PHYS 355: Thermal Physics
Analysis of laws of thermodynamic equilibria in solid, liquid, and gaseous phases; introduction to statistical mechanics in terms of the microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles.
Prerequisites: PHYS 152, MATH 241. Liberal Arts.
The course will be divided into two parts. We will begin by examining the thermal properties of gases, liquids, and solids from a thermodynamic, that is, macroscopic, viewpoint. Phase diagrams, the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics and useful quantities such as internal energy, entropy, enthalpy, and free energy will be covered. The second part of the course will focus on a microscopic understanding of thermal properties in terms of statistical mechanics. We will explore the probability distributions for classical and quantum states, as well as the microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical partition functions and their associated thermodynamic potentials. In both cases, concepts will be applied to several specific model systems, in the attempt to show the practical utility of these ideas
Class Time MWF 11:55-1:00 PM
Instructor Dr. Yuly
"There is nothing more practical than a good theory."