PHY-20027 - Optics and Thermodynamics
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Registration on level 2 of a degree programme in physics or astrophysics

Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This module explores the theory and applications of the key topics in Geometrical Optics, Physical Optics and Thermodynamics.
Thermodynamics topics include thermodynamic equilibrium, heat capacity, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Laws, heat engines, entropy, thermodynamic potentials and phase transitions.
Optics topis include refractive surfaces, thin lenses and simple optical systems, interference, diffraction and polarisation.
There is also a laboratory component, which is aimed at enhancing experimental and communication skills.

This module aims to develop an understanding of the theory and application of geometrical optics, physical optics and thermodynamics. It also aims to develop problem solving and experimental skills in these topics.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Comprehensive understanding of the relevant theoretical and experimental background of geometrical optics, physical optics and thermodynamics.
Can use a range of established techniques for critical analysis of numerical calcuations in connection with problems in geometrical optics, physical optics and thermodynamics.
Extended abilities in the execution and reporting of laboratory work within the context of either physics or astrophysics.

Study hours

24 hours of lectures.
24 hours laboratory reports and problem sheets.
12 hours problem classes.
24 hours of laboratory work.
66 hours of examination revision and private study.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Unseen Exam weighted 60%
2 hour unseen examination
Section A: 10 short questions. Students to attempt all questions = 40% in total Section B: A choice of 1 question out of 2 = 30% in total Section C: A choice of 1 question out of 2 = 30% in total

2: Tutorial weighted 10%
Completing the assigned problems in problem classes

3: Problem Sheets weighted 10%
Four problem sheets

4: Laboratory Report weighted 20%
Two short laboratory reports