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Seasonal Arctic summer ice extent still hard to forecast.

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GEOL1006 Foundations of Physical Geoscience



This course is intended to introduce Earth science students to the basic fundamental principles of mathematics and physics, assuming minimal previous knowledge. The student will be taught the essential tools of mathematics required for the geology, environmental geoscience 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 drawing.


Topics studied in lectures and practicals include:

  • Geometry and Co-ordinates (Measurement and geometry);
  • Exponents and Graphs. (Graphical Methods);
  • Dimensional Analysis and Mechanics 1. (Graphs and Computers);
  • Mechanics 2 and Elasticity.(Determining 'g');
  • Waves and Light. (The nature of light);
  • Thermal and Transport Processes. (Viscosity);
  • Electricity and Magnetism.(Electromagnetism);
  • Differentiation and Integration.(Finite vs. Infinitesimal);
  • Errors and Statistics.(Elementary Statistics).
Title Foundations of Physical Geoscience
UG Code GEOL1006
Coordinator Prof Lidunka Vocadlo
Other Contributors  
Term 1
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 40%
Problem Sheets
 Practical  30%
Pre-Requisites None
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement General GCSE-level (or equivalent) knowledge of maths
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None

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UCL Earth Sciences · Gower Street London WC1E 6BT · +44 (0)20 7679 2363 · more