc in Geology prior to 2016, and not successfully completed WTW 114, WTW 126 or WTW 128 will be allowed to register for WTW 158, WTW 164 or WTW 124 or WTW 148, respectively.
  • Students who registered prior to 2016, and who failed both WTW 126 and WTW 128 will register for WTW 124 in 2016 if they wish to continue with mathematics at 200 level, or if WTW 126 and WTW 128 are required for their respective degree programmes.
  • Students who do not qualify for WTW 146 and WTW 148 in terms of their degree programmes, and failed one of WTW 126 or WTW 128, will be allowed to register for the respective module in 2016, and will attend the relevant lectures and tutorials of WTW 124. They will write separate semester tests and exams, covering just the relevant material from WTW 124.
  • Students who registered prior to 2016 and passed WTW 126 but not WTW 128, will be allowed to continue with WTW 211 and COS 344 in 2016.
  • Students who registered prior to 2016 and passed WTW 128 but not WTW 126, will be allowed to continue with the modules WTW 220, IAS 211 and GLY 265 in 2016, if they also meet the additional entry requirements.
  • Students who registered prior to 2016, and who failed both WTW 161 and WTW 168 will register for WTW 164 in 2016. 
  • Students who failed one of WTW 161 or WTW 168, will be allowed to register for the respective module in 2016, and will attend the relevant lectures and tutorials of WTW 164. They will write separate semester tests and exams, covering just the relevant material from WTW 164.

Promotion to next study year

A student will be promoted to the following year of study if he or she passed 100 credits of the prescribed credits for a year of study, unless the Dean on the recommendation of the head of department decides otherwise. A student who does not comply with the requirements for promotion to the following year of study, retains the credit for the modules already passed and may be admitted by the Dean, on recommendation of the head of department, to modules of the following year of study to a maximum of 48 credits, provided that it will fit in with both the lecture and examination timetable.

General promotion requirements in the faculty
All students whose academic progress is not acceptable can be suspended from further studies.

  • A student who is excluded from further studies in terms of the stipulations of the abovementioned regulations, will be notified in writing by the Dean or Admissions Committee at the end of the relevant semester.
  • A student who has been excluded from further studies may apply in writing to the Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences for re-admission.
  • Should the student be re-admitted by the Admissions Committee, strict conditions will be set which the student must comply with in order to proceed with his/her studies.
  • Should the student not be re-admitted to further studies by the Admissions Committee, he/she will be informed in writing.
  • Students who are not re-admitted by the Admissions Committee have the right to appeal to the Senior Appeals Committee.
  • Any decision taken by the Senior Appeals Committee is final.

Pass with distinction

A student obtains his or her degree with distinction if all prescribed modules at 300-level (or higher) are passed in one academic year with a weighted average of at least 75%, and obtain at least a subminimum of 65% in each of the relevant modules.

Minimum credits: 140

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    *This module serves as preparation for students majoring in Mathematics (including all students who intend to enrol for WTW 218 and WTW 220). Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 114, WTW 158, WTW 134, WTW 165.
    Functions, limits and continuity. Differential calculus of single variable functions, rate of change, graph sketching, applications. The mean value theorem, the rule of L'Hospital. Definite and indefinite integrals, evaluating definite integrals using anti-derivatives, the substitution rule.

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  • Module content:

    SI-units. Significant figures. Waves: intensity, superposition, interference, standing waves, resonance, beats, Doppler. Geometrical optics: Reflection, refraction, mirrors, thin lenses, instruments. Physical optics: Young-interference, coherence, diffraction, polarisation. Hydrostatics and dynamics: density, pressure, Archimedes’ principle, continuity, Bernoulli. Heat: temperature, specific heat, expansion, heat transfer. Vectors. Kinematics of a point: Relative, projectile, and circular motion. Dynamics: Newton’s laws, friction. Work: point masses, gasses (ideal gas law), gravitation, spring, power. Kinetic energy: Conservative forces, gravitation, spring. Conservation of energy. Conservation of momentum. Impulse and collisions. System of particles: Centre of mass, Newton’s laws. Rotation: torque, conservation of angular momentum, equilibrium, centre of gravity.

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  • Module content:

    Simple harmonic motion and pendulums. Coulomb’s law. Electric field: dipoles, Gauss’ law.Electric potential. Capacitance. Electric currents: resistance, resistivity, Ohm’s law, energy, power, emf, RC-circuits. Magnetic Field: Hall-effect, Bio-Savart. Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws. Oscillations: LR-circuits. Alternating current: RLC-circuits, power, transformers. Introductory concepts to modern physics. Nuclear physics: Radioactivity.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree:
    WTW 124, WTW 146, WTW 148 and WTW 164. This module serves as preparation for students majoring in Mathematics (including all students who intend to enrol for WTW 218, WTW 211 and WTW 220).

    The vector space Rn, vector algebra with applications to lines and planes, matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, determinants. Complex numbers and factorisation of polynomials. Integration techniques and applications of integration. The formal definition of a limit. The fundamental theorem of Calculus and applications. Vector functions, polar curves and quadratic curves. 

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    General introduction to inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry. Atomic structure and periodicity. Molecular structure and chemical bonding using the VSEOR model. Nomenclature of iorganic ions and compounds. Classification of reactions: precipitation, acid-base, redox reactions and gas-forming reactions. Mole concept and stoichiometric calculations concerning chemical formulas and chemical reactions. Principles of reactivity: energy and chemical reactions. Physical behaviour gases, liquids, solids and solutions and the role of intermolecular forces. Rate of reactions: Introduction to chemical kinetics.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: General physical-analytical chemistry: Physical behaviour of gases, liquids and solids, intermolecular forces, solutions. Principles of reactivity: energy and chemical reactions, entropy and free energy, electrochemistry. Organic chemistry: Structure (bonding), nomenclature, isomerism, introductory stereochemistry, introduction to chemical reactions and chemical properties of organic compounds and biological compounds, i.e. carbohydrates and amino acids. Practical: Molecular structure (model building), synthesis and properties of simple organic compounds.

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  • Module content:

    The focus is on object-oriented (OO) programming. Concepts including inheritance and multiple inheritance, polymorphism, operator overloading, memory management (static and dynamic binding), interfaces, encapsulation, reuse, etc. will be covered in the module. The module teaches sound program design with the emphasis on modular code, leading to well structured, robust and documented programs. A modern OO programming language is used as the vehicle to develop these skills. The module will introduce the student to basic data structures, lists, stacks and queues.

