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MT 202: Metallurgical Thermodynamics

Introduction to the Course

This three credit course (3:0) is offered in the fall semester. The Course ID is MT 202. It is a core course for the students in the ME program. It is also open to research students enrolled in the M.Sc.(Engg.) and Ph.D. programs.

We will start with the laws of thermodynamics; we will then use some nice mathematical ideas and formalisms, which take the two "Great Laws" further to their logical consequences. We will apply the laws (and their consequences) to problems and phenomena in materials science. Along the way, we will also study the fundamentals of statistical thermodynamics, which explain how interactions among atoms and molecules at the microscopic level can be averaged to arrive at the same conclusions as those of classical (macroscopic) thermodynamics.

We will study many different things, including: specific heat of solids, interstitial and substitutional solid solutions, solution models, phase diagrams, stability criteria, critical phenomena, ordered alloys, defects, ternary alloys and phase diagrams, surfaces and interfaces. Finally, we will also cover property tensors, and how crystalline anisotropy can be described by them.

Thermodynamics, being an absolutely fundamental subject, is important to all of science. Therefore, you will find many ways of teaching the subject, with a different emphasis in different fields of science. But the number of "thermodynamic principles" is very small, and they are universally valid. In other words, the starting point - the fundamental laws - taught in all the fields are the same, but they are applied to different problems in different fields. While the diversity of texts (listed on this page), each with its own notation and peculiar collection of problems, may appear to be a pain for a starting student, the real benefits come a little later: once the basics are mastered, learning new things in a new field becomes easier if we approach it from the thermodynamic angle; the learning curve is now far less steep.

T. A. Abinandanan: abinand_at_materials_dot_iisc_dot_ernet_dot_in
Last update: 29 January 2007