Postgraduate course

Energy physics and Technology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeENERGI210
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

This course provides an insight into the physics behind various energy technologies for the production of mechanical energy, heat and electricity. The course deals with practical energy conversion devices, their efficiency, their technology maturity along with their potential for improvement, and future technologies with their prospects.

During the semester the students are expected to deepen their subject knowledge in: the extraction of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) along with their processing ready for subsequent use, the physics and chemistry of combustion including thermodynamic laws and energy concepts, pollutant formation, internal combustion engines (including steam turbines and heat engines), the impact of pollutants on the environment, the conversion of light into electrical power and associated solar technologies, the design and aerodynamics of wind energy devices, nuclear and fusion reactor physics and aspects of proliferation. A common theme is that, for the topics covered, the student will be given a comprehensive explanation of the physics, the state of current knowledge, and future predictions and implementation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the subject the student should be able to:

* understand and describe the physics of energy conversion processes,

* critically understand the principals which govern the design of energy harnessing devices,

* show a critical awareness of and be able to explain societal aspects of energy conversion including health and environmental issues

* demonstrate an expanded knowledge on various topics and challenges related to all stages between the sourcing and the end use of various sources of energy,

* communicate with technologists and scientists about the physics and design of energy conversion equipment in a critical and informed manner.

Required Previous Knowledge

MAT111 Calculus 1 or equivalent

Recommended Previous Knowledge

PHYS113 Mechanics 2 and Thermodynamics/KJEM210 Chemical Thermodynamics, or equivalent. Good background knowledge in physics, geophysics, chemistry or mathematics will be advantageous.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Lectures 4 hours each week

Seminar 1 hour each week

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

More than 25 per cent attendance at the seminars

Forms of Assessment

Written, 4 hours. If less than 10 students are registered for exam, the exam might be oral. Auxiliary material allowed for the exam: Approved non-programmable calculator in line with Faculty regulations.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Subject Overlap


Assessment Semester

Ordinary exam each semester


Department of Physics and Technology

Exam information