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  • Module content:

    This is a broad introduction to the philosophy and history of science. Examples of themes and historical periods which are covered include: world views in ancient Greece; Socrates; Plato – the founder of Western thought; Aristotle – the foundation of a new tradition; Leonardo da Vinci; the foundation of modern science; the wonder years of the seventeenth century – the flourishing of the sciences and philosophy; the rising of mechanization; a drastic turn in man's vision – the rise of psychology; how the theory of relativity changed our view of the cosmos; quantum theory and its implications for the modern world view; the biological sciences and the secrets of life; the rise and role of psychology; the neuro-sciences; the place, role and benefit of philosophical thought in the sciences.

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  • Module content:

    Investigating southern African landscapes and placing them in a theoretical and global context. The geomorphological evolution of southern Africa. Introduction to the concepts of Geomorphology and its relationships with other physical sciences (e.g. meteorology, climatology, geology, hydrology and biology). The processes and controls of landform and landscape evolution. Tutorial exercises cover basic techniques of geomorphological analysis, and topical issues in Geomorphology.

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  • Module content:

    Principles of stratigraphy and stratigraphic nomenclature; geological dating and international and South African time scales; Africa framework and tectonic elements of South Africa; introduction to depositional environments. Overview of the historical geology of South Africa, from the Archaean to the present: major stratigraphic units, intrusions and tectonicmetamorphic events - their rock types, fossil contents, genesis and economic commodities. Principles of palaeontology and short description of major fossil groups: fossil forms, ecology and geological meaning. Geological maps and profiles; rock samples.

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  • Module content:

    Hazardous exogenic and endogenic geological processes and their influence on the human environment; impact of human activities on the geological environment; natural resource utilisation including materials for construction; natural and mine-induced seismicity; waste disposal; groundwater and environmental pollution. Geological maps; geological profiles; rock specimens; fossil specimens.

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  • Module content:

    History, present and future of cartography. Introductory geodesy: shape of the earth, graticule and grids, datum definition, elementary map projection theory, spherical calculations. Representation of geographical data on maps: Cartographic design, cartographic abstraction, levels of measurement and visual variables. Semiotics for cartography: signs, sign systems, map semantics and syntactics, explicit and implicit meaning of maps (map pragmatics).

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to information systems, information systems in organisations, hardware: input, processing, output, software: systems and application software, organisation of data and information, telecommunications and networks, the Internet and Intranet. Transaction processing systems, management information systems, decision support systems, information systems in business and society, systems analysis, systems design, implementation, maintenance and revision.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to programming.

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  • Module content:

    Advanced programming, use of a computer-aided software engineering tool.

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  • Module content:

    The content of this course is the same as SCI 164 and students are not allowed to register for both SCI 154 and SCI 164.
    Students from all faculties are welcome to join us in our exploration of the universe from an earth-bound perspective. We reflect on the whole universe from the sub microscopic to the vast macroscopic and mankind’s modest position therein. To what degree is our happiness determined by stars? Echo's from ancient firmaments - the astronomy of old civilisations. The universe is born with a bang. Stars, milky ways and planets are formed. Life is breathed into the landscape on earth, but is there life elsewhere? The architecture of the universe – distance measurements, structure of our solar system and systems of stars. How does it look like on neighbouring planets? Comets and meteorites. Life cycles of stars. Spectacular exploding stars! Exotica like pulsars and black holes.

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  • Module content:

    *This module is presented in Afrikaans only. See SCI 154 for a summary of the module content. The content of this module is the same as SCI 154 and students are not allowed to register for both SCI 154 and SCI 164.
    Studente uit alle fakulteite is welkom om saam met ons die heelal vanuit ’n aardgebonde perspektief te verken. Ons besin oor die ganse kosmos van die submikroskopiese tot die asemrowende, uitgestrekte makroskopiese en die mens se beskeie posisie daarin. Tot watter mate bepaal sterre ons lewensgeluk? Eggo's van antieke uitspansels – die sterrekunde van vervloeë beskawings. Die heelal word gebore met ’n knal. Sterre, die Melkweg en planete word gevorm. Lewe word in die aardse landskap geplaas, maar is daar lewe elders? Die agitektuur van die heelal – afstandmetings, struktuur van ons sonnestelsel en sterrestelsels. Hoe lyk ons buurplanete? Komete en meteoriete. Lewenssiklusse van sterre. Ontploffende sterre. Eksotiese voorwerpe soos pulsare en swart gate.

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  • Module content:

    This module is a general orientation to Psychology. An introduction is given to various theoretical approaches in Psychology, and the development of Psychology as a science is discussed. Selected themes from everyday life are explored and integrated with psychological principles. This module focuses on major personality theories. An introduction is given to various paradigmatic approaches in Psychology.

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  • Module content:

    This module introduces the student to a basic knowledge and understanding of the biological basis of human behaviour. The module addresses the key concepts and terminology related to the biological subsystem, the rules and principles guiding biological psychology, and identification of the interrelatedness of different biological systems and subsystems. In this module various cognitive processes are studied, including perception, memory, thinking, intelligence and creativity. Illustrations are given of various thinking processes, such as problem solving, critical, analytic and integrative thinking.

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  • Module content:

    Descriptive statistics:
    Sampling and the collection of data; frequency distributions and graphical representations. Descriptive measures of location and dispersion.
    Probability and inference:
    Introductory probability theory and theoretical distributions. Sampling distributions. Estimation theory and hypothesis testing of sampling averages and proportions (one and two-sample cases). Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate statistics:
    Analysis of variance, categorical data analysis, distribution-free methods, curve fitting, regression and correlation, the analysis of time series and indices.
    Statistical and economic applications of quantitative techniques:
    Systems of linear equations: drafting, matrices, solving and application. Optimisation; linear functions (two and more independent variables), non-linear functions (one and two independent variables). Marginal and total functions. Stochastic and deterministic variables in statistical and economic context: producers' and consumers' surplus, distribution functions, probability distributions, probability density functions. Identification, use, evaluation, interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.
    This module is also presented as an anti-semester bilingual module.

