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Admission requirements



Why is the sky blue? How do satellites continually fall without touching Earth? How do dolphins find prey using sound alone? How does noise cancellation work? What does one of the Hague’s most famous residents have to do with Saturn?

In this course we’ll take the first steps towards understanding the rules by which the universe operates. We will take a tour through motion (including gravity), heat, and waves. At each step we’ll answer some everyday, and sometimes not-so-everyday, questions about why the world works in the way it does.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have confidence in approaching the rules that govern the motion, heat and waves around us. The course will allow students to:

  • Apply the basic laws of motion, heat, and waves

  • Appreciate the interplay between observation, experiment, and theory in discovering the boundaries of our knowledge

  • Devise and apply models of physical situations and analyse them quantitatively

  • Develop the confidence to comprehend and approach problems in physics


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will consist of structured lectures including demonstrations and example calculations.

Assessment Method


Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator, course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.