The teaching of thermodynamics and phase
equilibria in Materials Science and Engineering degree courses is
becoming less popular than was previously the case despite remarkable
advances over the last thirty years in computer software and databases
which apply thermodynamic principles to calculate phase equilibria and
provide real insight into complex industrial processes involving many
different elements and phases. The problem is that students quickly
become disillusioned as a result of the large number of equations and
proofs without obvious practical application involved in traditional
thermodynamics teaching. This has been highlighted in a recent editorial in J.
Phase Equilibria by Fred Hayes (UMIST).
As a result of this course materials have been
developed jointly between the National Physical Laboratory and Dr Fred
Hayes to help people teaching thermodynamics make use of phase
equilibrium calculation software and databases in stimulating interest
and an appreciation of the relevance of thermodynamics in their
students. Use as part of continuing professional development schemes in
industry is also envisaged. Where possible principles have been
illustrated by means of calculations for real rather than idealised
systems undertaken using MTDATA developed at the UK National Physical
Laboratory. More information about the course materials developed can
be seen by clicking here.
Please click here
for a list of useful reference books for thermodynamics and phase