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Module THERMAL & STATISTICAL PHYSICS

Module code: EP304
Credits: 5
Semester: 1
Department: EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS
International: Yes
Coordinator: Dr Creidhe O'Sullivan (EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS)
Overview Overview
 

The aim of this module is to develop both macroscopic and microscopic approaches to thermodynamics, to explain why systems move into particular equilibrium states. The classical macroscopic approach uses cyclical processes and heat engines to explore the Second law of thermodynamics (increase in entropy of an isolated system undergoing an irreversible process). The approach of statistical mechanics links the concept of entropy to the number of possible arrangements of the microscopic particles comprising the system, and uses the system partition function to derive thermodynamic properties.

This module specifically addresses the following topics of the Core of Physics, as defined by Institute of Physics:

- Probability distributions

- Black body radiation

- Pauli exclusion principle, fermions and bosons and elementary particles

- Phonons and heat capacity

- Temperature scales, work, internal energy and heat capacity

- Entropy, free energies and the Carnot Cycle

- Changes of state

- Kinetic theory of gases and the gas laws to Van der Waals equation

- Statistical basis of entropy

- Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution

- Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions

- Density of states and partition function

Open Learning Outcomes
 
Open Teaching & Learning methods
 
Open Assessment
 
Open Autumn Supplementals/Resits
 
Open Pre-Requisites
 
Open Timetable
 
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