Instructor: Timothy S. Sullivan 
Office: MAP 206 
Email: Sullivan@Kenyon.edu
Phone: 427-5830 
Office Hours: Tuesday, 10:10 - 11AM and 1:10 - 4PM, Th 10:10 - 11AM

Required Text: Daniel Schroeder, "An Introduction to Thermal Physics." See the author's web site for corrections to the book
   This course is essentially about what happens when you bring together large numbers of particles, as happens, for example, whenever you have even a speck of ordinary matter. (A gram of atomic hydrogen contains about 6 x 1023 atoms!) So much of the material in the course is essential for understanding how our world is constructed and we will see many examples in which this is the theme. Since there is no chance that we can solve Newton’s Laws for this many particles, we will see that we will have to be content with a statistical description of the motion of particles. The ideal gas (consisting of classical non-interacting particles) will be one of our most important touchstones, but we will also examine systems of spins as models of magnetism and the "mattress model" of the mechanical vibrations of solids, as well as several others. Toward the end of the semester, quantum mechanics will make a surprising appearance, allowing us to use the quantum version of the ideal gas to explain many of the properties of metals, superconductors, and neutron stars. 
    I’ve come to believe that what I do in a course pales in comparison to what you do in a course in terms of what you end up learning. So I will do little lecturing in the course, rather I will serve as a moderator of discussions during class. I will assign readings before each class and it is crucial that you do the readings before coming to class. To encourage this, I will assign problems on the reading that will be due at the beginning of each class. I will not grade these in detail, I will just note that they were attempted and whether you got the right answer. In addition, I will assign weekly problem sets that will be due at the beginning of class on Wednesdays. I hope to arrange a few labs/demonstrations to illustrate some of the concepts, but there will not be a regular lab in this course. There will be two, one-hour, in-class midterms at a time to be scheduled later. There will also be a midterm at the time (8:30AM, Saturday, May 11) scheduled by the Registrar for our final exam in this class, but it will also be a one-hour midterm exam with the same weight as the others. Your final grade will be an average of the grades from your daily problems, homework, and midterms with the following weights: 
 

 

Three midterms
15% (each)
Homework
45%
Pre-class questions
10%

In addition, there is an opportunity for extra credit. There will be a Physics Department colloquium nearly every Friday this semester. I will add a bonus for attending the talks in the amount of (grade on 4 pt scale w/o bonus)*(fraction of talks attended)*(0.1). To give you a sense of this, if you attend 100% of the talks and have a 3.0 average grade, you would get a bonus of 0.3 raising your grade from 3.0 to 3.3. This would raise your final grade from a B to a B+. (My one exception to this is that I will not raise an A to an A+ by this route.) 
 

Schedule of topics, readings, exams, and homework (updated 5/4/04)

The remainder of this web page has two major purposes:

The first is a calendar-like function to help you keep track of the pre-class reading assignments, pre-class questions, scheduled discussion questions, and homework questions. This aspect also can help you keep a sense of perspective about where we have been and where we are going in the class. The entire semester is scheduled, but some rescheduling may be necessary, so be alert for changes. Check the update date in the heading above to see if changes have been made since you last viewed the web page.

The second major purpose is to provide you with immediate feedback on your assignments. As each assignment becomes due, the problem number will turn into a link to a completely worked out, handwritten, solution. While it is still fresh in your mind, you should compare your solution to the one given on the web page. Also, I have tried in my solutions to model good scientific writing. Note in particular that a sequence of equations is not enough to communicate clearly. You need words to explain the strategy of your solution, the relationship between concepts, and why the equations you use are applicable to the problem you are solving. I think you will find that writing out complete solutions will help you clarify the concepts in your own mind. (Note that this immediate feedback feature will keep me from accepting any late work.)  Solutions are also given for class discussion questions. You can use these while reviewing your class notes or supplementing your notes when we don't completely finish a problem during class.

Note that you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to read the links below. Except for the exams and their solutions, you will also need  an account on Kenyon's network to view the problem solutions. (If you are an instructor at another college and would find the solutions useful, please contact me . If you are a student at another college, please contact your instructor.)
 
Date
Topic
Reading
Preclass 
questions
Discussion 
questions
Homework 
questions
Homework 
Due
 1/19  PHYS 370 Administrivia. 
 What do we already know about 
 temperature, heat, and phases of matter?
         
