Courses & Units

Waves and Kinetic Theory KYA211


The unit KYA211 Waves and Kinetic Theory is the core unit in physics major for second year, first semester. It is also suitable for students who wish to study physics beyond first year but who do not intend to major in the subject. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of many forms of wave motion and of concepts relating to kinetic theory of gases. Students will develop skills in using mathematical techniques applied to waves and kinetic theory. Through laboratory sessions, students will gain skills in data handling, error analysis, and conducting practical experiments. Waves material includes oscillatory systems, the wave equation for vibrating wires, acoustic waves, electrical waves, electromagnetic waves, and Fourier techniques for wave analysis. Kinetic theory material includes molecular models of gases, real gases and gas laws, and applications to transport phenomena (thermal conductivity, diffusion, viscosity), gas flow, and vacuum techniques. KYA211 is taught in blended mode, with tutorials and workshops delivered in face-to-face attendance mode in HObart, but also streamed and recorded. Practical sessions are taught in-person only to give hands-on experience with laboratory techniques. Distance students should contact the unit coordinator to arrange completion of the practical component.


Unit name Waves and Kinetic Theory
Unit code KYA211
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Physics
Coordinator Professor Anya Reading
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Online Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain general physics terminology and processes relating to waves and kinetic theory
  • Describe the behaviour of oscillations and waves as applied to physical systems.
  • Describe the behaviour of gases at the molecular level as applied to physical systems.
  • Design and conduct data analysis and experiments to test hypotheses in waves and kinetic theory, and communicate the results and their implications.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010301 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,978.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



(KYA101 AND KYA102) AND (KMA152 AND KMA154 OR JEE103 AND JEE104)


Teaching Pattern

3 workshop-lectures, 1 tutorial, 1 x 3-hr laboratory weekly

AssessmentExperimental reports (10%)|Laboratory Reports (10%)|Test 1 (10%)|Test 2 (10%)|Assignments (20%)|Examination (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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