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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2011 - 2012

Module Title Thermal & Physical Properties of Matter
Module Code PS105
School School of Physical Sciences

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the topics of heat, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The subjects taught and the method of approach will be chosen to give students a full and thorough knowledge of the topics. The module aims to develop students appreciation of thermal physics and to be able to confidently handle problems. Students will be able to see the relationship between the classroom material and their real-life experiences and observations.

Learning Outcomes

1. Be familiar with the basic physical concepts as they relate to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
2. Solve numerical problems in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
3. Explain the physical principles which underpin the relevant experiments in the lab modules.
4. Relate the physical principles to topics covered in other modules.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The atomic hypothesis


Kinetic Theory

Ideal gas law

Heat capacity

Heat transfer

Thermal stress

Diffusion and mobility

Boltzmann factor

Work done during expansion

First Law of Thermodynamics

Process variables and state variables

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Microstates and macrostates

Multiplicity and entropy

Thermal equilibrium

Maxwell distribution

Carnot cycle

Phase changes, Clausius-Clapeyron equation

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment25% Examination Weight75%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • H. D. Young and R. A. Freedman: 0, University Physics, 12th edition, Addison Wesley,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
APBSc in Applied Physics
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
PBMBSc Physics with Biomedical Sciences
PHABSc in Physics with Astronomy
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)