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  • Module content:

    An introduction to the climate and general seasonal climatic circulation patterns of Southern Africa. Basic weather types and weather processes within the Southern African context. Interpretation of synoptic maps and synoptic station reports. Impacts of climate change and extreme climate events on society.
    *BSc (Geography) and BSc (Environmental Sciences) students may register for WKD 155. Students are not allowed to earn credits for both WKD 155 and WKD 164.

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  • Module content:

    Characterisation of a set of measurements: Graphical and numerical methods. Random sampling. Probability theory. Discrete and continuous random variables. Probability distributions. Generating functions and moments.

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  • Module content:

    Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Statistical inference: Point and interval estimation. Hypothesis testing with applications in one and two-sample cases. Introductory methods for: Linear regression and correlation, analysis of variance, categorical data analysis and non-parametric statistics.  Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Propositional logic: truth tables, logical equivalence, implication, arguments. Mathematical induction and well-ordering principle. Introduction to set theory. Counting techniques: elementary probability, multiplication and addition rules, permutations and combinations, binomial theorem, inclusion-exclusion rule.

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  • Module content:

    Non-linear equations, numerical integration, initial value problems for differential equations, systems of linear equations. Algorithms for elementary numerical techniques are derived and implemented in computer programmes. Error estimates and convergence results are treated.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to the modelling of dynamical processes using difference equations. Curve fitting. Introduction to linear programming. Matlab programming. Applications to real-life situations in, among others, finance, economics and ecology.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 162 and WTW 264.

    Introduction to the modelling of dynamical processes using elementary differential equations. Solution methods for first order differential equations and analysis of properties of solutions (graphs). Applications to real life situations.

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  • Module content:

    Animal classification, phylogeny, organization and terminology. Evolution of the various animal phyla, morphological characteristics and life cycles of parasitic and non-parasitic animals. Structure and function of reproductive, respiratory, excretory, circulatory and digestive systems.

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  • Module content:

    *Note: All students registered for degrees within the School of IT, excluding the two four year programmes, BIS (Information Science) and BIS (Publishing), need to enrol for this module.
    This module introduces imperative computer programming, which is a fundamental building block of computer science. The process of constructing a program for solving a given problem, of editing it, compiling (both manually and automatically), running and debugging it, is covered from the beginning. The aim is to master the elements of a programming language and be able to put them together in order to construct programs using types, control structures, arrays, functions and libraries. An introduction to object orientation will be given. After completing this module, the student should understand the fundamental elements of a program, the importance of good program design and user-friendly interfaces. Students should be able to conduct basic program analysis and write complete elementary programs.

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  • Module content:

    The importance of geographical data and an overview of geoinformatics. Cartographic analysis to geoinformatics – a historical perspective. Application fields of geoinformatics. Introduction to geographical information systems (GIS): Components, structure and functionality, GIS visualisation and cartography. Data sources and evaluation: fitness for purpose, factors affecting suitability, quality and uncertainty, sources of analogue and digital data. Map projection choice. Analysis of GIS output.

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  • Module content:

    Introducing the basic concepts and interrelationships required to understand the complexity of natural environmental problems, physical and human environment, human induced environmental problems, the ways in which the natural environment affects human society and biodiversity, an introduction to major environmental issues in Southern Africa and sustainable development in the context of environmental issues.

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  • Module content:

    Solar system; structure of solid matter; minerals and rocks; introduction to symmetry and crystallography; important minerals and solid solutions; rock cycle; classification of rocks. External geological processes (gravity, water, wind, sea, ice) and their products (including geomorphology). Internal structure of the earth. The dynamic earth – volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building – the theory of plate tectonics. Geological processes (magmatism, metamorphism, sedimentology, structural geology) in a plate tectonic context. Geological maps and mineral and rock specimens.

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  • Module content:

    *Students are not allowed to earn credits for WKD 155 and WKD 164

    Introduction to weather and climate. Climate of South Africa. Urban and rural climate. Meteorological instruments. Motion of the earth. Atmospheric mass and pressure. Energy and heat budget. Moisture in the atmosphere. Cloud development. Climate change. ENSO. Electromagnetic spectrum and remote sensing in meteorology. Synoptic weather systems of South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    General systems theory, creative problem solving, soft systems methodology. The systems analyst, systems development building blocks, systems development, systems analysis methods, process modelling.

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Minimum credits: 144

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Classical mechanics (28 lectures)
    Fundamental concepts, energy and angular momentum, calculus of variations and Lagrangian mechanics, conservative central forces and two body problems, scattering, mechanics in rotating reference frames, many body systems.
    Physical Optics (14 lectures)
    Maxwell’s equations, wave equation and plane wave solution, coherence, interference,
    diffraction, polarisation.
    Physics of Materials (14 lectures)
    Classification of materials. Atomic bonding. Crystallography. Defects. Material strength.
    Phase diagram's, Ceramics. Polymers. Composites. Fracture. Electrical and
    magnetic properties. Semiconductors. Smart materials Nanotechnology.
    Experiments (14 sessions)

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  • Module content:

    This is an introduction to linear algebra on Rn. Matrices and linear equations, linear combinations and spans, linear independence, subspaces, basis and dimension, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, similarity and diagonalisation of matrices, linear transformations.

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  • Module content:

    Calculus of multivariable functions, directional derivatives. Extrema and Lagrange multipliers. Multiple integrals, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates.

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  • Module content:

    Properties of real numbers. Analysis of sequences and series of real numbers. Power series and theorems of convergence. The Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem. The intermediate value theorem and analysis of real-valued functions on an interval. The Riemann integral: Existence and properties of the interval.

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  • Module content:

    Vibrating systems and waves (14 lectures)
    Simple harmonic motion (SHM). Superposition (different frequencies, equal frequencies). Perpendicular vibrations (Lissajous figures). Damped SHM. Forced oscillations. Resonance. Q-value. Transverse wave motion. Plane wave solution using method of separation of variables. Reflection and transmission at a boundary. Normal and eigenmodes. Wave packets. Group velocity.
    Modern physics (30 lectures)
    Special relativity: Galilean and Lorentz transformations. Postulates. Momentum and energy. 4 vectors and tensors. General relativity. Quantum physics. Failure of classical physics. Bohr model. Particle-wave duality. Schrödinger equation. Piece-wise constant potentials. Tunneling. X-rays. Laser. Nuclear physics: Fission. Fusion. Radioactivity.
    Heat and thermodynamics (12 lectures)
    Heat. First Law. Kinetic theory of gases. Mean free path. Ideal, Clausius, Van der Waals and virial gases. Entropy. Second Law. Engines and refrigerators. Third Law. Thermodynamic potentials: Enthalpy Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, Chemical potential. Legendre transformations (Maxwell relations). Phase equilibrium. Gibbs phase rule.
    Modelling and simulation (7 practical sessions)
    Introduction to programming in a high level system: Concept of an algorithm and the basic logic of a computer programme. Symbolic manipulations, graphics, numerical computations. Applications: Selected illustrative examples.
    Error Analysis (7 practical sessions)
    Experimental uncertainties. Propagation of uncertainties. Statistical analysis of random uncertainties. Normal distribution. Rejection of data. Least-squares fitting. Covariance and correlation.

