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    May 24, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

PHYS 3750 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Goals: To develop a fundamental understanding of the principles of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics that allows a variety of applications to be surveyed in the latter part of the course.

Content: The laws of thermodynamics and other conventional thermodynamic concepts such as heat, work, entropy, enthalpy, heat capacity, and the equipartition theorem are introduced. Adiabatic, isothermal, isobaric, and nonequilibrium processes are studied. Topics include the equations of state for non-ideal gases, Maxwell’s relations, kinetic theory, the Maxwell distribution of molecular velocities, magnetic materials, blackbody radiation, phase transitions, phase diagrams, ensembles, and the partition function. Classical and quantum statistics are studied; the Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Dirac distributions are examined.

Taught: Alternate years, fall term

Prerequisite: PHYS 3540 or instructor permission

Credits: 4