A complex interplay exists between theory and experiment in generating models to explain natural phenomena including light. Wave theory has classically been used to explain phenomena related to light; however, continued exploration of light and matter has revealed the particle-like properties of light. On very small scales, light and matter – which initially seem to be quite different – have been observed as having similar properties.
In this unit, students explore the use of wave and particle theories to model the properties of light and matter. They examine how the concept of the wave is used to explain the nature of light and explore its limitations in describing light behaviour. Students further investigate light by using a particle model to explain its behaviour. A wave model is also used to explain the behaviour of matter which enables students to consider the relationship between light and matter. Students learn to think beyond the concepts experienced in everyday life to study the physical world from a new perspective. Students design and undertake investigations involving at least two continuous independent variables.
This unit is delivered in Year 12.
Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit’s learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply wave concepts to analyse, interpret and explain the behaviour of light.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to provide evidence for the nature of light and matter, and analyse the data from experiments that supports this evidence.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to waves or fields or motion, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.
The qualified trainer and assessor will provide teaching and learning materials as required in the form of workbooks produced by the Polytechnic and/or via the Polytechnic e-learning system.
This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.