Energy in Physics and Chemistry

Module code: NS2011

Module co-ordinator: Dr Dylan Williams

In this module you will study core topics in the dynamics of particles.

Collectively the properties of a system of a large number of particles are governed by thermodynamics. This brings together physics, chemistry and biology under the unifying theme of the first law (conservation of energy) and the second law (increase in entropy) which govern the behaviour of the systems.

Topics covered

  • Fluids
  • Potential energy and the conservation of energy
  • Momentum
  • Turbines and magnetic accelerators
  • Introduction to thermodynamics
  • Swinging pendulum
  • Pendulum thermometer
  • Gases
  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • The Johnson Converter
  • Brownian Ratchet
  • Interference
  • Introduction to chemical kinetics
  • Integrated rate equations
  • Kinetics of complex reactions
  • Introduction to chemical thermodynamics
  • Calorimetry
  • Gibb’s free energy
  • Chemical equilibria
  • Electrochemistry


  • 5 one-hour workshops + 4 two-hour workshops
  • 6 one-hour lectures
  • 4 two-hour tutorials


  • Exam (35%)
  • Continual Assessment (65%) - including 4 sets of core learning exercises, a group report and 2 peer reviews