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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Thermodynamics for Physics and Nanotechnology (PEN202)

Organisational Unit Chemistry and Physics
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This unit looks at thermal energy transfer from both macroscopic and microscopic perspectives based on the fundamental principles and laws of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics including quantum statistical physics. These laws are used to analyse the performance and efficiency of various thermodynamic processes including engines. The Curzon-Ahlborn, Stefan-Boltzmann and Muser engines, used for solar energy conversion, are based on endoreversible process. Another important aspect is nanothermodynamics, the thermodynamics of phenomena and processes at the nanometre scale.
Unit Learning Outcomes The aim of this unit is to:
ULO 1: Provide student with in-depth knowledge of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics
ULO 2: Enhance student problem solving with high level of numerical skill, critical thinking, computational modelling and written explanation
ULO 3: Explain the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, statistical thermodynamics, solar energy conversion and small system thermodynamics. Use these to analyse basic thermal problems in physics and nanotechnology.
ULO 4: Give students the opportunity to investigate real-word issues and develop students' capability in data acquisition, recognition of quality information, analysis, interpretation, communication and presentation
ULO 5: Allow students to acquire an historical perspective of the scientific process and the development of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 x 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 x 1 hour per week; workshops/computer-based lab: 1 x 1 hour per week.
Unit Learning Experiences For students to develop a deep understanding of the knowledge of this unit it is essential for them to gain an historical development of thermal science, the laws of thermodynamics and practice working examples with the learned concepts. Lectures, tutorials and workshops are kept to a minimum to allow students time for independent study. The lectures provide basic information, physical concepts and recent development in this field. The tutorial allows students to develop problem solving skills through small group discussion. The workshop and computer-based laboratory activities aim to cultivate students' knowledge and capability in undertaking scientific research and computational modelling. The workshop activity allows students to select a relevant research topic, depending on their interests and knowledge, encouraging the students to develop independent research skills through literature review, topic selection, data collection, critical analysis and discussion. A 20 minute workshop presentation provides an opportunity for students to present the outcomes from their research.
Assessment The structure for the unit is provided by well written textbooks and relevant general research articles. Students are assessed on their learning of the content by short exercises at the completion of each topic that includes one validation test, two assignments, one computational simulation worksheet and a research project presentation. The final exam is the essential element of assessment of this unit. Feedback is provided on assessments.
Validation test: 6%.
Two assignments: 24%
Computational simulation worksheet: 5 %
Workshop presentation: 15 %.
Final Exam: 50 %
Prerequisites PEN152/PEC152 Principles of Physics and MAS161 Calculus and Matrix Algebra or MAS182 Applied Mathematics.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed PEC302 Thermodynamics for Physics and Nanotechnology may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Chemistry Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Physics and Nanotechnology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Physics Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Appears in these Co-Majors Physics Minor Teaching Area
Appears in these Minors Physics
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Associate Professor Zhong-Tao Jiang
Associate Professor

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2867
e: Z.Jiang@murdoch.edu.au
o: 340.2.041 - Building 340, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-External
MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Associate Professor Zhong-Tao Jiang
Associate Professor

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2867
e: Z.Jiang@murdoch.edu.au
o: 340.2.041 - Building 340, Murdoch Campus
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