Thermal Physics (PHYS*2240)
Code and section: PHYS*2240*01
Term: Fall 2023
University of Guelph
Department of Physics
PHYS*2240 – Thermal Physics
For Course Instructor, Class Time and Location, please check CourseLink.
PHYS*2240 Thermal Physics Fall Only (LEC: 3) [0.50]
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 for thermodynamics will be discussed. Applications of thermodynamics to both non-interacting and interacting systems will be presented.
Prerequisite(s): (1 of IPS*1510, MATH*1210, MATH*2080), (IPS*1500 or PHYS*1080)
Department(s): Department of Physics
“Concepts in Thermal Physics” (Second Edition), S. J. Blundell and K. M. Blundell, Oxford University Press, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-19-956210-7)
- “An introduction to Thermal Physics”, D. V. Schroeder, Addison Wesley Longman, 2000. (ISBN 0-201-38027-7)
- “Thermal Physics” (2nd Edition), C.B.P. Finn, Nelson Thornes, 1993. (ISBN 0-7487-4379-0)
- “Equilibrium Thermodynamics” (Third Edition), C.J. Adkins, Cambridge University Press, 1983. (ISBN 0-521-27456-7)
The assignment is due on the given due date via a “Dropbox” folder on the Courselink site. Unless exceptional circumstances, marks will be deducted for lateness (10% per day)
Major Lecture Topics
- Equilibrium systems and equations of state --- introduction to thermodynamic variables, stability (equilibrium concepts), quasi-static process, reversible process, ideal gas, temperature, thermal energy, van der Waals fluid.
- First law of thermodynamics --- heat, work, heat capacities, enthalpy, isothermal and adiabatic reversible processes, steady flow processes, heat engines.
- Second law of thermodynamics --- Carnot cycles, entropy, and entropy change, Clausius inequality, consequences of second law, thermodynamic potentials and Maxwell relations, equilibrium conditions, 2-phase coexistence equilibrium, phase diagrams, Clausius-Clapeyron equation, chemical potential.
- Joule expansion (Free expansion), Joule-Thompson (Joule-Kelvin) expansion
- Basic probability concepts --- Boltzmann formula for entropy
- Statistics and partition functions --- Ising Model, monatomic ideal gas (translational part of energy), diatomic gas (vibrational part of energy), heat capacity at low temperatures.
- Black body radiation --- calculation of thermodynamic quantities (e.g., energy)
Collaboration versus Copying
You are encouraged to discuss with others as you learn the material and work on the assignments. However, the work you submit must be your own (your understanding written in your own way) and not a copy of someone else's work.
Not generally required. However, if you miss a TEST or EXAM, then you should see your College Counselor and get a note from him/her.
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The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and areas of improvement. In addition, student assessments provide part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contributions in the area of teaching. You are therefore encouraged to take the evaluation procedures seriously, and to provide feedback about this course and its instructor.
The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is 1 December 2023. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.