Mon, Wed, Fri 12:10 --------- Physical Sciences B7

Instructor: Prof. Mark Stockman
Office: 202 Fulmer; Mon, Wed, Fri 4 to 5 pm
Phone: (509)335-4777
E-mail (current): mstockman@gsu.edu
Internet: http://www.phy-astr.gsu.edu/~phymis

Text: Francis W. Sears, Gerhard L Salinger, Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Thermodynamics Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1986
Supplementary text: Herbert B. Callen, Thermodynamics and Introduction to Thermostatistics , Wiley, New York, 1985

Grading Homework: 40%, Midterm exams: 30%, Final exam: 30%
Many materials (problems, their solutions, exams, etc.) are available on line. Click on highlighted items below to obtain them. Some interactive materials are written for Mathematica (extension .MA). These are ASCII files with graphics in Postscript format. To normally see them and use them for simulations, you will need to get Mathematica. However, the formulas can bee seen by browsing through the files with Netscape or any other browser, such as Lynx on Unix machines.

For the list of grades click here (ASCII format, can be seen as a Document Source, go to File menue of your Netscape)


  1. Introduction (Chaps. 1 & 2)
Scope of Thermodynamics. What's ahead (Overview).
Quasistatic Processes. Walls: adiabatic vs. diathermic, resistive vs. conductive.
Equations of state. Extensive and intensive parameters. Equations of state of an ideal gas. Kinetic temperature. Notion of a fundamental equation.
Mathematical background
Exact (perfect, or complete) differentials, e.g., dU, dV. Incomplete (imperfect) differentials: dQ, dW.
Volume susceptibilities: compressibility and the expansion coefficient. Maxwell-type thermodynamic identities. Problem 1 and solution.
  1. First and Second Laws (Chaps. 3 and 4)
  2. Internal energy, heat and work. Isotherm and adiabat (isentrope). Configuration (pressure) work, dW=-pdV.
    Conservation of energy in thermodynamics: The First Law. Some consequences of the First Law. Problem 2 and solution.
    Work on an ideal gas in isothermic and adiabatic processes. Work is not a function of state, and neither is heat, but internal energy is.
    Carnot's cycle and Carnot's efficiency. Reversibility.
    The Second Law. Maximum work theorem. Equivalent formulations.
    Maximum efficiencies, measurability. Thermodynamic temperature.
    Refrigerator, heat engine, heat pump: maximum efficiencies.
    Entropy, function of state. Fundamental equation. Problem 3 and solution.
    Entropy and energy intensive parameters. Problem 4 and solution. Problem 5 and solution.
    Entropy of mixing. Problem 6 and solution.
Exam 1
  1. Thermodynamic potentials and their applications (Chaps. 6 and 7)
  2. Enthalpy, Helmholtz potential, Gibbs potential.
    Dependence on the number of molecules: chemical potential. Landau potential.
    Joule-Thomson effect. Van der Waals fluid. Inversion point and liquefaction of gases in the "throttling" process. Problem 7 and solution.
    Maxwell relations. Thermodynamic identities. Method of Jacobians. Compilations of experimental data: "Heat tables". Problem 8 and solution.
    Gibbs potential for a weak solution. Osmotic pressure. Problem 9 and solution.
    Phase equilibrium. Gibbs rule for the number of phases. First-order phase transitions. Phase diagrams. Clapeyron-Clausius equation. Impossibility of a first-order transition in a one-dimensional system. Problem 10 and solution.
  3. Elements of statistical mechanics (Chaps. 11 and 12)
  4. Notion of quantum states. Microscopic and macroscopic states. Principle of maximum entropy. Canonical ensemble and the Gibbs distribution.
    Microscopic calculation of thermodynamic potentials. Problem11 and solution.
    Einstein and Debye heat capacities of a solid. Equilibrium photon gas, Plank distribution, and Stefan-Boltzmann law. Inevitability of quantum mechanics. Problem 12 and solution. Problem 13 and solution.
    Classical ideal gas and Maxwell distribution. Fundamental equation revisited.
    Grand canonical ensemble and potential. Bose-Einstein, Fermi-Dirac, and Maxwell distributions. Bose Einstein condenstation and Fermi-Dirac degeneracy. Specific heat at low temoeratures.
    Equilibrium in external fields. Boltzmann distribution.

    Final exam: Tuesday, May 7, 8:00 to 10:00 am , Physical Sciences (Webster) B7

    Final exam problems and solutions are here.