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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2013/2014
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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Macromolecular Physics (PHYS11014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website WebCT Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionMacromolecular Physics, or 'Soft Condensed Matter' is a rapidly growing area of physics in which the School has a large research effort. Soft matter describes materials in states of matter that are neither simple liquids or crystalline solids, and covers many materials familiar to everyday life. The course will emphasise the basic physics of colloidal systems (microscopic particles suspended in a liquid), of polymers (large flexible 'macromolecules') and of self-assembling systems such as surfactants. In many cases surprisingly simple models provide accurate descriptions of seemingly complex phenomena; for example, a simple 'random walk' describes both the Brownian motion of colloids and the shapes of polymer molecules. During the course examples will be drawn from biological systems and materials where possible.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Thermodynamics (PHYS09021) AND Statistical Mechanics (PHYS09019)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS10028) AND Statistical Physics (PHYS11024)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements At least 80 credit points in courses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 16, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 65 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course it is intended that a student will be able to:
1)demonstrate an understanding of phase behaviour and phase transitions in soft matter
2)explain Brownian motion in the framework of the Einstein equation
3)discuss the behaviour of interacting colloidal particles
4)discuss the properties of polymers and derive the main models to describe their behaviour
5)demonstrate an understanding of self-assembly
6)demonstrate a grasp of the order of magnitude of the central quantities and develop confidence with "intuitive" estimates as well as calculations based on concepts presented in this course
Assessment Information
Coursework 50% (30% Written assignment, 20% Oral assignment)
Degree Examination 50%
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Material properties of gases, liquids and solids; atomic and molecular interactions
Phase transitions and phase diagrams
Viscous, elastic and viscoelastic behaviour of materials
Glasses and the glass transition
Liquid-liquid demixing and the regular solution model
Interfaces and the kinetics of phase transitions: spinodal decomposition; homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation
Colloidal dispersions: Brownian motion of colloids; intercolloidal forces; colloidal phase behaviour
Polymeric materials
Statistics of polymer chains
Polymer viscoelasticity
Self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules
Self-assembly of polymers
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsMacro
Contacts
Course organiserDr Rosalind Allen
Tel: (0131 6)51 7197
Email: rosalind.allen@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMs Dawn Hutcheon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Email: Dawn.Hutcheon@ed.ac.uk
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