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 University | Catalogues for 2006/07

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Department of Physics, Unit Catalogue 2006/07

PH10002 Properties of matter

Credits: 6
Level: Certificate
Semester: 1
Assessment: EX 100%
Students must have A-level Physics or Chemistry and A-level Mathematics to undertake this unit. Aims: The aims of this unit are to gain insight into how the interplay between kinetic and potential energy at the atomic level governs the formation of different phases and to demonstrate how the macroscopic properties of materials can be derived from considerations of the microscopic properties at the atomic level.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* use simple model potentials to describe molecules and solids;
* solve simple problems for ideal gases using kinetic theory;
* describe the energy changes in adiabatic and isothermal processes;
* derive thermodynamic relationships and analyse cycles;
* derive and use simple transport expressions in problems concerning viscosity, heat and electrical conduction.
Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Balance between kinetic and potential energy (2 hours).
Gases (3 hours): The ideal gas; kinetic theory; Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, equipartition. The real gas; van der Waals model.
The ideal solid (3 hours): Model potentials and equilibrium separations of molecules and Madelung crystals. Simple crystal structures; X-ray scattering and Bragg&ęs law.
First and second laws of thermodynamics (5 hours): P-V-T surfaces; phase changes and critical points; thermodynamic temperature and heat capacity of gases.
Mechanical and transport properties (9 hours): Derivation of mechanical (viscosity, elasticity, strength) and transport properties (heat and electrical conduction) of gases and solids from considerations of atomic behaviour. Qualitative understanding of viscosity (Newtonian and non-Newtonian) in liquids based on cage models.


University | Catalogues for 2006/07