Module Identifier PH31510
Module Title THERMAL PHYSICS 2
Co-ordinator Dr Eleri Pryse
Semester Semester 2
Other staff Dr Tudor E Jenkins
Pre-Requisite Core Physics Modules at Levels 1 & 2
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures
Seminars / Tutorials   2 workshops
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours written examination for MPhys students. 2 hours written examination for BSc students  80%
Semester Assessment Course Work: 2 example sheets by semester week 5 and semester week 10  20%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours  100%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

• describe such ideas as phase changes.
• describe low temperature phenomena from a macroscopic and microscopic point of view.
• explain the basic concepts of statistical mechanics and their application to investigate the properties of matter.

Brief description

This module aims to:
a) build on the introductory thermodynamics course, introducing such ideas as phase changes.
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 concepts of statistical mechanics, and use these to investigate the properties of matter.

Content

THERMODYNAMICS
Thermodynamic potential - internal energy U, enthalpy H, Helmholtz function F and Gibbs function G and their physical significance.
The Maxwell relations.
Derivation of general thermodynamic relations for pure substances.
Phase transitions - first order and higher order transitions.
The attainment of absolute zero temperature.
• Liquefaction of gases (Joule-Kelvin effect)
• Adiabatic paramagnetic and nuclear demagnetisation
• the Third Law of Thermodynamics - the unattainability of absolute zero
• Liquid helium and superfluidity
Superconductivity. Conventional superconductors and the BCS theory. Survey high Tc superconductors.

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