Physics 406:  Thermal Physics    ----

Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Course Description
Course Outline
Interesting links

Instructor :  Franco Nori. Physics Department. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. MI 48109-1120.

Course Description: Physics 406 is an introductory course on Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics. These two subjects provide simple and powerful tools to study complex systems (with very many degrees of freedom). The results have very broad applications, widely used throughout science and engineering.

A few Quotes on Statistical Mechanics.

Textbook (PDF):  Textbook (MS Word):
C. Kittel and H. Kroemer. Thermal Physics. Second edition. Freeman.

Recommended Texts:
R K Pathria. Statistical Mechanics. Second edition. Butterworth-Heinemann.
David L. Goodstein, States of Matter. Dover.

Class meets:   M-W-F  9-10am at  231 West Hall. Office hours: M-W-F, 10-11am.

Course Outline (PDF):
States of Systems
Entropy and Temperature
Boltzman Distribution and Helmholtz Free Energy
Thermal Radiation and Planck Distribution
Chemical Potential and Gibbs Distribution
Ideal Gas
Fermi and Bose Gases
Heat and Work
Gibbs Free Energy and Chemical Reactions
Phase transformations
Binary Mixtures
Semiconductor Statistics
Kinetic Theory and Propagation

Tentative Semester Plan:
September: Chapters 1 to 4
October: Ch. 4 to 7
November: Ch. 8 to 10
December: selected topics from Ch. 13 and Ch. 15

REQUIRED assignments:  read material *BEFORE* every class. Also, regular homework assignments. You are expected to study the textbook (Kittel-Kroemer) in detail.

Related Links   
Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Educational Sites (An excellent collection of links)

Aditional Sites:
Interactive computer experiment of a Molecular Model for an Ideal Gas. Experiment with it!

Heat Lecture demonstrations.
Statistics for Physicists, Monte Carlo methods, Computational Physics
Interactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Interactive Java Aplets on Random Walks and Fractals in Science.
Excellent slide presentation of Semiconductor Devices
Excellent pedagogical physics animations
World Lecture Hall

More Web Resources
Books on Statistical Mechanics
Physics Web resources

Web page created by Franco Nori