The basic principles of electrostatics, dielectrics and magnetism are laid down. Three of Maxwell's integral equations are established.
Electric charge, Coulomb's Law, Electric Field E, Principle of Superposition, Electrostatic Potential V, Conservative nature of E, Equipotentials, Flux, Gauss's Law, Insulators & Conductors, Capacitors, Energy of a charged capacitor.
Energy storage in E-field, Dielectrics, Electric Polarisation P, Electric Displacement D, first Maxwell equation, Dielectric permittivity, Electric Susceptibility, Dielectric Screening, Boundary conditions for D and E.
Electric current and current density j, Charge continuity, Magnetic field B, Biot-Savart Law, Gauss' Law for magnetism (second Maxwell equation), Force between two conductors, The Amp, Lorentz force, Hall effect, Ampere's Law.
Electromagnetic Induction, Faraday’s Law (third Maxwell equation), Mutual and self inductance, Energy storage in B-field, Magnetic torque, Magnetic dipoles.
The basic principles of classical thermodynamics are introduced and applied to a range of simple systems (mainly solids and gases).
The module will closely follow the first eight chapters of Finn's Thermal Physics. Main topics (in order of presentation) are Temperature (thermal equilibrium, Zeroth Law, equations of state, scales); Work (reversibility; thermodynamic method, sign convention and calculations); First Law (heat, heat capacity, ideal gases); Second Law (Carnot cycles, efficiency, Kelvin and Clausius statements; heat engines and refrigerators); Entropy (definitions, principle of increasing entropy, ideal gases, heat death); Maxwell's relations (thermodynamic potentials, free energies); Thermodynamic relations (difference and ratio of heat capacities; partial differentials); Applications and examples, as time permits.
A course introducing the statistical description of macroscopic matter in terms of the microscopic constituents, with applications that include the underpinning of the laws of thermodynamics, and the thermal properties of gases and condensed matter.
’s expression for the entropy and the partition function at constant temperature, the Boltzmann weight of a state at constant temperature and also the weight of a state at constant chemical potential/Fermi level. Also the role of fluctuations. An application to a simple system: a two-level system at fixed temperature. Finally, the expression for the partition function for a simple classical particle and the equipartition theorem.
You will perform a selection of three experiments with the general theme of electromagnetism, thermal physics, etc. You will produce 6 lab diary entries and either a full report or oral presentation on one experiment. You will receive detailed marking and feedback on how to improve the usefulness of both, to yourself and others. Typical experiments include: measurement of e/m for the electron, Coulomb's Law, a macroscopic model of nuclear magnetic resonance, plotting of magnetic fields and application to magnetic resonance imaging, waves in transmission lines, adiabatic gas expansion, thermal radiation, and others.