Module Code  Title:
PH4042

THERMAL PHYSICS
Year Last Offered:
2022/3
Hours Per Week:
Grading Type:
N
Prerequisite Modules:
PH4131
Rationale and Purpose of the Module:
The purpose of this module is to enhance students' understanding of key concepts and models associated with thermal physics. The objectives are to first present a general thermodynamics framework, then to introduce statistical concepts followed by analysis of specific physical models.
Syllabus:
Temperature: thermal equilibrium; the zeroth law; equations of state; temperature scales. [First law of thermodynamics]: internal energy; heat and heat capacity; reversible processes and work; free expansion and Joule's law. [Second law of thermodynamics]: Carnot cycles, efficiency; thermodynamic temperature scale. [Entropy]: Clausius inequality and entropy; principle of increasing entropy; central equation of thermodynamics; entropy of an ideal gas. [Thermodynamic potentials and Maxwell relations]: internal energy U; enthalpy H; Helmholtz free energy F; Gibbs free energy G; energy equations; availability A and useful work; mechanical, magnetic & electrolytic systems. [Change of phase]: chemical potential; ClausiusClapeyron equation; nucleation; Gibbs phase rule.
[Microstates and macrostates]: statistical weight of a macrostate; Boltzmann definition of entropy; entropy and disorder. [Equilibrium of an isolated system]: magnetic dipole lattice; Schottky defects. [Equilibrium of a system in a heat bath]: the partition function and the Boltzmann distribution; equivalence of thermodynamic and statistical quantities; the classical gas; heat capacities of solids; perfect quantal gas; Planck's law; thermodynamics of black body radiation. [Equilibrium of a system with variable particle number]: Gibbs distribution; FermiDirac and BoseEinstein distributions; BoseEinstein condensation; Fermi energy; density of states; electrons in metals.
Learning Outcomes:
Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
 Define key concepts including temperature, entropy, state function, partition function.
 State and apply the laws of thermodynamics.
 Calculate entropy in simple cases which include the ideal gas and a defect containing crystal.
 Solve problems from information given involving the use of the central equation of thermodynamics, thermodynamic potentials and Maxwell's relations.
 Derive from first principles, and apply the Boltzmann and the Gibbs distributions for systems in equilibrium in a heat bath.
 Define and apply the FermiDirac and BoseEinstein distributions.
Affective (Attitudes and Values)
 Integrate the concepts of entropy and energy to the analysis and properties of real physical systems.
Psychomotor (Physical Skills)
 Skillfully perform experiments and record and present data.
How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:
Students will learn via interactive lecture, laboratory, experiential tutorial and problem based private study.
Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):
Prime Texts:
Finn, C.B.P. (1993)
Thermal Physics
, Chapman and Hall
Mandl, F. (1988)
Statistical Physics
, Wiley
Other Relevant Texts:
M T Laugier (2008)
Thermal Physics
, unpublished notes
Schroeder, D. V. (2004)
An Introduction to Thermal Physics
, Pearson Education
Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:
Semester  Year to be First Offered:
Spring

09/10
Module Leader:
Ian.Clancy@ul.ie