Thermal Physics (PHYS*2240)
Code and section: PHYS*2240*01
Term: Fall 2019
Instructor: Stefan Kycia
This course will introduce students to the basic ideas of thermal physics, including temperature, heat, work, thermal and diffusive equilibrium, and the Boltzmann distribution. The statistical basis for entropy and thermodynamics will be discussed. Applications of thermodynamics to both non-interacting and interacting systems will be presented.
Office: MacN 324
(519) 824-4120 52540
Office Hours: Monday, 2:30 - 3:30 pm; Tuesday, 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
1:30 pm – 2:20 pm
MCKN Room 228
- An Introduction to Thermal Physics, by D. V. Schroeder (Addison Wesley Longman, 2000).
Other, optional, resources
- Sears & Zemansky’s University Physics with Modern Physics 14th Edition, by Young and Freedman
- Thermal Physics, by C. B. P. Finn
- Equilibrium Thermodynamics by C. J. Adkins
- Thermal physics online resources and simulations: www.compadre.org/stp/
|Assignments (between 5 t 6)||25%|
|Term Test 1||15%|
|Term Test 2||15%|
Assignment solutions that are not stapled together will receive a grade reduction of 5%. Assignments are due at the beginning of class; late assignments will receive a grade of zero.
Students may discuss problems amongst themselves but their written solutions must not be shared with anyone. This would be an example of plagiarism.
Plagiarism is the act of appropriating the “...composition of another, or parts or passages of his [or her] writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind...” (Black’s Law Dictionary). A student found to have plagiarized will receive zero for the work concerned. Collaborators shown to be culpable will be subject to the same penalties.
Term Test dates
Friday, October 7, in class, 50 minutes (15% of final grade)
Friday, November 15, in class, 50 minutes (15% of final grade)
Final Exam date
Wednesday, December 11, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM, (40% of final grade)
Room TBA. (A medical certificate is required if the exam is missed.)
The following outline is my goal, but we will likely cover a little less.
- Introduction to Thermal Physics (1 Lecture)
a) Matter: Gas, Liquids and Solids
b) Pressure in Liquids and Gas
- Equilibrium, state variables, and equations of state (5 lectures) [1.1, 1.2]
a) The microscopic world and the macroscopic world, temperature, thermal equilibrium
b) Kelvin scale of temperature, equation of state, thermal expansion
c) Mathematics of functions of multiple variables: differentials and partial derivatives
d) Pressure; the isothermal atmosphere, Boltzmann factor
e) Interacting gas: the van der Waals equation of state, isothermal compression (pp. 180 - 181)
- Conservation of energy: work and heat (3 lectures) [1.4, 1.5]
a) Mechanical work; quasi-static, isothermal expansion of an ideal gas
b) What is heat? Internal energy, heat and temperature; heat capacity
c) First Law: energy conservation
- Microstates and multiplicity (8 lectures) [2.1 - 2.5]
a) The big questions of thermodynamics
b) Example systems: two-state system, Einstein solid, ideal gas
c) Microvariables and microstates, counting microstates
d) Constraints and the multiplicity function
e) Interacting systems: two Einstein solids in thermal contact
f) Large systems, sharpness of the multiplicity function
g) Multiplicity of the monatomic ideal gas
- Statistical description of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium (4 lectures) [2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4 - 3.6]
a) Fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics
b) Second Law: Increase of entropy following release of internal constraints
c) Temperature, thermal equilibrium, heat flow and entropy
d) Mechanical and diffusive equilibrium, chemical potential
e) Example: ideal gas
- Thermodynamic Potentials: the Structure of Thermodynamics (4 lectures) [5.1, 5.2]
a) Structure of thermodynamics, roles of variables
b) Constant temperature situations, Helmholtz free energy
c) Other thermodynamic potentials: Gibbs, enthalpy
d) Free energy as a force toward equilibrium, extremal principle
e) Maxwell and TdS relations
- Applications: Mainly the Ideal Gas (7 lectures) [1.3, 1.5, 4.4, 2.6]
a) Equipartition of energy
b) Heat capacity at constant V and at constant P, relationship
c) Ideal gas: adiabatic compression, free expansion (pp. 25 - 27, p. 78)
d) Joule-Thompson process, gas liquefaction (pp. 139 - 143)
e) Entropy of mixing and indistinguishability (pp. 79 - 81)
f) Reversible and irreversible processes (pp. 82 - 83)
- Phase transformations (3 lectures) [5.3]
a) Behaviour near the transformation
b) Analysis in terms of the Gibbs potential
c) Slope of the coexistence curve in the P-T plane: Clausius-Clapeyron relation
d) Liquid-gas coexistence in the van der Waals fluid
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