PHYS310-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Thermal, Statistical and Particle Physics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


Development of statistical mechanics from thermodynamic principals. Entropy interpreted from both the thermodynamic and statistical viewpoint. Applications in nuclear and particle physics including radioactivity.

This course provides an introduction to the study of the physical properties of matter. It integrates the study of thermal properties of matter in bulk (thermodynamics) with the molecular/atomic approach (statistical physics). The particle physics is further extended to subatomic scales with an introduction to the phenomenology of nuclear structure, radiation processes and the standard model of particle interactions.

Learning Outcomes

Please consult the document General Information for Physics and Astronomy Students on the Physics and Astronomy Web Page:


(1) PHYS203; (2) MATH103 or
EMTH119 or
MATH201. RP: MATH201


PHYS204, PHYS440

Recommended Preparation

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Roger Reeves


Chris Gordon


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Homework Assignments 30%
Test 1 23.34% On Thermodynamics
Test 2 23.33% On Statistical Physics Section
Test 3 23.33%

There is NO FINAL EXAM for PHYS310/440

The THREE sections of PHYS310/440 will be assessed independently in the form of tests and homework with equal proportion between sections.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Frauenfelder, Hans; Nuclear and particle physics (1975) ; 1975.

Karl Heinrich Lieser; Nuclear and radiochemistry: fundamentals and applications (1997) ; 1997.

Martin and Shaw; Particle physics ; 1997.

Parker, Sybil P; Nuclear and Particle Physics Source Book (1988) ; 1988.

Riedi, PC; Thermal Physics: an introduction to thermodynamics Statistical mechanics, and kinetic theory ; 1988.

Sears and Salinger; Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical thermodynamics ; 1975.

Serway, RA; Moses, CJ; Moyer, CA; Modern Physics ; 3rd;

Sprackling M; Thermal Physics ; 1991.

Thornton, Stephen T. , Rex, Andrew F; Modern physics for scientists and engineers ; 4th ed., International ed; Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2013.

Williams; Nuclear and Particle Physics ; 1991.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $900.00

International fee $4,250.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see School of Physical & Chemical Sciences on the departments and faculties page .

All PHYS310 Occurrences

  • PHYS310-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020