1st Year - 1/2cu for those without maths and physics 'A' level
Course Organisers: Lidunka Vočadlo
Other Contributors: Alex Lindsay-Scott, Tom
2 hour theory
exam (40%), practical work (30%), written course work (30%).
This course is intended to
introduce Earth science students to the basic fundamental
principles of mathematics and their applications in physics
relevant to the Earth and planetary sciences, assuming minimal
previous knowledge. The student will use the essential tools of
mathematics required for the Earth and planetary science degrees,
and will study the basic principles of physics behind the
fundamental processes occurring within the Earth and our solar
system. Practical sessions and problem classes will illustrate the
material covered within the lectures and will give the students
training in good experimental techniques and scientific methods.
In addition, the student will develop computer skills through
exercises in word-processing, spreadsheet analysis and graph
Geometry and Co-ordinates
Measurement and Mapping
Exponents and Graphs and Quadratic Equations
Data Analysis 1
Scalars and Vectors and Mechanics 1
Data Analysis 2
Mechanics 2 and Elasticity
Weighing the Earth
Waves and Light Complex numbers
Optical Props. of Crystals & Glasses
Thermal and Transport Processes
Viscosity of Liquids
Electricity and Magnetism
Errors and Statistics
Differentiation and Differential Equations
Numerical Data Analysis 1
Numerical Data Analysis 2
A more detailed syllabus can be found here
You are expected to
attend all Lectures, the Problem Class and Practical Sessions.
Lectures will be held on Tuesdays from 9-11am in Room 23.
Problem sheets associated with each week's lectures will be
distributed at the lecture and collected the following Tuesday.
There is a problem class given by Nikhil Radia Wednesdays from
12-1pm in Room 44.
Practical sessions will be held on Fridays from 11am to 1pm (Room
42). Practical write-ups will be collected on the following Friday.
It is not necessary for write-ups to be typed but they should be
neat and legible.
The file, prem.dat, for Practical 3 can be found here
There is no “book of the course”.
Those without Mathematics A-level might consider:
Waltham: "Mathematics: a Simple Tool for Geologists" (Blackwell
This covers the necessary mathematics at about the right level, with
an Earth science bias.
Those wanting a physics book might consider:
Breithaupt:“Physics” (Palgrave, Macmillan)
This seems to be a well presented and clearly written text at about
the correct level. It is a general text, i.e. it does not have a
specific Earth physics bias.
Chapman: "Physics for Geologists" (Taylor & Francis) covers the
material at about the right level, with an Earth science viewpoint.
However, it is probably not as clearly written as Breithaupt.
Keighley, Harrison & McKim: “Mastering Physics” (Palgrave Master
Series). A general text at about the correct level but not as
clearly presented as Breithaupt.
Halliday, Resnick & Walker: “Fundamentals of Physics” (Wiley). A
large, comprehensive text. The layout is rather dense - probably
over-long for a GEOL1006 text and not as clear as Breithaupt.
When used with care, the Internet is an excellent resource to aid