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Physics 205

Thermal Physics

Credits: 4

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4 hours lectures, 1 hour of tutorial

Prerequisite: Physics 120 or 130

Corequisites: Mathematics 213

Text: Schroeder, D.V.: An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley Longman, 2000.

Course Description:

An intermediate level course in thermal physics. Topics include: fundamentals of thermodynamics and introductory statistical mechanics: heat transfer, entropy, kinetic theory of gases, gas laws, reversible processes and work, laws of thermodynamics, heat engines, free energy, phase transitions, chemical potentials, Boltzmann statistics quantum statistics

Course Outline:

Week Topic
Weeks 1-2 Fundamentals of Thermodynamics: Equilibrium, temperature, gas laws, kinetic model, heat transfer
Weeks 3-4 First law of Thermodynamics: Heat and energy conservation, work, heat capacity, thermodynamic processes
Weeks 5-6 Second and Third Laws of Thermodynamics: Two-state systems, entropy
Week 7 Engines and Refrigerators: Carnot cycle, refrigerators, real heat engines
Weeks 8-9 Free Energy: Gibbs free energy, Helmholtz free energy, Maxwell’s relations, chemical potentials, phase transitions, Clausius-Clapeyron relation
Weeks 10-11 Boltzmann Statistics: Equipartition theorem, Maxwell distribution, partition function
Weeks 12-13 Quantum Statistics: The Gibbs factor, Fermi-Dirac distribution, Bose-Einstein distribution
Week 13 Selected Topics: Modern Physics, Wave Motion
Week 14 Final Exam


Quizzes & Assignments 5%
Mid-term Exams 30%
Final Exam 50%


Vladan Jovovic, B.Sc. (Belgrade), M.Sc. (Kragujevac), Ph.D. (Novi Sad)

Tara Todoruk, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Northern British Columbia)

Transferability: See