Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics – PHYS 432

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 03/28/2022

Course Description

Overview of topics in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

This course builds upon the introductory thermodynamic course by introducing statistical mechanics and its relationship to equilibrium thermodynamics.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  1. Define thermodynamic equilibrium as it relates to classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
  2. Define energy from a microscopic and macroscopic perspective, specifically as it relates to the first law of thermodynamics.
  3. Define the entropy of a system, specifically as it relates to the second law of thermodynamics.
  4. Construct the fundamental thermodynamic equation for a system.
  5. Use Maxwell relations to equate partial derivatives.
  6. Calculate changes in thermodynamic quantities between initial and final states of gases.
  7. Use partition functions to determine thermodynamic quantities for ideal equilibrium systems.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Homework Quizzes (6)

Modules 1-3 and 5-7 will have homework assignments. These homework quizzes will be completed in Canvas. Each of the Homework Quizzes will have approximately 10 questions worth 5 points for a total of 50 points. The questions will consist of multiple choice, numerical calculation, and hand-written answers. For the hand-written answers, a device must be used to take a picture of the work, and the file containing the picture will be submitted for that particular question. The homework assignments will be available throughout the entire duration of the module. However, it must be completed by the due date.

Quizzes (6)

Modules 1-3 and 5-7 will have quizzes. The quizzes will be completed through Canvas, and each will have approximately 10 questions worth 5 points for a total of 50 points. The questions will consist of multiple choice, numerical calculation, and hand-written answers. For the hand-written answers, a device must be used to take a picture of the work, and the file containing the picture will be submitted for that particular question. The quizzes available throughout the entire duration of the module. However, once opened there will be a time limit of 2 hours for its completion. It must be completed by the due date.

Quiz: Exams (2)

There will be 2 exams throughout the course. The first exam covering modules 1-3 will be taken during module 4. The Second exam covering modules 5-7 will be taken during module 8. The exams will consist of multiple choice, numerical calculation, and hand-written work questions. The first exam will be worth 150 points, and the second exam will be worth 250 points. The exam will be similar to HW assignments in that it will be available to be worked on throughout the during of the module. There will be no time limit, but the exams must be completed by the end of the module. Note that the last module is a short week and ends on Friday rather than Monday.