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PX265 - Thermal Physics II

  • Module code: PX265
  • Module name: Thermal Physics II
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module introduces statistical mechanics and its central role in physics. It should give you an appreciation of Boltzmann's insights into the nature and role of entropy. You will see many of the ideas introduced here used in the description of the properties of matter in solid state, nuclear and astrophysics modules in the third and fourth years.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should; Be familiar with the definition of thermal equilibrium, the ergodic hypothesis and the various ensembles; Know the definition and importance of the partition function and be able to calculate thermodynamic averages from it. This includes the Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions; Understand the structure of statistical mechanics and its relation to classical thermodynamics; Be familiar with the notion of degeneracy and the density of states.

Timetabled teaching activities

"about 18 Lectures + 4 problems classes "

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX265-7.5)
D (Assessed/examined work) Assessed Course Work 15%
Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 4-9) 85%
Assessed Course Work 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies (F3N1) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 2
Optional Core