Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Thermodynamics as part of PH11010
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 hours
Other Assignment Sheets
Workload Breakdown Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Semester Exam  70%
Semester Assessment 2 Assignment sheets  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary Exam  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe the physical characteristics of the different regions of the solar interior;
2. Discuss critically the evidence for fusion in the solar core, with particular reference to the observed neutrino flux;
3. Explain the methods of transfer of energy through the body of the Sun with reference to the physical properties of the solar material;
4. Describe how helioseismology can be used to obtain information on the internal structure of the Sun;
5. Discuss the relationship between photospheric features and structures in the convection region;
6. Describe how different observational methods can be used to obtain information on photospheric structures.

Brief description

This module examines the physics of our nearest star. Energy production and transport in the Sun are discussed, together with the causes and effects of solar activity on both long and short timescales.


  • Structure of the Sun;
  • Nuclear processes in the core. Solar neutrinos;
  • Radiative and convective zones, energy transport;
  • Solar seismology;
  • Photosphere and Chromosphere. Sunspots, faculae, plages, prominences, filaments;
  • Flows in the convection region and the origins of solar activity.
  • Measurement techniques.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number All questions set in tests, example sheets and formal examinations will include numerical problems
Communication Written communication is developed via the lecture assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative assignments are used in order that students might reflect on their progress during the module.
Information Technology Students will be required to research topics within the module via the internet.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will highlight the latest developments in this field and hence will assist with career development.
Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested via continuous assessment during the semester and in formal examination at the end of the module.
Research skills
Subject Specific Skills The discussion of helioseismology will equip the students with the most developed observational techniques in the field.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5