Physics
410

01
Spring 20
1
2
Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
MWF
8
:
1
5
A
M
–
9
:
2
0
PM
Room O
WS
1
65A
Instructor:
Dr. Richard A.
Thomas
Office: OWS 162
Phone: 2

5212
email: rathomas1@stthomas.edu
Office Hours:
I have scheduled office hours MW
12
30

0
1
30
. You can also schedule an appointment with me
, or
simply stop by my office unannounced
.
I
will never be in on
Tuesdays, but I will usually be here
Thursdays.
When
I am here, though, my door is always open, so please feel free to stop by whenever.
Text:
Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics
by Ashley H. Carter
I will cover some things in class not contained
in our textbook
which you will be responsible for on tests. There will
also be things in the text not covered in this course.
Tests (
70
%):
There will be f
our
exams during the
semester (including the final)
. Consider each exam to be cumulative,
becaus
e newer material builds on material covered previously.
Tests
must
be taken at the scheduled time.
Requests to reschedule or make up exams or labs for non

emergency personal reasons will be declined. Do not
make advance travel commitments with the exp
ectation that such requests will be granted.
Pe
rmission to take an
exam
at other than the scheduled time to accommodate college activities will be at the di
scretion of the instructor
,
and must be taken earlier than the scheduled date/time
.
Qualified stu
dents with documented disabilities who may need classroom accommodations should make an
appointment with the Enhancement Program
–
Disability Services office. Appointments can be made by calling
651

962

6315.You may also make an appointment in person in O’
Shaughnessy Educational Center, room 119.
For further information, you can locate the Enhancement Program on the web at
http://www.stthomas.edu/enhancementprog/
.
Homework
(30
%):
Homework assignments will be given at the beginning of nearly every class period. Doing the
homework is
crucial
to learning the material. I encourage you to ask many questions about homework
–
both to me
and to your classmates
–
and I encourage you to work in groups. Solutions will be posted on the course web site
after they are due
. Homework assignments are due
two class periods after they are assigned.
You will get 10 points
per assignment, with half of the points going towards effort. So in order to insure you get partial credit, turn in ALL
of your work on a problem even if you don’t get the answer. If you
turn in no work on a particular problem, you
will get a zero for it.
Assignments turned in up to one class period late can get no better than ½ credit.
Course Web site:
http://
courseweb.stthomas.edu/physics/academics/410/spr%202012/hw410s12thomas.htm
This contains our syllabus, a list of topics covered in class, homework solutions (posted after it is due), future
homework assignments, and course schedule. Please bookmark this and check it often, as I will put class
announcements there as well.
Honor
Code:
In the process of conducting scientific work it is essential that an attitude of trust and honesty is common
to all participants.
In the Physics Department we have an honor code. This means that we trust you. For example,
you are free to leave th
e room during exams without asking me first. We take our honor code very seriously, so a
breach of this trust has severe consequences. Cheating
–
in any form
–
will be dealt with according to the University’s
Academic Integrity Policy. More significantly, c
heating would damage the trust I have in you. Don’t jeopardize
this trust. Keep in mind that I respect you as individuals, and I respect the effort you put into the class
–
regardless of
your grade.
Approximate
Grading Guidelines:
Technically, I do not
have a fixed grading scale. At the end of the semester, I list
everyone’s course score out of 100 fro
m top to bottom and draw the A/A

, A

/B+
,
B+/B,
etc., lines in big gaps
between adjacent scores. This way, there are no borderline cases. I never put the border between an A

and a B
+
higher than 90%,
and so far I have never found it necessary to put it any lower than 87.5%. So if you want to assure
yourself of at least an A

, aim for a course total above 90%. On the other end of things,
I have never given a passing
grade for a
course
point total less than 50% of the maximum. Midterm grades, however, are assigned according to a
strict 90

100 = A, 8
0

90 = B, 70

80 = C, etc., scale. With each test you get back, you will be given two scores: one
for that test, and one that indicates your current course score out of 100.
Disclaimer:
This syllabus and the following class schedule are subject to change
as the semester progresses.
TENTATIVE
Course Schedule
DATE
CLASS TOPIC
JAN
30
M
Course Intro
FEB
1
W
Ch. 11: Kinetic Theory of Gases (skip section 11.2)
3
F
Ch. 11: more kinetic theory

equipartition theorem, specific heat
6
M
Ch. 11: derive
Maxwell

Boltzmann distribution function, averages of v and v
2
8
W
Ch. 11: mean free path, collision frequency,
1
0
F
Ch.
3: first law, work for ideal gas processes
1
3
M
Ch
1 (very quickly); Ch. 2: van der Waals eqn of state
1
5
W
Ch 2: finish;
Ch 3:
expansion/compression of solids,
exact vs. inexact differentials
1
7
F
Ch 3:
“configurational” vs. dissipative work; Ch 4: enthalpy
2
0
M
Ch 4: Enthalpy; Ch 5: 1
st
Law and Cycles
2
2
W
EXAM #1
2
4
F
Ch 5: More on cycles Ch 6: 2
nd
Law and
Carnot cycle
27
M
Ch 6: Entropy
, etc.
29
W
Ch 6:
Clausius inequality, calculating
Δ
S
MAR
2
F
Ch 6:
more on calculating
Δ
S, formal definition of temperature
5
M
Ch 7:
TdS
equations; Ch 8: begin thermodynamic potentials
7
W
Ch 8:
t
hermodynamic
p
otentials
9
F
Ch 8:
t
hermodynamic
p
otentials
; Ch 9: chemical potential
1
2
M
Ch 9:
phase mixtures, mixtures of ideal gases
EXAM 2?????
1
4
W
Ch 10:
Th e 3
rd
Law and Its Consequences
1
6
F
Ch 12: macrostates vs. microstates, flipping coins, Stirling’s approximation
19
M
NO CLASS
–
SPRING BREAK
2
1
W
NO CLASS
–
SPRING BREAK
2
3
F
NO CLASS
–
SPRING BREAK
2
6
M
Ch 12:
more on macrostates
and entropy
28
W
Ch 12:
entropy, indistinguishable particles, degenerate states
30
F
Ch 13:
m
ethod of Lagrange multipliers, Boltzmann distribution.
APR
2
M
Ch 13:
finish Lagrange multipliers, Boltzmann distribution
4
W
Ch 12: density of states
6
F
NO CLASS
–
EASTER BREAK
9
M
NO CLASS
–
EASTER BREAK
1
1
W
Ch 13:
Fermi

Dirac and Bose

Einstein statistics
1
3
F
Ch 13:
more FD and BE stats, examples
1
6
M
Ch 1
3
:
minor review, spin system example
18
W
Ch 14
: stat mech and the ideal gas
2
0
F
Ch 15: the diatomic ideal gas
EXAM #3
???
2
3
M
Ch 1
6
:
phonons in solids, Einstein model
2
5
W
Ch 1
6
:
phonons in solids, DeBye model
27
F
Ch
17: intro to thermodynamics of magnetism
3
0
M
Ch 1
7
:
more magnetism thermodynamics,
some review
MAY
2
W
The Ising model and criticality
(not covered in book)
4
F
TBA
7
M
Ch 18: blackbody radiation
9
W
Ch 19: Fermi gases
1
1
F
Ch 19: Fermi gases, white dwarfs and neutron stars, course evals.
1
4
M
NO CLASS
study day before
finals
1
5
T
EXAM #4
(
080
0

100
0 pm)
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