- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2014

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
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 Learn 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: Thermal Physics (PHYS09061) OR ( Thermodynamics (PHYS09021) AND Statistical Mechanics (PHYS09019))
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS10028) AND Statistical Physics (PHYS11024)
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
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
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
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 Rosalind Allen
Tel: (0131 6)51 7197
Course secretaryMs Dawn Hutcheon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 29 August 2014 4:38 am