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  • Module content:

    Vectors and geometry. Calculus of vector functions with applications to differential geometry, kinematics and dynamics. Vector analysis, including vector fields, line integrals of scalar and vector fields, conservative vector fields, surfaces and surface integrals, the Theorems of Green, Gauss and Stokes with applications.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Structural and ionic properties of amino acids. Peptides, the peptide bond, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. Interactions that stabilise protein structure, denaturation and renaturation of proteins. Introduction to methods for the purification of proteins, amino acid composition, and sequence determinations. Introduction to enzyme kinetics and enzyme inhibition. Allosteric enzymes, regulation of enzyme activity, active centres and mechanisms of enzyme catalysis. Examples of industrial applications of enzymes. Practical training in laboratory techniques and Good Laboratory Practice. Techniques for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of biological molecules. Processing and presentation of scientific data.

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  • Module content:

    Biochemistry of carbohydrates. Thermodynamics and bioenergetics. Glycolysis, citric acid cycle and electron transport. Glycogen metabolism, pentose-phosphate pathway, gluconeogenesis and photosynthesis. Practical training in study and analysis of metabolic pathways and enzymes. Scientific method and design: Hypothesis design and testing, method design and scientific controls.

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  • Module content:

    Biochemistry of lipids, membrane structure, anabolism and catabolism of lipids. Nitrogen metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis and catabolism. Biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, pigments, hormones and nucleotides from amino acids. Catabolism of pureness and pyrimidines. Therapeutic agents directed against nucleotide metabolism. Examples of inborn errors of metabolism of nitrogen containing compounds. The urea cycle, nitrogen excretion. Practical training in scientific writing skills: evaluation of a scientific report. Techniques for separation and analysis of biological molecules

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  • Module content:

    Biochemistry of nutrition and toxicology. Proximate analysis of nutrients. Review of energy requirements and expenditure. Respiratory quotient. Requirements and function of water, vitamins and minerals. Interpretation and modification of RDA values for specific diets, eg growth, exercise, pregnancy and lactation, aging and starvation. Interactions between nutrients. Comparison of monogastric and ruminant metabolism. Cholesterol, polyunsaturated, essential fatty acids and dietary anti-oxidants. Oxidation of fats. Biochemical mechanisms of water- and fat-soluble vitamins and assessment of vitamin status. Mineral requirements, biochemical mechanisms, imbalances and diarrhoea. Biochemistry of xenobiotics: absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME); detoxification reactions: oxidation/reduction (Phase I), conjugations (Phase II), export from cells (Phase III); factors affecting metabolism and disposition. Toxic responses: tissue damage and physiological effects, teratogenesis, immunotoxicity, mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Examples of toxins: biochemical mechanisms of common toxins and their antidotes. Antibiotics and resistance. Natural toxins from fungi, plants and animals: goitrogens, cyanogens, cholineesterase inhibitors, ergotoxin, aflatoxins  Practical training in analyses of nutrients, fatty acids separations, antioxidant determination, and enzyme activity measurements, PO ratio of mitochondria, electrophoresis, extraction, solubility and gel permeation techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Classical chemical thermodynamics, gases, first and second law and applications, physical changes of pure materials and simple compounds. Phase rule: Chemical reactions, chemical kinetics, rates of reactions.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Statistical evaluation of data, gravimetric analysis, aqueous solution chemistry, chemical equilibrium, precipitation-, neutralisation- and complex formation titrations, redox titrations, potentiometric methods, introduction to electrochemistry.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Resonance, conjugation and aromaticity. Acidity and basicity. Introduction to 13C NMR spectroscopy. Electrophilic addition: alkenes. Nucleophilic substitution, elimination, addition: alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers, epoxides, carbonyl compounds: ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and their derivatives.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Atomic structure, structure of solids (ionic model). Coordination chemistry of transition metals: Oxidation states of transition metals, ligands, stereochemistry, crystal field theory, consequences of d-orbital splitting, chemistry of the main group elements, electrochemical properties of transition metals in aqueous solution, industrial applications of transition metals. Introduction to IR spectroscopy.

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  • Module content:

    Physical processes that influence the earth’s surface and management. Specific processes and their interaction in themes such as weathering; soil erosion; slope, mass movement and fluvial processes. Practical laboratory exercises are based on the themes covered in the module theory component.

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  • Module content:

    *This module is for Architecture and Landscape Architecture students only.
    The theory component covers geomorphological aspects of the built environment including landscape identification; weathering or deterioration of natural stone and application to design and preservation of buildings and monuments; slope hydrology and stability conditions; soil erosion processes and construction impacts; drainage modification in urban areas; wetland identification, human impacts and rehabilitation; recreational impacts and management. In addition to the theory a field-based project is undertaken.

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  • Module content:

    The nature of geographical data and measurement. Probability, probability distributions and densities, expected values and variances, Central Limit theorem. Sampling techniques. Exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, statistical estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis and regression analysis.

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  • Module content:

    *The content of this module is the same as GGY 283 and students are not allowed to earn credits for both GGY 283 and GIS 221.
    Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), theoretical concepts and applications of GIS. The focus will be on the GIS process of data input, data analysis, data output and associated technologies.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to sedimentology; grain studies; composition and textures of sedimentary rocks; flow dynamics and behaviour of sediment particles in transport systems; description and genesis of sedimentary structures; diagenesis; depositional environments and their deposits, modern and ancient; chemical sedimentary rocks; economic sedimentology; field data acquisition from sedimentary rocks and writing of reports; sieve analysis; Markov analysis; analysis of palaeocurrent trends; interpretation of sedimentary profiles.

