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PX3014: ENERGY AND MATTER (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Our world is made of three types of matter, Solids, Liquids and Gases. The first part of this course will explore the physical properties of these forms of matter and investigate important technological phenomena such as the flow of liquids and the causes of catastrophic failure in mechanical components.  In the second half of the course, the nature of heat energy in matter will be explored.  Thermodynamic behaviour will be understood in terms of Entropy and the operation of engines and their theoretical efficiency limitations will be explained.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Geoffrey Dunn

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PX3508 Energy and Matter (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course covers the physical properties of matter – gases, liquids and solids and also explores the thermodynamic behaviour of these phases. Kinetic theory of gases, hydrostatics, properties of surfaces, elasticity, viscosity and fluid mechanics are examined in terms of physical models based on classical physics. Then in the second part of the course, the concept of entropy and its statistical interpretation is introduced and Boltzmann’s equation derived. Building on this foundation, the laws of thermodynamics are explained and the topics of heat capacity, heat engines, thermodynamic potentials, Maxwell relations, Gibbs-Helmholtz equation, properties of ideal gases, chemical potential, phase transitions, chemical reactions – particularly those in batteries and fuel cells are all explored. This course includes a project, in which students will work together in groups, that will form part of the assessment.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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