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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Soft Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS10097)

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 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionSoft Condensed Matter Physics studies complex fluids in which intermediate level structures with length scale between small molecules and the macroscopic world exist: colloidal particles, polymers, and aggregates spontaneously formed by soap-like (surfac- tant) molecules. This course emphasises the generic features of these systems (most im- portantly, Brownian motion), and develops simple models to account for their behaviour. It will also look at how the principle of soft matter physics can give insight into biological problems.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Electromagnetism (PHYS09060)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
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)Soft Condensed Matter Physics2:00
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
50% exam and 50% coursework
Special Arrangements
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
Course organiserDr Paul Clegg
Tel: (0131 6)50 5295
Course secretaryMs Dawn Hutcheon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
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