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CH30220: Chemical thermodynamics in context

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 3      [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 60
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CH20151 OR take CH20152
Description: Aims:
To develop concepts of advanced Chemical Thermodynamics, place these into context and show how these are important for a range of application areas.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying the Unit, students should be able to:
* Describe various context of advanced chemical thermodynamics, both mathematically and descriptively
* Describe the context in which these underlying principles are of value in understanding the behaviour of real chemical systems, including those at the interface with materials and biology
* Assess the experimental methods used in thermodynamic studies, relating these to the underlying principles
* Describe examples
* Solve problems using the methods introduced including the application of techniques to unseen situations.

Problem solving (T, F, A), Scientific writing (F, A), Independent working (F).


* Reviewing fundamentals: Thermodynamic state functions, Maxwell relations; applications to defects
* Temperature dependence of thermodynamic functions: heat capacity, differential scanning calorimetry, isothermal titration calorimetry; applications in materials and biophysics (binding constants)
* Phase transitions, their investigation and application: Ehrenfest classification of phase transitions; order, Gibbs phase rule, lever rule, phase boundaries; applications in polymorphism
* Entropy: third law, determining absolute entropies; populations and probabilities; estimating absolute configurational entropies of macromolecular systems
* Thermodynamic cycles: Joule-Thomson effect; Carnot cycle, Nernst heat theorem; applications in refrigeration and liquefaction
* Thermodynamics in Context: Superfluidity; Thermodynamics of the Earth.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CH30220 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFB07 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry (Year 3)
  • USCH-AFM05 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 3)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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