Share Course Ware
Engineering > Chemical Eng & Material Science > Kinetic Processes in Materials
 Kinetic Processes in Materials  posted by  member7_php   on 3/2/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
Further Reading
More Options

Russell, Kenneth, and Samuel Allen, 3.21 Kinetic Processes in Materials, Spring 2006. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Kinetic Processes in Materials

Spring 2006

Macro photo of gas bubbles in cola.
Nucleation is the onset of a phase transition, e.g. from liquid to gas, in a small but stable region. In this photo, bubbles in a soft drink each nucleate independently, responding to a decrease in pressure. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of lecture summaries in the lecture notes section, and a complete set of exams with solutions.

Course Description

This course presents a unified treatment of phenomenological and atomistic kinetic processes in materials. It provides the foundation for the advanced understanding of processing, microstructural evolution, and behavior for a broad spectrum of materials. The course emphasizes analysis and development of rigorous comprehension of fundamentals. Topics include: irreversible thermodynamics; diffusion; nucleation; phase transformations; fluid and heat transport; morphological instabilities; gas-solid, liquid-solid, and solid-solid reactions.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .nb and .tif.


This page presents various course policies and a course calendar.


3.012, 3.022, 3.044, or permission of instructor.


 Balluffi, R. W., S. M. Allen, and W. C. Carter. Kinetics of Materials. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. ISBN: 9780471246893.


For most class sessions, homework problems will be suggested from the course textbook. These problems will not be graded, but students are strongly encouraged to work through them and consult the solutions in the book as needed.


Three 90 minute exams will be given during the term.

Grading Policy

The course grading is based on equal weight among the three exams (1/3 each).

Course Calendar

The calendar below provides information on the course's lecture (L) and recitation (R) sessions.

L1 Introduction: Fields and Gradients; Fluxes; Continuity Equation
R1 Recitation
L2 Irreversible Thermodynamics
L3 Driving Forces and Fluxes for Diffusion; Self-Diffusion and Interdiffusion
R2 Recitation
L4 Interdiffusion; Effects of Electrical Potential, Capillarity, and Stress on Diffusion Potential
L5 Effects of Capillarity and Stress on Diffusion
L6 The Diffusion Equation
R3 Recitation
L7 Solutions to the Diffusion Equation - I
L8 Solutions to the Diffusion Equation - II
L9 Solutions to the Diffusion Equation - III
R3 Recitation
L10 Activated Jump Processes
L11 Diffusion Resulting from Discrete Jumps
L12 Diffusion in Crystals
R4 Recitation
  Exam 1
L13 Atomic Models for Diffusivities - I
L14 Atomic Models for Diffusivities - II
R5 Recitation
L15 Short-Circuit Diffusion in Crystals
L16 Diffusion in Noncrystalline Materials
L17 Surface Evolution Due to Capillary Forces
R6 Recitation
L18 Particle Coarsening
L19 Grain Growth
L20 Diverse Short Topics: Anisotropic Surfaces, Diffusional Creep, and Sintering
R7 Recitation
  Exam 2
L21 General Features of Phase Transformations
R8 Recitation
L22 Spinodal Decomposition and Continuous Ordering
L23 Spinodal Decomposition Kinetics
R9 Recitation
L24 Nucleation
L25 Heterogeneous Nucleation
L26 Diffusional Growth
R10 Recitation
L27 Morphological Stability of Moving Interfaces
L28 Kinetics of Nucleation and Growth Transformations
R11 Recitation
  Exam 3   Tell A Friend