Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS1041 Thermal Physics

10 creditsClass Size: 125

Module manager: Dr H K Christenson
Email: h.k.christenson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-Level Physics and Mathematics or equivalent

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces Thermodynamics and Thermal Physics from both the macroscopic and microscopic (atomic) viewpoint. The ideas of the classical approach leading to the basic laws of thermo dynamics are discussed and then we probe deeper into the atomic and statistical mechanical treatments which heralded the birth of quantum theory. The concepts of temperature, heat, work and internal energy are explained, as well as kinetic theory, the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecular speeds in gases and the statistical interpretation of entropy.

Objectives

At the end of the module you should be able to:
- calculate heat, work and internal energy changes in ideal gases, using the 1st law, for isothermal, adiabatic, isochoric and isobaric processes;
- discuss kinetic theory and the distribution of molecular speeds;
- calculate specific heats of ideal gases, explain the equipartition principle and calculate molecular degrees of freedom;
- perform calculations involving efficiency and energy exchanges in heat engines and Carnot cycles;
- evaluate entropy changes for various paths;
- describe thermal properties such as expansion, conduction and radiation;
- formulate the development of the Van der Waals equation for non-ideal gases;
- interpret one-component phase diagrams.

Skills outcomes
Problem-solving with basic logics and mathematics. Graphical illustration of physical processes and states reconciling alternative physical pictures.Problem-solving with basic logics and mathematics. Graphical illustration of physical processes and states reconciling alternative physical pictures.


Syllabus

State variables, thermal equilibrium and temperature, 0th law, thermometers and temperature scales, ideal and non-ideal gases.
Kinetic theory of gases, distribution of molecular speeds.
Heat capacity, phase changes and latent heat, phase diagrams, 1st law, PV-diagrams, heat capacity of ideal gases, equipartition principle, adiabatic processes.
2nd law, heat engines, the Carnot cycle, entropy and disorder.
Thermal expansion, heat transfer, thermal conductivity in solids, thermal radiation.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour;


Tutorials: 3 x 1 hour;


Problem solving classes: 3 x 1 hour.

Private study

Reading: 22 hours;
Problems and examples: 50 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

3 x marked problem-solving exercises.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour written examination: 85%;
Marked work from problem-solving classes: 15%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/08/2007

Disclaimer

Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019