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  • Module content:

    Integrated theoretical and practical course dealing with the principles of rock deformation and analysis of deformed rocks.  Stress, strain and rheology, joints, experimental rock deformation, fault systems and Anderson’s theory of faulting. Folds and interference folding, tectonic fabrics, shear zones, progressive deformation. Stereographic projection and structural analysis.

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  • Module content:

    Classification and nomenclature of igneous rocks. The nature of silicate melts; physical and chemical factors influencing crystallisation and textures of igneous rocks. Phase diagrams, fractional crystallisation and partial melting. Trace elements and isotopes, and their use in petrogenetic studies. Global distribution of magmatism and its origin. Mid-oceanic ridges, active continental margins, intraplate magmatism.

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  • Module content:

    Classification of metamorphic rocks. Anatexis, migmatite and granite; eclogite. Metamorphic textures. PT-time loops. Metamorphism in various plate tectonic environments.

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  • Module content:

    Origin and classification of groundwater; classification of aquifers; groundwater movement; equations for groundwater flow into boreholes; the La Place equation and solutions for pump tests; execution and interpretation of pump tests. Groundwater flow modelling; classification of aquifers in southern Africa; groundwater exploration and management. Mapping techniques.

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  • Module content:

    This module will provide a thorough introduction to the basic scientific principles involved in remote sensing, and some of the applications to studies of the Earth’s surface. This includes examining the basic physics of electromagnetic radiation and the complex interactions of radiation with the surface and atmosphere (i.e. spectral signatures). In addition, basic concepts of photogrammetry will be discussed. The theoretical background laid out in the first half of the module will provide the tools for examining various remote sensing applications using data obtained in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The applications will include uses of satellite remote sensing data for mapping and monitoring vegetation, soils and minerals, snow and ice, water resources and quality, and urban landscapes. The laboratory section will include hands-on experience with various satellite image data sets.

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  • Module content:

    Adjustment and use of following instruments: Plane table, level, compass and theodolite. Elementary site surveying and levelling, tachometry. Definition of survey. Co-ordinate systems and bearing. Connections and polars. Methods of determining points. Elevation. Tachometry.

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  • Module content:

    Adjustment and use of following instruments: Plane table, level, compass and theodolite. Elementary site surveying and leveling, tachometry. Definition of survey. Co-ordinate systems and bearing. Connections and polars. Methods of determining points. Elevation. Tachometry.

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  • Module content:

    General surveying; instruments, their handling and adjusting; surveying systems and simple calculations; determining of levels; setting out of the works; tacheometry and plotting; scales, planimetry; areas and volumes; construction surveying; aerial photography.

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  • Module content:

    Conservative forces and conservation laws. Basic thermodynamic laws for dry and humid air. The equation of state. Adiabatic processes and temperature lapse rates. The Clausuis-Claperon equation. Calculation of the wet adiabat. 

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  • Module content:

    Abstract vector spaces, change of basis, matrix representation of linear transformations, orthogonality, diagonalisability of symmetric matrices, some applications.

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  • Module content:

    Theory and solution methods for linear differential equations as well as for systems of linear differential equations. Theory and solution methods for first order non-linear differential equations. The Laplace transform with application to differential equations. Application of differential equations to modelling problems.

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  • Module content:

    Calculus of multivariable functions, directional derivatives. Extrema. Multiple integrals, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates. Line integrals and the theorem of Green. Surface integrals and the theorems of Gauss and Stokes.

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  • Module content:

    Numerical integration. Numerical methods to approximate the solution of non-linear equations, systems of equations (linear and non-linear), differential equations and systems of differential equations. Direct methods to solve linear systems of equations.

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  • Module content:

    Setting up and solving recurrence relations. Equivalence and partial order relations. Graphs: paths, cycles, trees, isomorphism. Graph algorithms: Kruskal, Prim, Fleury. Finite state automata.

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  • Module content:

    *Students will not be credited for more than one of the modules for their degree: WTW 264, WTW 286
    Theory and solution methods for ordinary differential equations and initial value problems: separable and linear first-order equations, linear equations of higher order, systems of linear equations. Application to mathematical models.  Numerical methods applied to nonlinear systems.Qualitative analysis of linear systems.

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  • Module content:

    Origin and extent of modern invertebrate diversity; parasites of man and domestic animals; biology and medical importance of arachnids; insect life styles; the influence of the environment on insect life histories; insect phytophagy, predation and parasitism; insect chemical, visual, and auditory communication; freshwater invertebrates and their use as biological indicators.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to general vertebrate diversity; African vertebrate diversity; vertebrate structure and function; vertebrate evolution; vertebrate relationships; aquatic vertebrates; terrestrial ectotherms; terrestrial endotherms; vertebrate characteristics; classification; structural adaptations; habits; habitats; conservation problems; impact of humans on other vertebrates.

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  • Module content:

    An urbanising world. Urban structure and land use. Urban processes. The urban environment. Social structure and change in cities. Living in the city. Economy, society and politics in the city. Third-world cities and South African cities. Urban futures.

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Minimum credits: 144

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Statistical mechanics (28 lectures)
    Isolated systems in thermodynamical equilibrium. Systems in equilibrium with a heat bath: the canonical ensemble, Gibbs' entropic formula, classical statistical mechanics, energy equipartition theorem, thermodynamic potentials, paramagnetism.
    The classical limit of perfect gases: non-distinguishable character of quantum particles, the equation of state of the classical ideal gas. Quantum perfect gases: Black body radiation, the grand canonical ensemble, Fermi-Dirac distribution, the free electron gas in metals, the Bose-Einstein distribution, Bose-Einstein condensation.
    Solid state physics (28 lectures)
    Crystal structures, the reciprocal lattice, x-ray diffraction, lattice vibration, the Debye model, characteristics of solids, the free electron model, Pauli paramagnetism, electronic heat capacity, the relaxation time, electrical conduction, the classical Hall effect, thermal conduction in metals, failures of the free electron model, the independent electron model, band theory of solids.
    Computational Physics and modelling. Assessment will be done through a portfolio of project reports. The topics for the projects will be selected from various sub-disciplines of Physics.

