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1. Course title

Klassinen nukleaatioteoria
Classical Nucleation Theory
Classical Nucleation Theory

2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 530124 Klassinen nukleaatioteoria, 5 op.

3. Course status: optional

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?
ATM3001 Advanced Studies in Aerosol Physics (optional for Study Track in Aerosol Physics)

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed.

Anytime during the MSc studies

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

-The course may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both.
-If the course is not offered every year, this must be indicated here.
-Specification of the teaching period when the course will be offered

Every second  or third year depending on demand (last time in Period II Autumn 2019), alternating with ATM311 SIMULATIONS OF FORMATION OF MOLECULAR CLUSTERS

7. Scope of the course in credits

5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course

Hanna Vehkamäki

9. Course learning outcomes

-Description of the learning outcomes provided to students by the course
- See the competence map (

  • You will learn  how to apply  central thermodynamic principles to describe liquid droplet formation (gas-liquid nucleation)
  • You will understand  the kinetic process forming clusters and  birth-death equations  as a model of  these processes
  • You will  learn the  approximations used in classical nucleation theory  and how  they restrict the applicability of the theory
  • You will learn to predict critical cluster sizes and nucleation  rates in homogenous one- an multicomponent cases,  understand how to use nucleation theorem as an data-analysis tool, and the limitations of  the theorem

10. Course completion methods

-Will the course be offered in the form of contact teaching, or can it be taken as a distance
learning course?
-Description of attendance requirements (e.g., X% attendance during the entire course or
during parts of it)
-Methods of completion

Group work with 4 target outcomes (summary cards, essee, two mind maps), 4 joint meetings with all students of the course, lecturer's meeting times (optional)

11. Prerequisites

-Description of the courses or modules that must be completed before taking this course or
what other prior learning is required

Courses Fundamentals of thermophysics ( Termofysiikan perusteet) and Thermodynamic potentials (Termodynaamiset potentiaalit) or equivalent knowledge,  calculus, partial differentials, eigenvector  of a matrix, converting a matrix to another coordinate system

12. Recommended optional studies

-What other courses are recommended to be taken in addition to this course?
-Which other courses support the further development of the competence provided by this

ATM311 Simulations of Formation of Molecular Clusters

13. Course content

-Description of the course content

  • Recap of fundamentals of thermodynamics
  • Derivation of conditions for phase equilibrium  based on thermodynamic principles
  • Formation free energy for molecular cluster  (modeled as a liquid drop) forming  from gas, critical cluster size
  • Equilibrium cluster distribution and kinetics of cluster formation
  • Predictions nucleation rate, nucleation theorems as data-analysis tools
  • Basic of heterogenous nucleation

14. Recommended and required literature

-What kind of literature and other materials are read during the course (reading list)?
-Which works are set reading and which are recommended as supplementary reading?

Hanna Vehkamäki: Classical Nucleation Theory in Multicomponent Systems, 196 pages, SpringerVerlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2006

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

-See the competence map (
-Student activities
-Description of how the teacher’s activities are documented

Group work accompanied with joint meetings with all the students of the course, exam

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

-See the competence map (
-The assessment practices used are directly linked to the learning outcomes and teaching
methods of the course.

The grading follows Recommended code of conduct for fundamental courses in physics

17. Teaching language


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