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Module

PHY2036 : Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Patrick Briddon
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To enhance the students' knowledge of thermodynamics and to develop their understanding of how thermodynamics relates to other elements of physics.

To provide a knowledge and understanding of statistical mechanics and how this can be used to understand the behaviour of collections of large numbers of particles such as atoms, electrons, photons and phonons.

Outline Of Syllabus

Thermodynamics: Fundamental Laws, entropy, heat engines, potentials, Maxwell’s relations. Applications.

Statistical interpretation of entropy. S = k lnΩ. Boltzmann distribution, 2-level system, Einstein and Debye theories of specific heat. Black body radiation. Specific heats of a diatomic molecule. Maxwell Boltzmann velocity distribution. In distinguishability, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Present in Person. Two-way interaction; problem solving; questions answered.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials361:0036:00Non-Synchronous student engagement with lecture material provided on-line
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities227:0054:00Non-Synchronous student engagement with a series of problems and investigative material provided on-
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Offers the opportunity for 1-1 on-line contact
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study581:0058:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Module talk; Synchronous on-line two-way interaction between lecturer and groups of students.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online materials are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on assessed work. Present-in-person and synchronous online sessions are used to help develop the students’ abilities at applying the theory to solving problems and to identify and resolve specific queries raised by students, and to allow students to receive individual feedback on marked work. Students who cannot attend a present-in-person session will be provided with an alternative activity allowing them to access the learning outcomes of that session. In addition, office hours/discussion board activity will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer:  a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.
Alternatives will be offered to students unable to be present-in-person due to the prevailing C-19 circumstances.
Student’s should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80Alternative assessment - class test
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M10N/A
Written exercise2M10N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The course assessments will allow the students to develop their problem solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; these assessments have a secondary formative purpose as well as their primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists

Timetable