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The Committee of Management for the Natural Sciences Tripos and the Faculty Board of Physics and Chemistry give notice that, with effect from the examination to be held in 2005-06, the form and conduct of the examinations for Experimental and Theoretical Physics in Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos will be as follows:
The examination is divided into four core components: the Major Options Papers, which examine material lectured in the Michaelmas Term; the Minor Options Paper, which examines material lectured in the Lent Term; the General Paper; and the report on a research project.
The Major Topics Papers, to be taken in the period from 16 to 18 January 2006, will provide in each paper three questions of which candidates are required to answer two. Each paper lasts 90 minutes; all questions carry equal weight. Candidates are required to take three papers. The titles of the papers are as follows:
Paper 1. Advanced quantum condensed matter physics
Paper 2. Soft matter
Paper 3. Astrophysics and cosmology
Paper 4. Particle physics
Paper 5. Physics of the Earth as a planet
Paper 6. Concepts in theoretical physics
Candidates may replace not more than one of the papers above by one of the following 90-minute papers, which are based on courses taught within Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. These papers are specially set for candidates taking Part III of the Natural Sciences Tripos, and will be taken during the same period as the papers listed above.
Paper 7. Quantum field theory
Paper 8. Structure and evolution of stars
The Minor Topics for 2005-06 are:
Advanced quantum theory (counts as two Minor Topics); Gauge field theory; Information theory, pattern recognition, and neural networks; General relativity; The frontiers of particle physics; Superconductivity and quantum coherence; Quantum electronics in semiconductors; From quantum optics to quantum matter; Phase transitions and collective phenomena; Shock waves and explosives; The frontiers of observational astrophysics; Medical physics; Quantum information; Biological physics; Entrepreneurship.
Candidates are required to either submit work or answer examination questions corresponding to three Minor Topics. As an alternative, candidates may replace one Minor Topic by a Long Vacation project (based on pre-approved project work undertaken during the previous long vacation).
Candidates offering the Advanced quantum field theory Minor Option (counting as two Topics) shall sit a three-hour paper in June, which shall be the same examination paper as that set for the corresponding course in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos.
Candidates offering the Entrepreneurship Minor Topic shall be assessed on two pieces of course-work undertaken during the Lent Term together with a report submitted on the first day of Easter Full Term (25 April 2006). The course-work and report each count for 50% of the total marks for the option.
For all other Minor Topics, there will be a single Minor Topics Paper of three hours' duration, containing sections corresponding to each of the Minor Topics; this paper will be taken on 25 April 2006. Each section will contain three questions, of which candidates will be required to answer two; all questions carry equal weight.
Candidates who have offered either the Entrepreneurship Option or submitted a report on a Long Vacation project will be required to leave the Minor Topics paper after two hours; those who have chosen to offer the Entrepreneurship Option and submitted a report of a Long Vacation project will be required to leave the examination after one hour; and those who have chosen to be examined in the Advanced quantum field theory paper must also leave the examination after one hour. Those who sit the Advanced quantum field theory paper and offered either the Entrepreneurship Option or submitted a report on a Long Vacation project will not be required to sit any of the Minor Topics papers. Candidates may not sit the Advanced quantum field theory option, offer the Entrepreneurship Option, and submit a report on a Long Vacation Project.
The style of the physics questions in the Major Topics and Minor Topics Papers will be such as to test breadth of exposure rather than knowledge in great depth, and there will be no emphasis simply on highly focused calculations. Some questions may be of essay type or may ask for notes on several diverse subjects. Examples may be found in previous years' papers from Part III Experimental and Theoretical Physics Tripos.
The General Physics Paper, to be taken on 5 June 2006, will examine a range of core topics in physics. The three-hour paper will consist of two sections: Section A, which carries one-third of the total marks for the paper, will contain ten short questions from which students must answer six; section B, which carries two-thirds of the total marks for the paper, will contain eight longer questions from which students must answer four.
The final part of the examination is the report on a research project carried out during the academic year. This report, of not more than 5,000 words excluding footnotes, is to be submitted for inspection of the Examiners not later than Monday, 15 May 2006.
Candidates are advised that the Major Topics papers and research project will each account for approximately one third of the total marks, the General paper for one sixth of the total marks, and the remaining one sixth allocated, in appropriate proportion, to the Minor Topics paper, Long Vacation project work, the Entrepreneurship Option, and the Advanced quantum field theory paper.
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Cambridge University Reporter 12 October 2005
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.