 1/21  Thermal equilibrium, temperature, 
 ideal gases
 pages 1-9  1.1, 1.9  1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 ,1.11, 1.12, 1.13  1.8 , 1.16  
 1/23  Ideal gases and equipartition of energy  pages 10-17  1.18 , 1.24  1.19, 1.20, 1.21 , 1.23, 1.25  1.22  
 1/26  Heat and work, compression work  pages 17-23  1.26 , 1.32  1.27 , 1.29 , 1.33  1.28 , 1.34  
 1/28  Compression of an ideal gas,  heat capacities   pages 23-32  1.35 , 1.42  1.37 , 1.38 , 1.39, 1.41 , 1.44 , 1.45  1.40 , 1.46  1.8 , 1.16 , 1.22
 1/30  Latent heat and enthalpy  pages 32-37  1.47  1.48 , 1.49, 1.53  1.50  
 2/2  Two state systems, Einstein solids  pages 49-55  2.1  2.2 , 2.5  2.3 , 2.6  
 2/4  Interacting systems, Large systems  pages 56-62  2.7 , 2.12 (a,d)  2.8 , 2.9 , 2.13  2.10  1.28 , 1.34 , 1.40 , 
 1.46 , 1.50
 2/6  Stirling's approximation, statistics of 
 an Einstein solid
 pages 62-67  2.15  2.16 , 2.17 , 2.21, 2.23  2.19 , 2.24  
 2/9  Ideal gas, entropy  pages 68-76  (none)  2.26 , 2.27 , 2.29  2.30  
 2/11  Entropy of ideal gas  pages 76-79  2.31  2.32 , 2.33 , 2.34  2.35 , 2.36  2.3 , 2.6 , 2.10
 2.19 , 2.24
 2/13  Entropy of mixing, reversible/ 
 irreversible processes
 pages 79-84  2.40  2.37, 2.39  2.38  
 2/16   Temperature  pages  85-92  3.1  3.3 , 3.4 , 3.6  3.5  
 2/18  Entropy and heat   pages 92-98   3.11  3.8 , 3.10 , 3.13 , 3.16  3.9 , 3.14  2.30 , 2.35 , 2.36 , 2.38
 2/20  Paramagnetism   pages 98-108   3.17  3.20 , 3.23 , 3.24  3.18 , 3.25  
 2/23  Thermodynamic identity  pages 108-115  3.27 , 3.28  3.29 , 3.30 , 3.33  3.31 , 3.34  
 2/25  Chemical potential  pages 115-121   3.35  3.36 , 3.38  3.37 , 3.39  3.5 , 3.9 , 3.14 , 
 3.18 , 3.25
 2/27  Heat engines   pages 122-127  4.2  4.1 , 4.3 , 4.5   4.4
 3/1  Midterm review
 pages 1-108



 3/3  First Midterm - In class - 50 minutes 
 All covered material from 1.1-3.3
 pages 1-108 
 Midterm

 Midterm solution
 3/5  Refrigerators  pages 127-131  4.9  4.7 , 4.8 , 4.10 , 4.12 , 4.14  4.11 , 4.15  
 3/22  Free energies  pages 149-156  5.2 , 5.3  5.4 , 5.5  5.1 , 5.6  3.31 , 3.34 , 3.37 , 3.39
  (resubmit 3.25)
 3/24  Free energy as available work  pages 156-160  5.8  5.11 , 5.12 , 5.13  5.14  
 3/26  Free energy as force toward equilibrium  pages 161-166  5.21  5.22  5.20, 5.23  4.4, 4.11, 4.15
 3/29  Phase transformations  pages 166-171  5.24  5.28 , 5.30  5.29, 5.31  
 3/31  Clausius-Clapeyron relation  pages 171-179  5.32 a) only  5.32 , 5.36 , 5.46  5.34
 5.1 , 5.6 , 5.14
 4/2  van der Waals model  pages 180-186  5.49  5.48, 5.55  5.51  
 4/5  Boltzmann factor  pages 220-228  6.4  6.2, 6.3, 6.14  6.1, 6.5  
 4/7  Average values  pages 229-238  6.15  6.16, 6.17, 6.18  6.19, 6.20  5.20, 5.23, 5.29, 5.31, 5.34
 4/9  Equipartition and the Maxwell distribution  pages 238-246  6.33  6.32, 6.35, 6.36, 6.37  6.31, 6.39
 
 4/12  Partition functions  pages 247-251  (none)  6.42, 6.44
 (none)
 4/14  Ideal gas revisited and the Gibbs factor  pages 251-261  6.47  6.45, 6.52, 7.1  7.2  5.51, 6.1, 6.5, 6.19, 6.20
 4/16  Bosons and Fermions  pages 262-271  (none)  7.8, 7.10, 7.12, 7.15  7.11, 7.13
 4/19  Degenerate Fermi Gas (T=0)  pages 271-277
 7.19  7.20, 7.21, 7.23 (a-d)
 7.22
 4/21  Review for Second Midterm



  6.31, 6.39
 4/23  Second Midterm Exam 
 In class (50 minutes)
 pages 109-186
 sections 3.4-3.6, chapters 4 
 and 5,  sections 6.1, 6.2


 4/26  Degenerate Fermi Gas (T > 0)  pages 277-288  7.25  
 7.26
 4/28  Degenerate Fermi Gas (cont.)
 (none)    7.28  7.31  7.2, 7.11, 7.13, 7.22
 4/30  Black-body radiation  pages 288-307  7.37  7.41
 7.39

 5/3  Black-body radiation (cont.)
   7.43 a)  7.45, 7.51 a)-e)  7.53 (a-c)

 5/5  Debye theory of solids  pages 307-314  7.58  7.57, 7.60, 7.61
 7.26, 7.31, 7.39, 7.53 (a-c)
 5/7  Bose-Einstein condensation  pages 315-326  7.65  7.66, 7.67, 7.68

 TBA  Review session for final midterm 





 5/11  Final Midterm - one hour 
 9:30-10:30AM
 pages 220-326
 chapters 6 (not 6.1, 6.2) and 7
(Statistical Mechanics)