Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2024/25 Session

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Module Title LC Electromagnetism and Temperature and Matter
SchoolPhysics and Astronomy
Department Physics & Astronomy
Module Code 03 19750
Module Lead Prof David Evans, Dr Vera Guarrera and Dr Stuart Pirrie
Level Certificate Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 2
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-24 hours
Guided independent study-176 hours
Total: 200 hours

Electromagnetism: The main aim of this module is to understand electricity and magnetism using the concept of a field in both static and time-dependent situations. This will lead to an understanding of the integral forms of Maxwell's equations, and of the motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields.
Temperature and Matter: After a short section on the most fundamental quark and lepton building blocks of matter and the forces which act between them, the main business of this module is to explain some of the thermal and mechanical properties of matter in terms of its atomic / molecular level constituents. This is done through the study of inter-atomic forces and potentials and their implications, the zeroth and first laws of thermodynamics, the Maxwell-Boltzmann and other probability distributions and elementary fluid dynamics. The understanding reached is quantitative, allowing
calculations such as: How big is an atom? What is the air pressure at 10,000 m? etc

Electric Circuits: Electric circuits are important both in the home and the laboratory. The course will deal with direct current networks of resistors, voltage and current sources. Steady state solutions for alternating current circuits comprised of resitors, inductors and capacitors will be analysed in terms of complex impedances.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

    • Understand the concept of a field in the context of electricity and magnetism;
    • Understand the laws that relate to the behaviour of electro-magnetic fields in static and time-dependent situations;
    • Calculate the properties of simple capacitors and inductors.
  • Temperature and Matter:
    • Obtain a secure understanding of the particles and force carriers in the
      Standard Model of Particle Physics;
    • Describe macroscopic properties of solids, liquids and gases;
    • Perform calculations involving sizes and energies of atoms and describe these properties in terms of inter-atomic and inter-molecular interactions;
    • Describe the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics and understand how it leads to the definition of temperature;
    • Describe how the First Law relates together internal energy, heat transfer and work done and understand that internal energy is a function of state;
    • Describe isothermal and adiatatic processes;
    • Describe and perform simple calculations on heat transfer by conduction and radiation;
    • Interpret probability distributions and their applications to the distribution of molecular energies, velocities and speeds;
    • Understand and apply the principle of equipartition of energy;
    • Obtain familiarity with the basic principles of buoyancy and fluid flow and be able to use the Bernoulii equation.
    Electric Circuits:
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    • Determine how voltage and current are shared in a resistive circuit;
    • Understand how the law of superposition can be applied to linear electric circuits;
    • Understand the steady state response of a.c. circuits comprised of resistors, capacitors and inductors.
Assessment 19750-02 : Examination : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (80%)
19750-05 : Assessed problems : Coursework (20%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Coursework (20%); 3 hour Examination (80%)
Other None
Reading List