TFY4165 - Thermal Physics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 90/100 4 hours
Approved report 10/100 ALLE

Course content

The energy concept. Temperature. First and Second law of thermodynamics. Work, heat and internal energy. Equations of state, reversible and irreversible processes, entropy, thermodynamic potentials. Heat engines and refrigerators. Phase transitions. Ideal mixtures.

Kinetic theory of gases:
Maxwell distribution of speed, mean free path, heat conduction, diffusion. Transport processes.

Statistical mechanics:
Microstates and statistical description. The equipartition theorem. Planck's radiation law. The Boltzmann distribution.

The syllabus will be illuminated with examples from biology, industry, climate and the environment.

Learning outcome

The course aims through a theoretical and experimental approach to give a fundamental understanding of how systems in thermal equlibrium can be described by thermodynamics, kinetical gas theory and basic statistical mechanics.

Knowledge. The candidate should know:
- a wide spectrum of methods from thermal and statistical physics with applications across many disciplines and scientific fields
- fundamental thermal problems with their known solutions
- methods for approaching thermal problems without a know solution

Skills. The candidate should be able to:
- Quantitatively describe systems in thermal equilibrium by methods from thermodynamics and statistical physics
- Design simple heat engines and refrigerators
- Perform and analyze basic experiments and measurements within thermal physics

General competence. The candidate should be able to:
- account for the role of thermal physics in a societal context, including climate and environmental challenges
- account for the connection between thermal physics and other fundamental branches of physics
- To analyze problems in thermal physics using mathematical and numerical methods, including ICT.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and compulsory laboratory excercises and problem solving. Expected work load in the course is 225 hours.

Compulsory assignments

  • Laboratory exercises
  • Calculation exercises

Further on evaluation

The final grade is based on portfolio assessment. The portfolio includes written exam and report. The evaluation of the different parts is given in %-points, while the entire portfolio is given a letter grade. For a re-take of an examination, all assessments in the portfolio must be re-taken.

The re-sit examination (in August) may be changed from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

P. C. Hemmer, Termisk fysikk, Tapir Akademisk Forlag, 2. utgave 2002.

D. V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Pearson Education, 1999.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF4016 7.5
FY1005 7.5 01.09.2007
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Physics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Approved report 10/100 ALLE
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Home examination (1) 90/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Approved report 10/100 ALLE
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home examination 90/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.
  • 1) Merk at eksamensform er endret som et smittevernstiltak i den pågående koronasituasjonen. Please note that the exam form has changed as a preventive measure in the ongoing corona situation.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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