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  • Module content:

    Electronics (14 lectures)
    Thévenin and Norton equivalent circuits, superposition principle, RC, LC and LRC circuits. Semiconductor diode. Bipolar transistor. Operational amplifiers. Computer controlled instrumentation.
    Electromagnetism (21 lectures)
    Electrostatics: Coulomb’s law, divergence and curl of E, Gauss’ law, Laplace’s equation, image charge problems, multipole expansion.
    Magnetostatics: Lorenz force, Biot-Savart law, divergence and curl of magnetic field strength, Ampère’s law, magnetic vector potential, multipole expansion, boundary conditions.
    Electrodynamics: Electromotive force, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equations, wave equation.
    Electric and magnetic fields in matter: Polarisation, electric displacement and Gauss’s law in dielectrics, linear dielectrics. Magnetisation (diamagnets, paramagnets, ferromagnets), auxiliary field H and Ampère’s law in magnetised materials, linear and nonlinear media.
    Quantum mechanics (28 lectures)
    The Schrödinger equation, the statistical interpretation of the wave function, momentum, the uncertainty principle, the time-independent Schrödinger equation, stationary states, the infinite square well potential, the harmonic oscillator, the free particle, the Delta-Function potential, the finite square well potential, Hilbert spaces, observables, eigen functions of a Hermitian operator, Dirac notation, the Schrödinger equation in spherical coordinates, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum spin.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Theory: Molecular quantum mechanics. Introduction: Shortcomings of classical physics, dynamics of microscopic systems, quantum mechanical principles, translational, vibrational and rotational movement. Atomic structure and spectra: Atomic hydrogen, multiple electron systems, spectra of complex atoms, molecular structure, the hydrogen molecule ion, diatomic and polyatomic molecules, structure and properties of molecules. Molecules in motion: Viscosity, diffusion, mobility. Surface chemistry: Physisorption and chemisorption, adsorption isotherms, surface tension, heterogeneous catalytic rate reactions, capillarity.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Separation methods: Extraction, multiple extraction, chromatographic systems. Spectroscopy: Construction of instruments, atomic absorption and atomic emission spectrometry, surface analysis techniques. Mass spectrometry. Instrumental electrochemistry.

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  • Module content:

    Theory: NMR spectroscopy: applications. Aromatic chemistry, Synthetic methodology in organic chemistry. Carbon-carbon bond formation: alkylation at nucleophilic carbon sites, aldol and related condensations, Wittig and related reactions, acylation of carbanions (Claisen condensation).

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  • Module content:

    Theory: Structure and bonding in inorganic chemistry. Molecular orbital approach, diatomic and polyatomic molecules, three-centre bonds, metal-metal bonds, transition metal complexes, magnetic properties, electronic spectra, reactivity and reaction mechanisms, reaction types, acid-base concepts, non-aqueous solvents, special topics.

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  • Module content:

    *Note: The module is available for BSc (Geography) and BSc (Environmental Sciences) students only. The theory content of this module is the same as GGY 363 and students are not allowed to earn credits for both GGY 361 and GGY 363.


    Interactions of geomorphic processes within the physical and built environments; themes such as geomorphology and environmental change, slope processes and the environment, geomorphic risks and hazards, soil erosion and conservation, geomorphology in environmental management, applied weathering. Practicals involve fieldwork including sampling and mapping and subsequent laboratory analysis.

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  • Module content:

    *Note: The content of this module is the same as GGY 361 and students are not allowed to earn credits for both GGY 361 and GGY 363.
    Interactions of geomorphic processes within the physical and built environments; themes such as geomorphology and environmental change, slope processes and the environment, geomorphic risks and hazards, soil erosion and conservation, geomorphology in environmental management, applied weathering.

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  • Module content:

    Advanced theory and practice of Geographic Information Systems; GIS applications; design and implementation of GIS applications.

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  • Module content:

    Construction of Raster Geovisualisations, spatial model construction and use, multi-criteria decision analysis. Factor analysis: Principle component analysis. Geostatistics: Spatial dependence modelling, ordinary kriging. Markov chains and cellular Automata, combined models.

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  • Module content:

    Systematic review of major metallic and non-metallic ore types and examples in South Africa and world-wide; ore type models (grades, tonnages); geometry of ore bodies; mining. Ore samples and ore mineralogy. Mapping techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Review of classical geostatistical methods; problem evaluation; descriptive statistics, normal-, lognormal, three parameter lognormal distributions; confidence intervals; t-test. Sampling; cut-off values; grid generation and trend surface analysis. Semivariogram; error estimation; Kriging (BLUE) techniques. Ore reserve calculations.

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  • Module content:

    Definition and scope of engineering geology; engineering geological properties and problems of rocks and soils within different stratigraphic units and climatic regions in southern Africa.

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  • Module content:

    This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge and skills to learn methods and techniques for collecting, processing and analysing remotely sensed data. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on image processing, image analysis, image classification, remote sensing and applications of remote sensing in geographical analysis and environmental monitoring. The module is composed of lectures, readings, laboratory exercises and research tasks.

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  • Module content:

    Spherical trigonometry. Geometrical Geodesy: Datum surfaces and coordinate systems in Geodesy, Calculations on the ellipsoid, Datum transformations. Map projections: Projection principles, distortion determination, construction of conformal, equivalent and equidistant projections, the Transverse Mercator projection and UTM projection of an ellipsoidal earth, projection transformations. Space Geodesy: Time systems, Celestial and observer coordinate systems, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Satellite orbits and orbital parameters, 3¬ D positioning.

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  • Module content:

    *Cannot be used as substitute for other Physics 300 modules to obtain admission to the BSc(Hons) in Physics.
    A student is required to complete a project under guidance of the lecturer. The nature of the project is determined jointly by the student, lecturer and the head of department.

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  • Module content:

    *Cannot be used as substitute for other Physics 300 modules to obtain admission to the BSc(Hons) in Physics
    A student is required to complete a project under guidance of the lecturer. The nature of the project is determined jointly by the student, lecturer and the head of department.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to soil mechanics. Introduction to clay mineralogy. Mass, volume relationships and phases of soil. Groundwater flow and permeability. Effective stress principles. Suction pressures in saturated as well as partially saturated soil. The Mohr circle and stresses at a point. The Mohr-Coulomb strength theory and the stress-strain properties of soil. The Boussinesq theory. Consolidation theory and soil settlement.

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  • Module content:

    Scale analyses and simplification of the basic equations. The geostrophic, thermal and gradient wind. The vorticity equation and divergence.

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  • Module content:

    Tendency and Omega equations. Model of a boroclinic system. Introduction to numerical models. Application in meteorological display and analysis software.

