About the program

For year 11 students

Foundation of Physics is a full day experiential program linked to the SACE Stage 1 physics curriculum. This program includes hands-on data collection and data analysis and utilises specialist equipment at UniSA's Mawson Lakes campus.

The program consists of the DST Group Radar Technology program and the Nuclear Physics program. 

DST Group Radar Technology 

This program links with the ‘Waves’ section of the SACE Stage 1 Physics curriculum. Links to the ‘Energy and Momentum’ section of the SACE Stage 1 Physics curriculum are also included.

Developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, this program demonstrates applications of radar technology. Students use an audio radar as a learning tool in an experimental session looking at the radar concepts of reflection and Doppler shift.

Students work through two procedures during the session. The first procedure uses reflection to determine the distance of an object and the speed of sound in air, while the second uses Doppler shift to determine the speed of an object.

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Nuclear Physics 

This program links with the ‘Nuclear Models and Radioactivity’ section of the SACE Stage 1 Physics curriculum.

Students conduct three procedures that explore concepts of radiation and radioactive decay – calculating the half-life of an indium isotope, exploring the attenuation of gamma rays, and determining the penetrative range of beta particles through aluminium.

In addition to the above procedures, a small Cloud Chamber is available for demonstration purposes and can be viewed by school visitors.

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What will students do?


  • As this program is a practical activity, students and accompanying adults will be required to wear closed-in shoes and appropriate dress.
  • High frequencies, and therefore high pitched sounds, are produced and used in the DST Group Radar Technology workshop. We recommend students that may be affected by these sounds, such as those with sensitive hearing or a condition in which they may be sensitive to sounds (such as sensory processing disorder) bring earmuffs or other sound-reducing protection.
  • Teachers will receive confirmation of booking and pre-visit information.
  • This program requires a minimum of 10 students to attend and has a capacity of 25 students.


Please email UniSAConnect@unisa.edu.au to register your interest in the program and we will reply to your enquiry as soon as possible.