PHYSICS 524, Thermodynamics Statistical mechanics

MW 9:30-11:20 and F 9:30-10:20 in A114.††

Office hours: after lectures


Instructor Boris Spivak

Office B440, PAB



Books: L.D. Landau, I.M. Lifshitz, Statistical Mechanics Part 1,



Midterm : Nov. 6

Final: 12:30-2:20, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013



Fundamental Principles of Statistical Physics.


Microscopic and macroscopic states. Statistical description. Liouvilleís theorem. Gibbs subsystems. Statistical independence. Microcanonical and Canonical distributions (ensembles). Density matrix. Entropy. Second law of thermodynamics.

Jan. 12 Ė††† Thermodynamic Quantities.

Temperature. Macroscopic motion. Adiabatic process. Work and heat. Thermodynamic potentials: Energy E(S,V), Enthalpy W(S,P), Helmholtz free energy F(T,V), the Gibbs free energy (the thermodynamic potential) Φ(T,P). Theorem of small increments. Method of Jacobians. Maximal work in an external medium. Thermodynamic inequalities. Le Chatelierís principle. Nernstís theorem. Dependence on the number of particles, chemical potential μ, and the grand canonical potential Ω(T,V,μ). Equilibrium in an external field.

The Gibbs distribution.

The Gibbs distribution. The Maxwell distribution. The

partition function. Canonical and grand canonical

ensemble. Derivation of the thermodynamic relations

from the Gibbs distribution.

Ideal gases.

Fermi and Bose distributions.

Fermi distribution from the Gibbs distribution. Degenerate

Fermi gas. Degeneracy pressure. Specific heat.

Sommerfeld expansion. Landau diamagnetism and Pauli

paramagnetism. Degenerate Bose gas, Bose-Einstein

condensation. Black body radiation.

Non-ideal gases.

Phase equilibrium, phase transitions.



Grading policy: Homework-  20%, Midterms - 30%, Final-  50%