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Thermal Properties of Matter

Joe Khachan


The ancient Greeks believed that all matter was composed of four elements: earth, water, air and fire. By a remarkable coincidence (or perhaps not), today we know that there are four states of matter: solids (e.g. earth), liquids (e.g. water), gasses (e.g. air) and plasma (e.g. ionized gas produced by fire). The plasma state is beyond the scope of this book and we will only look at the first three states. Although on the microscopic level all matter is made from atoms or molecules, everyday experience tells us that the three states have very different properties. The aim of this book is to examine some of these properties and the underlying physics.

About Editors

Joe Khachan is an Associate Professor in the School of Physics at The University of Sydney, Australia. His field of research is experimental plasma physics with a focus on the generation of clean and sustainable energy from the fusion of atomic nuclei in the plasma. He obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and has been actively involved in research and education for more than 20 years. His fields of research have covered both the solid and plasma states of matter.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Thermal properties of materials and temperature measurement 3

2.1 Temperature and heat

2.2 Thermal equilibrium

2.3 Absolute temperature scale

2.3.1 How to make a thermometer

2.4 Thermal expansion

2.4.1 Thermal expansion at the atomic level

3 Heat transfer through conduction, convection and radiation

3.1 Heat conduction

3.1.1 Direction of heat transfer

3.1.2 So how fast does heat travel?

3.1.3 Heat conduction through composite materials

3.2 Convection

3.3 Radiation

3.3.1 The greenhouse effect

4 Heat capacity, specific heat, and heat of transformation

4.1 Heat capacity and specific heat

4.2 Heats of fusion and vaporisation

4.3 Phase diagram description of water

4.4 Latent heat of fusion and vaporisation

4.5 Problems and solutions

5 First law of thermodynamics and its applications to thermal processes

5.1 The first law of thermodynamics

5.2 Problems .

6 Pressure in terms of molecular motion

6.1 An ideal gas - a macroscopic approach

6.2 An ideal gas - a microscopic approach

6.3 Questions and problems


Paperback ISBN: 9780750329002

Ebook ISBN: 9781681745862

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4585-5

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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