Use physics in engineering


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to solve problems involving linear motion, momentum, impulse, forces, work, energy, power, friction, heat transfer, thermal expansion, the atomic model, basic electricity and to conduct and report on experiments.

The unit of competency is applied by technicians in an engineering environment to perform basic calculations and solve problems relating to physics.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

PREREQUISITE UNIT DCSBME604 Use basic mathematics in engineering


Elements describe the essential outcomes.


Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1.    Use unit systems for the measurement of quantities

1.1.      Measure quantities using S.I. units

1.2.      Convert quantities between different unit systems

1.3.      Apply accuracy measures in calculations

2.    Use scalar and vector analysis in engineering problems

2.1.      Identify scalar and vector quantities

2.2.      Evaluate resultants of vectors using graphical and numerical procedures

2.3.      Resolve vector quantities into orthogonal components

2.4.      Solve problems involving the equilibrium of concurrent forces

3.    Solve problems involving linear motion

3.1.      Solve motion problems involving constant velocity and constant acceleration

3.2.      Evaluate acceleration, velocity, displacement and duration using graphical and/or numerical procedures

4.    Solve problems involving momentum, impulse and force

4.1.      Solve problems involving the principle of conservation of momentum

4.2.      Solve problems involving impulse and change of momentum

4.3.      Solve problems involving forces in accelerated linear motion

4.4.      Distinguish between mass and weight

5.    Solve problems involving work and energy

5.1.      Solve problems involving the evaluation of quantities of work and energy (potential and kinetic energy)

5.2.      Solve engineering problems involving mechanical power and efficiency

5.3.      Apply the principle of conversation of energy

5.4.      Solve problems involving loss of energy due to friction and drag

6.    Solve problems involving temperature and heat.

6.1.      Convert temperature between different scales

6.2.      Identify different heat transfer processes (conduction, convection, radiation)

6.3.      Solve problems involving heat energy transfer and states of matter

6.4.      Solve problems involving thermal expansion

7.    Describe the atomic model of matter and solve problems involving electric circuits.

7.1.     Identify the components and configuration of the atom

7.2.     Describe typical situations involving electrostatics

7.3.     Identify the components and variables in an electric circuit

7.4.     Solve problems involving electric circuits, electrical machinery and power

8.    Perform, report and assess experiments.

8.1.     Apply procedures for experiments

8.2.     Perform and analyse measurements and quantify their precision

8.3.     Analyse experiment results to assess the validity of stated hypotheses and attainment of aims

8.4.     Report and comment on experiment aims, procedure and conclusions


Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.


41980 Use physics in engineering is equivalent



Assessment requirements for DCSPHY606 Use physics in engineering


To achieve competency in this unit a person must satisfy the requirements of the elements and performance criteria, foundation skills and range of conditions included in the unit.

The person must also:

  • perform arithmetical calculations typically required in engineering
  • read, plan and apply experiment procedures, analyse measurements and report on findings

Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided at least once for each criterion.


To achieve competency in this unit, a person must demonstrate knowledge of:

  • I. basic and secondary units
  • arithmetic operations
  • algebra
  • properties of scalar and vector quantities
  • equilibrium of forces
  • motion in constant velocity
  • motion in constant acceleration
  • momentum and its conservation.
  • Newton’s three laws
  • mass and weight
  • work done by a force
  • potential and kinetic energies
  • conservation of Energy
  • power and efficiency
  • temperature and Heat
  • heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation.
  • heat Energy
  • thermal expansion
  • the atomic model
  • electrostatics
  • electric circuits: potential, current, resistance, resistivity of materials and power. (V=I×R, P=V×I)


Assessment conditions:

All assessment must be completed in accordance with work health and safety standards.

When assessments are conducted remotely, invigilation software must be used to ensure authenticity of work completed.

Model answers or marking guides must be provided for all assessments to ensure reliability of assessment judgements when marking is undertaken by different assessors.

The candidate must have access to all tools, equipment, materials and documentation required.

Assessor Requirements:

Assessors must satisfy the assessor requirements in the standards for registered training organisation (RTOs) current at the time of assessment.

Assessors must also hold a tertiary qualification in engineering or related field.

Assessors must have worked for at least 3 years in industry where they have applied the skills and knowledge covered in this unit of competency.

The RTO must also ensure that trainers and assessors keep their industry knowledge up to date through ongoing professional development.

The RTO must take appropriate steps, as an ongoing procedure, to verify information about trainer and assessor’s qualifications, vocational competencies and current industry skills


Software/Hardware Used


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