PH432/532 Statistical Thermodynamics I (Spring, 2011) Course Information



Course Description: Through this course students will learn equilibrium thermodynamics, equilibrium statistical mechanics, and Brownian motion/Diffusion processes. Applications include solid state physics, biophysics, chemical reactions, and other selected topics. Various mathematical methods such as line integrals, partial differentials, and probability theory are used throughout the course. Computational tools such as Maple are also used during the course.

Prerequisites: PH352 Modern Physics II

Learning Objectives:
  • Equilibrium Thermodynamics
    • State variables and equation of state
    • Entropy
    • Laws of thermodynamics
    • Thermodynamics Potentials
  • Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics
    • Microcanonical ensemble
    • Canonical ensemble
    • Grandcanonical ensemble
  • Brownian motion and diffusion
    • Random walk
    • Langevin equation
    • Fokker-Planck equation

Day and Time: Tue. & Thu. 3:30PM-4:45PM
Room: CH 394 (Computer Lab)
Instructor: Dr. Ryoichi Kawai
email: kawai@uab.edu
phone: (205) 934-3931
skype*: userid = ryoichikawai
* You must send your skype user ID to the instructor by email in advance or your call will be blocked.
Office Hour: by appointment
Course Website: http://kawai.phy.uab.edu/courses/ph432

Course Schedule
Homework Assignment
Suggested Reading
Required Textbook
Greiner, Neise, and Stöcker:
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Springer (2004)
ISBN-13: 978-0-387-94299-5


Messages from the Instructor



Homework
Several homework problems will be given every week. Homework must be turned in electronically by email.  Allowed formats are LaTeX source, LaTeX dvi,  Acorbat PDF, Maple Worksheet, Maple Document, Mathematica Document.  (Hand written documents must be scanned in high resolution (300 DPI) with sufficient contrast and saved in PDF.)

Exams
Two midterm exams and a final comprehensive exam will be given. Students must take all three exams. Make-up exam is granted only when a written reasonable excuse is presented.

Grading
Exams and assignments carry the following maximum possible points. Midterm exams (20 pts. each), Final exam (40 pts.), Homework and other assignments (20 pts.). The total maximum possible points is 100. Letter grades are determined by the rule given in the table.
Grade Total Score
A 85 or above
B 75 or above
C 60 or above
D* 50 or above
F Otherwise
* Only for PH432 students.