ACM20060 Oscillations and Waves

Academic Year 2023/2024

Waves and oscillations are present in the modelling of many physical systems. An understanding is gained using a variety of physical examples including mechanical oscillators, waves on a string, acoustic waves, surface water waves and electromagnetic waves. Key mathematical techniques include Laplace transforms, normal mode analysis, Fourier analysis, Fourier transforms, method of characteristics.

Content will include topics drawn from : simple harmonic oscillators, Laplace transforms, coupled oscillators, transverse standing waves, Longitudinal standing waves, sound waves in a gas, Fourier analysis, travelling waves, energy conservation, transmission lines, reflection and transmission at boundaries, wave pulses, Fourier transforms, dispersive waves, surface waves in water. Nonlinear kinematic waves, traffic flow.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

This course will develop skills in applied mathematics. Students learn to formulate model differential equations arising in physical and biological sciences Students will use a variety of mathematical methods - Laplace transforms, normal modes, Fourier series, Fourier Transforms, method of characteristics to solve these model equations. Students will develop skills in relating mathematical analysis to an understanding of the original problem.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, tutorials, enquiry and problem-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

ACM 10060 Intro to Appl & Com Mathematic and ACM 10070 Math Modelling in the Sciences

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Throughout Semester Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: End of semester 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Jakob Neef Tutor