THERMAL AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS

PHY3TSP

2015

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students explore the thermal physics of matter, from a classical thermodynamic and statistical perspective. Students enhance their practical and computational skills with a range of laboratory experiments. This subject is one of four such units at 3rd year level that together constitute the physics major stream. This stream is an excellent preparation for a career in the physical sciences and education and for honours and post-graduate research studies in Physics.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorNarelle Brack

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites (PHY2MOD and PHY2OPT and PHY2EMM) or (PHY2SCA and PHY2SCB), and (MAT2VCA and MAT2LAL and MAT2MEC) or equivalent or approval from the Department of Physics adviser of studies.

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjects PHY3SCA, PHY3SCB, PHY5TSA

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse, visualise and solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to the behaviour of matter as described by thermal and statistical physics.

Activities:
Students are assigned a set of conceptual and mathematical problems to solve in the form of five assignments. Problem-solving techniques are modelled in lectures and partial solutions to selected problems derived in tutorials. Students work individually to prepare and submit complete solutions to meet deadlines occurring regularly throughout the course.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

02. Critically review and analyse research data in an ethical manner and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in an appropriate manner in a written report.

Activities:
Students prepare an individual report in the style of a professional research journal article which accurately and ethically describes the experiment, its findings and draws appropriate conclusions. Students are provided with a template on which to base their report, along with graded examples of previous students' reports.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Writing (Writing)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)

03. Design and perform experiments related to thermal and statistical physics using standard physics laboratory techniques, equipment and software which produce conclusive and accurate results.

Activities:
Students conduct, in pairs, three extended laboratory experiments of nine hours duration each in close consultation with a staff demonstrator, who assists them in the design and conduct of the experiment.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)

04. Describe and explain, in appropriate written and verbal style, the findings from laboratory experiments performed by the student. Answer verbal queries about the findings as presented in the context of thermal and statistical physics.

Activities:
Students submit three laboratory reports detailing their interpretation of the results. The laboratory report mark contains a writing component. Students conduct an oral interview with a laboratory demonstrator at the completion of each experiment where their understanding of the underlying physics concepts, experimental approaches, data and error analysis, and maturity in diagnosing and solving problems are assessed. Students give an oral presentation about one of the first two experiments they have conducted where they explain and interpret their results to a peer group and the lecturer.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Writing (Writing)
Speaking (Speaking)

05. Collaborate, in pairs, to complete laboratory experiments and prepare and deliver the oral component of the laboratory assessment. Ethically distinguish between collaborative and individual work.

Activities:
The relative participation of each student in completing the experiment and in the preparation and execution of the oral component of the laboratory assessment are assessed. It is repeatedly stressed via the subject materials and orally that students in the group are expected to contribute equally to these activities. Students are expected to submit their own work (laboratory reports). If they fail to do so, they are counselled after the first occasion by the demonstrator. For subsequent plagiarism, no marks are awarded and they are interviewed by the subject coordinator.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNarelle Brack

Class requirements

Tutorial Week: 32 - 43
One 1.0 hours tutorial every two weeks on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Laboratory Class Week: 32 - 43
Two 3.0 hours laboratory class every two weeks on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
5 assignments comprising approx 5 pgs of mathematical solutions including diagrams where appropriate20 01, 02
One 3-hour end-of-semester exam (short answer questions)60 01, 02
Labs20 03, 04, 05