This study unit introduces you to the proposition that our mental models change through learning, and
Author(s): The Open University

The third category of thermal effects identified in Section 2 are those associated with sudden changes. Here are some technically important examples where things change suddenly at a particular temperature:

• Pure water boils at 100 Â°C (at atmospheric pressure).<
Author(s): The Open University

• Thermal energy is a random thing, so any group of particles possessing it will have a distribution of kinetic energies.

• The fraction of particles with energy greater than an amount Eï»¿1 is proportional to exp(âˆ’Eï»¿1/kT).

• Thermally activated rates follow Arrhenius's law and are characterised by an activation energy.

• Diffusion in solids and electrical conduction i
Author(s): The Open University

The final trick I want to show you with Arrhenius's law is how to extract the constants rï»¿0 and Eï»¿a from experimental data. If the Arrhenius equation (Section 4.3.1) is â€˜turned inside outâ€™ by taking natural logarithms of both sides it becomes:

Author(s): The Open University

Atoms without much thermal energy will not be doing very much. Consider fifty million million million (50 Ã— 1018) silicon atoms, bonded into a single massive network; I've chosen silicon, but any elemental solid would do. It will be a speck just large enough to be seen without a microscope. You know that if it is heated it will expand, at some stage it will melt and then eventually it will vaporise â€“ that is because thermal energy effectively â€˜rattles it to bitsâ€™. Having the
Author(s): The Open University

This is a long section and needs to be studied carefully. Keep your eye on the overall goal of seeking useful thermal effects on which to base devices.

This section continues the discussion of heat at an atomic level. You will need this background to appreciate the characteristics of processes activated by thermal energy â€“ for example, the softening of glass in a gas flame, the diffusion of atoms through solids, the electrical conductivity of ceramics, and many chemical reactions. Suc
Author(s): The Open University

When the temperature of an object increases (say, by Î”T) it expands. According to the linear model of thermal expansion the length increase is described by

What if there is a temperature change, but some constraint prevents the proper thermal size changes? The constraint
Author(s): The Open University

Temperature is, of course, the measure of â€˜thermalâ€™ conditions. Nowadays it is measured by thermometers and expressed as a number on an agreed scale. Some features of thermometers and of their use are discussed in Thermometers and process control

The theoretical construct of temperature relates it to the kinetic energies of atoms. This gives clear insights into the way temperature affects the behaviour of materials. Energy is given to things to make them hot and taken
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Once a small number of chains have been started, propagation involves successive addition of monomer units to achieve chain growth. At each step the free radical is regenerated as it reacts with the double bond. So in the case of styrene the propagation step is

Author(s): The Open University

Initiation is the mechanism which starts the polymerization process. Vinyl monomers are quite easily polymerized by a variety of activating methods. Styrene, for example, can be converted to solid polymer simply by heating, and ultraviolet light can have exactly the same effect. Usually, however, an activating agent is used. This is an unstable chemical which produces active species that attack the monomer. A good example is benzoyl peroxide which splits up when heated:

Author(s): The Open University

The aims of systems engineering can be divided into those to do with its outputs and those associated with the process itself. As far as its outputs are concerned, systems engineering aims to ensure that:

• the requirements of all the stakeholders are taken into account in engineering the system

• the system, as engineered and realised, meets the requirements of stakeholders

• the system, while meeting the req
Author(s): The Open University

The conceptual (or activity) model contains all the activities that the relevant system would have to perform. The model is usually drawn as a block diagram.

Author(s): The Open University

This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from Digital Communications (T305) which is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this curriculum area.

By using optical fibre, very high data rates (gigabits per second and higher) can be transmitted over long d
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Experiments showed that the use of paper tape coated with iron oxide particles significantly improved the signal-to-noise ratio and enabled a lower tape speed to be used. A plastic-based version of this magnetic tape, developed by the German company BASF, led to the development of a commercial tape recorder with audio characteristics that could nearly match those of the gramophone record, but not at an economical price. Secret work on tape recorders was undertaken by the Germans throug
Author(s): The Open University

Berliner was aware that Edison had problems duplicating cylinders. Initially copies were made from a master cylinder using a mechanical engraving process. Unfortunately this method caused the master cylinder to wear out after making just a few copies, so performers had to be asked to record several masters to ensure enough cylinders could be duplicated. An improved recording system allowed multiple master cylinders to be made by feeding several recording phonographs from one horn, but the cyl
Author(s): The Open University

This unit examines how self-assembled structures based on lipids and proteins provide a framework for cellular processes.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Engineering small worlds: micro and nano technologies (T356).

Author(s): The Open University

We'll now turn our attention to the setting up of standing waves in an air column contained within a cylindrical tube that is open at one end but closed at the other. Straight away we can say that the closed end must be a displacement node since the air molecules can't move at this boundary. That means it must be a pressure antinode. The open end, as we saw previously, will be a displacement antinode (that is, a pressure node).

Now, you may recall that the distance between a node and a
Author(s): The Open University

The frequencies at which standing waves can be set up on a string are the string's natural frequencies. They can be determined quite easily. The first thing to note is that the end of the string being held by the person is tightly gripped so any pulse or wave that returns to the person's hand will be reflected and inverted. Therefore both ends of the string can be considered to be fixed and so must be at nodes of the standing wave. But you learned earlier that the distance between adjacent no
Author(s): The Open University

Two of the properties of sound that we have examined from an objective stance, frequency and amplitude, have a fundamental importance to our appreciation of sound and music. In this section I want to look more closely at the subjective interpretation of these two properties of sound. I should stress that I am talking about sine-wave sounds in this section. The complex, non-sinusoidal sounds encountered in music add extra layers of complexity to the relationships I am discussing here.

Ke
Author(s): The Open University