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  • Module content:

    Topology of finite dimensional spaces: Open and closed sets, compactness, connectedness and completeness. Theorems of Bolzano-Weierstrass and Heine-Borel. Properties of continuous functions and applications. Integration theory for functions of one real variable. Sequences of functions.

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  • Module content:

    Series of functions, power series and Taylor series. Complex functions, Cauchy- Riemann equations, Cauchy's theorem and integral formulas. Laurent series, residue theorem and calculation of real integrals using residues.

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  • Module content:

    Mean variance portfolio theory. Market equilibrium models such as the capital asset pricing model. Factor models and arbitrage pricing theory. Measures of investment risk. Efficient market hypothesis. Stochastic models of security prices

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  • Module content:

    Discrete time financial models: Arbitrage and hedging; the binomial model. Continuous time financial models: The Black-Scholes formula; pricing of options and the other derivatives; interest rate models; numerical procedures.

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  • Module content:

    Group theory: Definition, examples, elementary properties, subgroups, permutation groups, isomorphism, order, cyclic groups, homomorphisms, factor groups. Ring theory: Definition, examples, elementary properties, ideals, homomorphisms, factor rings, polynomial rings, factorisation of polynomials. Field extensions, applications to straight-edge and compass constructions.

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  • Module content:

    Matrix exponential function: homogeneous and non-homogeneous linear systems of differential equations. Qualitative analysis of systems: phase portraits, stability, linearisation, energy method and Liapunov's method. Introduction to chaotic systems. Application to real life problems.

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  • Module content:

    Direct methods for the numerical solution of systems of linear equations, pivoting strategies. Iterative methods for solving systems of linear equations and eigenvalue problems. Iterative methods for solving systems of nonlinear equations. Introduction to optimization. Algorithms for the considered numerical methods are derived and implemented in computer programmes. Complexity of computation is investigated. Error estimates and convergence results are proved.

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  • Module content:

    Conservation laws and modelling. Fourier analysis. Heat equation, wave equation and Laplace's equation. Solution methods including Fourier series. Energy and other qualitative methods.

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  • Module content:

    Kinematics of a continuum: Configurations, spatial and material description of motion. Conservation laws. Analysis of stress, strain and rate of deformation. Linear constitutive equations. Applications: Vibration of beams, equilibrium problems in elasticity and special cases of fluid motion.

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  • Module content:

    Axiomatic development of neutral, Euclidean and hyperbolic geometry. Using models of geometries to show that the parallel postulate is independent of the other postulates of Euclid.

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  • Module content:

    Scientific approach to ecology; evolution and ecology; the individual and its environment; population characteristics and demography; competition; predation; plant-herbivore interactions; regulation of populations; population manipulation.

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  • Module content:

    Mammalian origins and their characteristics: evolution of African mammals; structure and function: integument, support and movement; foods and feeding; environmental adaptations; reproduction; behaviour; ecology and biogeography; social behaviour; sexual selection; parental care and mating systems; community ecology; zoogeography. Special topics: parasites and diseases; domestication and domesticated mammals; conservation.

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  • Module content:

    The scientific approach; characteristics of the community; the community as a superorganism; community changes; competition as a factor determining community structure; disturbance as a determinant of community structure; community stability; macroecological patterns and mechanisms.

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  • Module content:

    This module focuses on the integration of physiological systems in the context of animal form and function, and the ways in which evolution shapes the physiological processes that determine the energy, water and nutrient fluxes between animals and their environments. Topics covered include: (i) circulation, gas exchange and excretion; (ii) nutritional ecology; (iii) osmoregulation and thermoregulation; and (iv) reproductive physiology. The major focus of this module is to understand the major sources of physiological diversity, namely scaling, phylogenetic inertia, adaptation and phenotypic plasticity, and applying this knowledge to conceptually link physiological processes at the cellular level to macrophysiological patterns at a global scale.

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  • Module content:

    The extent and significance of insect diversity. Functional insect morphology. The basic principles of taxonomy and the classification of taxa within the Insecta. Insect orders and economically and ecologically important Southern African insect families. Identification of insect orders and families using distinguishing characteristics. General biological and behavioural characteristics of each group. Grouping of insects into similar life-styles and habitats.

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  • Module content:

    This module focuses on the means by which animals can sense and respond to the external and internal environment. Topics covered include: (i) the structure and function of biological membranes; (ii) neurons and nervous systems; (iii) sensing the environment; (iv) glands, hormones and regulation of development and growth; (v) muscles and animal movement and (vi) the initiation and control of behaviour. The implications of these physiological processes for animal conservation and management will be emphasised. A comparative approach will be adopted throughout the module to highlight the commonalities as well as the ways in which animal lineages have achieved similar functional outcomes from different structural adaptations.

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  • Module content:

    Evolution as a process and pattern, prime movers in evolution: Selection, drift, general population genetics. Population differentiation, clines, subspecies and species, adaptation as a major force in evolution and the panglossian paradigm, molecular evolution. Phylogeography, phylogenetic reconstruction. Evolutionary biogeography. Adaptation, Darwin's formulation, proximate and ultimate causation, genetic and developmental constraints, optimality. Phenotypic models, the comparative method, convergent evolution. Evolution of complex biological systems, origin of life and sex, macro-evolution, punctuated equilibrium, human evolution. Levels of selection. Species concepts.

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  • Module content:

    The history of behavioural ecology. A causal, developmental, evolutionary and adaptive approach. Sensory systems and communication. Sexual selection, mate choice and sperm competition. Kin selection and group living. Special reference to social insects. The behavioural ecology of humans. Phylogenetic basis of behavioural analysis. The role of behavioural ecology in conservation planning.

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  • Module content:

    This module is intended to provide students with skills to undertake field surveys that are essential for research and planning in the conservation of biodiversity. The module has a large fieldwork component. A field trip will be conducted over a ten-day period during the September vacation in the Sani Pass region of the Drakensberg (including South Africa and Lesotho).
    The students will be actively involved in planning and executing the field surveys, and will be responsible for analysing and presenting the results. The students will gain valuable practical experience in the field by applying a number of survey techniques and focusing on several different taxa that are relevant to conservation ecology.

