THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGHSCHOOL OF PHYSICS 

Welcome to the homepage for Junior Honours Thermal Physics Part 1: Thermodynamics. Here you will find lecture notes, tutorial sheets, handin questions etc. The recommended text on which the course is based is "Thermal Physics" by Finn. There are several copies of the second edition in the library and a third edition is out this year. You should also use my Inverted Textbook on Thermodynamics available free online in two parts. Questions and Answers
The online materials on this page are from 201617 and provided for your convenience. They will be updated as the course progresses. I do not expect that the course will change much but be aware that these may not be the final versions 201718.
Thermodynamics is a fantastic and subtle subject  enjoy!
Course involves 18 lectures, 2 demonstrations (examinable) and one forinterest lecture (nonexaminable, November 27th).
Mo JCMB 4325c and 5328 14h1016h00
Th JCMB 1501 16h1018h00
Please sign up for a slot at one of the workshops. In principle, the rooms are not large enough to accommodate everyone, but if there is space you are welcome to come to both. Prof Ackland will be at all the tutorials, available to help with the course or discuss physics more widely.
I previously posted solutions to the handins and tutorials after the fact. Unfortunately, too many people took this as a cue not to attempt the work until the solutions were available. It's a much better learning method to try the questions cold first, use the solutions to give yourself feedback on what you did wrong, then try again if there's anything you don't understand mistakes. Despite making the answers available immediately, I hope you will resist temptation to peek, and use them as feedback. Do look at the solutions eventually, as they contain commentary on what physics the question relates to, as well as checking answers.
The overheads used in lectures are not intended to make sense on their own. All necessary information is in the lecture notes, questions and solutions, and in Finn.
There are be 4 assessed problems. Students taking the 10 point "Thermodynamics" course only do the first 3. Students taking the 20 point "Thermal Physics" should do all 4, although the marking scheme allows one handin to be discarded from either Thermal or Statistical section. Assessments count as 20% of final mark.
Plagiarism and group working for assessments
We know that students often work closely together on handins. This is a good way to learn. Technically, it is also plagiarism, so we have a process to regularise the situation.
1/ You may work on the handins in selforganised groups of up to six. There is no obligation to do this, nor is there any constraint by degree program.
2/ If you do, you must hand in a single submission, with ALL barcodes attached.
3/ Group submission will be expected to have a higher standard of presentation (i.e. you should explain what you are doing). There is no other reduction in marks.
This approach is meant to formalise what was already happening in practice.
Assessments will be released not more than one week before the due date. This is to avoid a problem in previous years where far too much time was spent on the assessments, at the cost of the tutorial problems.
The question is subtly different from previous years. Answering last year's version would be obvious plagiarism, don't do it.
Revision classes will be held in Semester 2. REMEMBER: The Mon/Thurs problem classes are your chance to get feedback on your work from Prof Ackland and PhD student demonstrators I'm going to work on the assumption that anyone who doesn't come is able to do the problems without needing assistance or feedback.
This is Prof Ackland's fifth year of teaching the course.
Assessment 2: Steam engine 12 noon Tuesday of Week 8 (7th Nov) Indicative marking scheme, parts ai ( 2,3,2,3,5,3,3,2,2) FEEDBACK
Assessment 3: Magnetic Fridge 12 noon Tuesday of Week 10 (21nd Nov): Indicative marking scheme, parts ai ( 3,2,2,3,4,2,3,4,2) FEEDBACK
Assessment 4: Phase Transition 12 noon Thursday of S2 week 1 (Jan 18th).> Indicative marking scheme, parts 17 (2,2,2,4,4,3,4,4). NOT required for 10pt course "Thermodynamics". FEEDBACK
General Interest seminar movie and notes. Hydrogen goes bang! Hydrogen General Interest Talk
The preferred text for the course is Finn's Thermal Physics  there are several copies in the library.
You should attempt the tutorial problems in advance of the problems class feedback session.
LECTURES: Will cover the foundations and proofs of thermodynamics, illustrated with examples drawn for various physics problems..
TUTORIAL SHEETS: Will give you the chance to train your skills by practice on a series of problems.
TUTORIALS: Give you a chance to discuss the problems you encountered in doing the tutorial sheet, and get feedback on your solutions.
TUTORIAL SOLUTIONS: Are lengthy and contain not only the answers, but some indepth description of what physical points the question has been designed to illustrate.
Both lectures and tutorials will cover theory and the practical application by relating it to physical systems which are somewhat familiar. REMEMBER: The Mon/Thurs problem classes are your chance to get feedback on your work from Prof Ackland and two demonstrators I'm going to work on the assumption that anyone who doesn't come is able to do the problems without needing assistance or feedback.
This is Prof Ackland's fifth year of teaching the course.
I reintroduced the prelecture quiz this year, which was the most commonly praised part of the course. I shall overlook the fact that its also the part with least connection to thermodynamics.
The only request which came up more than once was to release the handins sheet earlier. The short timescale was introduced to address the problem of people spending far too much time on the handin to the detriment of the tutorial sheets. I see no evidence that this has gone away: the only questions I had at the tutorial before the handin 1 deadline were angling for hints about the handin: an entire tutorial wasted. In previous years this started as soon as the handin was released. The purpose of the course is to learn thermodynamics, and overfixation on one version of the Brayton cycle doesn't help that purpose.
Jana Pasztorova
Christopher Clark
Shegy Parsa
Ana Fialho
Previous Examination Papers can be found via the
central University Library site. This requires an Edinburgh
University login. Although there will always be some rotelearnable
sections, the examination questions will probe whether you
understand what you've been taught, not simply whether you can
remember it.
The purpose of this course is to teach you some physics, not
to help you pass the examination. But if you are interested in passing
the examination, it is a good idea to practice with some past papers.
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
There will be additional sessions prior to the examination
period in which you can ask for feedback on your attempts at previous
examination papers. Remember that while a tutorial problem gives you
practice at testing you own understanding, an examination answer also
requires you to communicate that information to another human being
who marks the paper. A very instructive way to check this is to
attempt a paper under exam conditions and then get a friend to mark it
The overall mark is split between Coursework, 20% and Degree Examination, 80%
(1) Finn, 'Thermal Physics' ; New Version 2017 "Finn's Thermal Physics" by Andrew Rex
(2) Ackland 'An inverted textbook on Thermodynamics'
Questions
and
Answers