Spring 2012 Syllabus for Ge215: Topics in Advanced Petrology

Revision 3/29/12

Interactive Lecture Course in Phase Equilibria


Instructor: Paul Asimow, Asimow@gps.caltech.edu, x4133, 253 Arms

Teaching Assistant: Emily Hamecher, Hamecher@gps.caltech.edu, x6863, 062b Arms

Course website: http://www.asimow.com/Ge215.html

Text: Ed StolperÕs notes from James B. ThompsonÕs GEOL253 at Harvard, ca. 1975, which are posted at http://www.asimow.com/ThermoPhaseEquilibria_JBT.pdf


Collaboration Policy: same as Ge101, http://www.asimow.com/Ge101policysheet.pdf

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 – 2:30 PM and Wednesday 2:00 – 3:00 PM, in 251 Arms

Grading: 80% Problem Sets (expecting four sets, i.e. one about every two weeks)

               20% Participation/Blackboard Performance (we are trying to develop the skill of constructing and translating among phase diagrams in real time)


Week 1 (4/3, 4/4, 4/5): Phase diagrams – one-component systems

Reading: JBT pages 1-92 !!!

            I would like to skip over thermodynamic background material that is covered in Ge 212, so we can spend this quarter emphasizing the purely geometrical construction, visualization, and interpretation of phase diagrams, reaching all the possibilities in one-, two-, and three-component systems. Therefore I would like to assume that by the end of the first week you have read the first 92 pages of the notes and are familiar with: Terminology (pp. 1-5), the Laws of thermodynamics (pp. 6-16), the Gibbs-Duhem Equation (pp. 17-26), component choice and transformations (pp. 27-45), criteria for equilibrium (pp. 46-63), and the phase rule (pp. 63a-63b). This is a lot of material and some of it is obscure; look for key results in red boxes. As we move on, if we get to things that depend on details from this part of the course, weÕll go back and review it.


            E-S-V space

Legendre transformations: F, H, G

            Critical points

First look at metastable extensions, Schreinemakers I


Week 2: Computing a one-component system

Reading: Stolper and Asimow (2008)

No lectures.

Dedicated time for work alone and collectively on Problem Set #1, due 4/17


Week 3 (4/17, 4/18, 4/19) Two-component systems I

Reading: JBT 93-112; Zen (1966)

G-X diagrams and relationship to T-X and P-T spaces

Univariant phenomena: 3-phase, coincidence, critical line

            Invariant phenomena I: 4-phase

Schreinemakers II


Week 4 (4/24, 4/25, 4/26) Two-component systems II

Reading: JBT 113-142

Problem Set #2 due 5/1

            Invariant phenomena II: singular point, critical end-point

S-X diagrams and isentropic decompression of loop and eutectic

H-X diagrams and energy-controlled processes


Week 5 (5/1, 5/2, 5/3) Two-component systems III

Reading: JBT 143-167

            Degeneracy in two-component systems


Week 6 (5/8, 5/9, 5/10) Ternary Systems I

Reading: JBT 168-191

Problem Set #3 due 5/15

            G-X-X space, chemography, polythermal diagrams

Univariants: terminal and non-terminal, collinearity, coincidences, critical


Week 7 (5/15, 5/16, 5/17) Ternary systems II

Reading: JBT 198-218

Schreinemakers III

Invariant points


Week 8 (5/22, 5/23, 5/24) Ternary systems III

Reading: JBT 219-238

Problem Set #4 due 5/29

            Degeneracies and subsystems


Week 9 (5/29, 5/30, 5/31) Higher order systems

Reading: JBT 239-247

Schreinemakers IV


            Some metamorphic systems


Week 10 (optional, seniors excused! 6/5, 6/6, 6/7) Solution theories and phase diagrams

Reading: Akber-Knutson et al. (2005)

            Henry and Raoult

            Regular solutions

            Extrapolating from incomplete data