Thermal Properties

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This Advanced Physics Project for Independent Learning (APPIL) second-level unit is a guide to the study of heat and some of the thermal properties of liquids, solids and gases. It was written to provide a coherent view of the theory involved in the thermal properties of matter, showing their historical context and the intertwining of solutions to practical problems and 'pure physics'. The authors set out to show the links between theories built on imaginary ideals and real technological developments and so give some idea as to the powerful nature of physics as an aid to engineering.


Topic 1: Temperature and its measurement

  • 1.1 Temperature scales
  • 1.2 Types of thermometer
  • 1.3 Thermodynamic temperature
  • Experiments
  • Questions on objectives

 Topic 2: Heat and its measurement

  • 2.1 The nature of heat
  • 2.2 Specific heat capacity
  • 2.3 Measurement of specific heat capacity
  • 2.4 Change of phase
  • Experiments
  • Questions on objectives

Topic 3: Heat transfer

  • 3.1 The transfer of heat
  • 3.2 Thermal conduction
  • 3.3 Reducing heat losses
  • 3.4 Mechanisms of conduction
  • 3.5 Convection and cooling
  • 3.6 Thermal radiation
  • Questions on objectives

Topic 4: The kinetic theory and thermodynamics

  • 4.1 The kinetic theory model of an ideal gas
  • 4.2 The pressure of an ideal gas
  • 4.3 Molecular speeds and temperature
  • 4.4 Changing the energy of an ideal gas
  • 4.5 Molar heat capacities of a gas
  • 4.6 Real gases and vapours
  • 4.7 Heat engines and heat pumps
  • Questions on objectives

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