Module Identifier PH31510  
Module Title THERMAL PHYSICS 2  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Eleri Pryse  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Geraint Thomas  
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Levels 1 & 2  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 workshops  
Assessment Course work   Example sheet 1 Deadline (by week of Semester): Week 5   10%  
  Course work   Example sheet 2 Deadline (by week of Semester): Week 10   10%  
  Exam   3 Hours End of semester examinations for MPhys students. 2 hours for BSc students   80%  

Module description

This module aims to:
a) build on the introductory thermodynamics course, introducing such ideas as phase changes and chemical potential.
b) introduce phenomena that occur at low temperatures, and to explain these from both a macroscopic and a microscopic point of view.
c) introduce the concept of statistical mechanics, and use these in particular to investigate the properties of matter.

Outline syllabus

Reminder: Thermodynamic potentials, Maxwell relations, thermodynamic variables

First order phase changes: Gibbs function and Clausius-Clapeyron equation

Second and higher order phase changes
Ehrenfests classification, examples of different order

Adiabatic demagnetisation: attainment of very low temperatures
Chemical Potential and its applications to open systems

Third Law of thermodynamics: entropy near absolute zero
Negative temperatures and population inversion

Superfluidity: properties of liquid helium

Statistical Mechanics
Assembly of distinguishable particles: Boltzmann distribution, Partition function, link to thermodynamic quantities, examples
Assembly of indistinguishable particles (gases): Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, examples

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
D.H. Trevana. Statistical Mechanics. Ellis Horwood ISBN 0138455120
C. Finn. Thermal Physics. Chapman Hall ISBN 0412495406
** Supplementary Text
A. Kent. Experimental Low-Temperature Physics. MacMillan ISBN 0333519507
P. Riedi. Thermal Physics. Oxford Scientific ISBN 0198539223