ADVANCED THERMAL AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS
Credit points: 15
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 available to postgraduate students as part of a group of electives which deepen their knowledge of physics and introduce research-related skills.
SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS
Subject Co-ordinatorNarelle Brack
Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes
Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters
Prerequisites Approval from the Department of Physics adviser of studies.
Incompatible subjects PHY3SCA, PHY3SCB, PHY3TSP
Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes
01. Analyse, visualise and solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to the thermal behaviour of matter as described by thermal and statistical physics.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
06. Describe the recent developments in the fields of thermal and statistical physics and identify areas which constitute interesting research problems. Apply research principles and methods applicable to the field of thermal and statistical physics.
- Students are provided with a simple research problem solvable by computational methods, and are expected to solve it individually, in consultation with demonstrators. The approach and results are summarised in a written report, which includes a proposal for extending the project by further work on a related interesting research problem.
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Melbourne, 2015, Semester 2, Day
Maximum enrolment sizeN/A
Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNarelle Brack
One 3.0 hours laboratory class per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
One 1.0 hours tutorial every two weeks on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
|Labs||10||03, 04, 05|
|3-hr end-of-semester exam (short-answer questions)||60||01, 02|
|5 assignments comprising approx 5 pgs of mathematical solutions including diagrams where appropriate||20||01, 02|
|Written report on a research problem (3000 words)||10||06|