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  • Module content:

    *It is strongly recommended that students first complete ZEN 355: Insect diversity 355
    Impact of insects on economies, human health and well-being. Protection of corps from insect herbivores through monitoring, forecasting and application of the principles of integrated pest management; epidemiology and modern developments in the control of insect vectors of human and animal diseases; insects as a tool in forensic investigations; ecological and economic significance of insect pollinators and current threats to their survival and health. Lecturers will be complemented by practical experiences that provide students with skills in the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and reporting of applied entomological research.

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  • Module content:

    The module conceptually integrates environmental, economic, and social components of sustainable development. Other topics covered include changing perceptions on development and environment, development paradigms, challenges of sustainable development, actors and actions in sustainable development, rural and urban livelihoods, and a Third World assessment of sustainable development in the developing world.

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  • Module content:

    Classic development frameworks. Spatial development history and legacy in South Africa. Overview of contemporary environmental legislation in South Africa. Rural development strategy. Rural and agricultural reconstruction. Land reform. Urban development and strategy. Urban spatial reconstruction. National spatial development frameworks.

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  • Module content:

    Strength and failure modes of rock material and rock failure criteria. The characteristics of joints in rock. Joint line surveys and interpretation of data. Characteristics of a rock mass, rock mass classification and determination of strength. Slope stability in surface mines. Induced seismicity due to deep mining and rock bursts.

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  • Module content:

    The module focuses on contemporary environmental issues in southern Africa. Recent and future impacts of human pressures on natural resources, the state of the environment in South Africa, management of critical resources, population trends, biodiversity loss, pollution, water scarcity, desertification, climate change, waste accumulation and management, environmental management tools, environmental education and environmental management legislation.

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  • Module content:

    Meterological observations data codes. Weather applications software and computing environments of meteorological analysis and weather forecasting techniques. Applications of remote sensing in weather forecasting. Aaerological diagrams. Applications of numerical weather prediction, and types of weather forecasts. Integration of information to describe the current state of the atmosphere and to predict a future state of the atmosphere.

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  • Module content:

    Perspectives on the flow of information from nucleic acids to proteins, the structure and functions of nucleic acids and proteins and their organisation into hierarchical, interdependent systems. Nucleic acid structure as observed in fibres and crystals as well as global DNA and RNA analyses (methods and bioinformatic analyses). Biochemical analyses of nucleotides. DNA-DNA recognition: non-standard and higher order DNA structures. The RNA structural world, RNAi, miRNA and ribosomes. Cellular functions of coding and non-coding nucleic acids. Principles of small molecule-DNA recognition. Principles of protein-DNA recognition and interactions. Bioinformatics predictions of protein and small molecule DNA interactions. Chemical reactivity of amino acids. Domain structures of proteins and Ramachandran plots. Protein folding, sequence motifs and domains, higher order and supramolecular structure, self-assembly, conjugated proteins, post-translational modifications, conjugated proteins and bioinformatics predictions. Principles of protein function and protein structure relationships. Protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions. Protein aggregation in disease. Examples of the diverse functions of proteins and peptides, including enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, receptors, transport and membrane proteins. Global analysis of proteins through proteomics. Basic principles of nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography. Protein purification and characterization including, pI, molecular mass, amino acid composition and sequence. Practical training will include interactive computer-guided demonstrations of protein analysis, hands-on practical sessions for nucleic acid purification and chemical structure characterisation, protein expression and purification (including SDS-PAGE), protein sequence analysis including mass spectrometry, protein structure analysis by 3D protein modelling and protein folding (Bioinformatics).

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  • Module content:

    Nomenclature: enzyme nomenclature and classification. Specificity and mechanisms: the active site, mechanisms of catalysis and examples of specific enzyme mechanisms, e.g. lysozyme and carboxypeptidase A. Advanced enzyme kinetics, Cleland nomenclature and multi-substrate reactions. Allosteric enzymes: models by Koshland, Hill and Monod. Ligands binding to proteins. Problems and answers: tutorials of problems and answers based on above concepts. Integration of metabolism; hormones and second messengers; cell signalling; a case study in connectivity among metabolic pathways and their regulation, in for example diabetes and starvation. Inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). RNA as enzymes. Applications of enzymes in food and cosmetics industries and in clinical pathology assays as biomarkers of diseases and toxic responses. Elucidation of metabolic pathways.
    Practical sessions cover tutorials on calculations, isolation of an enzyme, determination of pH and temperature optimum, determination of Km and Vmax, enzyme activation, enzyme inhibition, purification table and final report, oral defense of report.

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  • Module content:

    Visualising cell structure and localising proteins within cells. Cell ultrastructure. Purification of subcellular organelles. Culturing of cells. Diversity and commonality of cells. Biomembrane structure. Transmembrane transport of ions and small molecules. Moving proteins into membranes and organelles. Vesicular traffic, secretion, exocytosis and endocytosis. Cell organisation and movement. Cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion. Practical training includes tutorials on electron-, immunofluorescent- and confocal microscopy. TLC of neutral lipids and phospholipids. Isolation and characterisation of erythrocyte membranes. Active transport studies in yeast cells.

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  • Module content:

    Normal and abnormal regulation of the cell cycle: The biochemistry of proliferation, quiescence, senescence, differentiation and apoptosis, illustrated by cancer. Host-Pathogen co-evolution: How adaptive immunity emerged from innate immunity. Infection: Molecular and cellular immunobiochemistry of protection against viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens. Auto-immunity: Molecular mechanisms of the maintenance and failure of the recognition of foreign in the context of self in the mammalian body. Practical training includes debate on ethics of research on animal and human diseases, experimental design and execution of an immunoassay to test for a biomarker antibody of an infectious disease, tutorials to determine the performance of a diagnostic test for disease, including the principle of ROC curve analysis, positive and negative predictiveness, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy, applications of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies for characterisation of disease with fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy, flow cytometry and biosensors.

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  • Module content:

    Structure of the universe, navigation of the sky, spherical geometry, optical, radio and high energy physics and sources, instruments, practical observational skills, data recording, analysis, interpretation (signal and image processing, noise, calibration, error analysis). Project: A selected project in either optical or radio astronomy, resulting in a formal report and a presentation.

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  • Module content:

    Relativistic kinematics, fundamentals of elementary particle physics, the four forces of nature and the Standard Model, beyond the Standard Model, early universe cosmology (inflation, baryogenesis), the Cosmic Microwave Background, high-energy astronomy (cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos), gravitational waves, dark matter (evidence, candidates, detection), dark energy and the Standard Cosmological Model.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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