Module Identifier PX31510  
Module Title THERMAL PHYSICS 1  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Rudolf Winter  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Keith Birkinshaw, Dr Nicholas Mitchell  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Level 1  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 seminars/workshops/exercise classes; 2 tutorials  
Assessment Exam   End of semester examinations   80%  
  Course work   Example Sheets Coursework Deadlines (by week of semester): Example Sheets 1,2 and 3 Weeks 2,3 & 4 Example Sheets 6,7 and 8 Weeks 7,8 & 9   20%  

Module description
This module aims to study the properties of materials that are affected by temperature. Thermal physics is considered from both macroscopic and microscopic levels. The former approach which looks at the behaviour of matter in bulk is known as thermodynamics, a branch of physics that developed rapidly during the last century in connection with steam engines of the new industries. For the microscopic approach the properties of materials are considered at the atomic level, with the kinetic theory of gases being taken as an example. The statistical nature of the distribution of energy among the energy levels is explained to set the scene for the subsequent Statistical Mechanics course.

Module objectives / Learning outcomes
After taking this module students should be able to:

Outline syllabus
Zeroth law of thermodynamics: thermal equilibrium, temperature and temperature scales
First law of thermodynamics: heat, work and internal energy
Second law of thermodynamics - Kelvin Planck and Clausius statements: Heat engines, refrigerators and heat pumps, Carnot cycle and Carnot's theorem, thermodynamic temperature scale, introduction to entropy.

Diffusion, heat conduction and viscosity

Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecular speeds: r.m.s. speed, mean speed, most probable speed
Transport properties of gases from a microscopic standpoint: effusion, diffusion, thermal conductivity, viscosity
Temperature and the population of energy levels.

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
F.J. Keller, W.E. Gettys and M.J. Skove. Physics Classical and Modern (Chapters 16, 17 and 19). McGraw Hill ISBN 0-07-112674-0
P.W. Atkins. Physical Chemistry. Oxford Press ISBN 0-19-855284-X