Winter Quarter, 2014

Lectures

(You can find some version of this text used on Amazon.com.)

Avaialble for free via the MIT Open Courseware!

Additional topics:

(Gradebook will be maintained on smartsite)

**Format:** A 3 to 4 page *review* paper, double-spaced. You should choose some modern area of statistical thermodynamics to explore on your own. Choose a topic and find 3 to 4 compelling references which are books or journal articles (note, you might refine or change topics as you start doing the research and finding out what prior work is available). Give an overview of the topic, including what are the big-picture issues addressed by the area. Give a quick review of the literature you have found. Give some open questions/next steps to explore in the area.

**Potential Topics**:

**Sample papers**:

**Lectures** (Schedule subject to change)

1/7 | Course Overview and Review of Classical Thermodynamics (Example Steam Tables) |

1/9 | Review: Phase diagrams, First and Second Laws, Open vs Closed systems |

1/14 | Review: Cycles, Carnot cycles, Ideal Gas. (Video of a real reversible system) |

1/16 | TA lead lecture: Maxwell's relations and discussion. (HW1 due Jan 17) |

1/21 | Maxwell's relations, Response functions, microstates versus macrostates (pdf notes from MIT course) |

1/23 | Counting: permutations versus combinations |

1/28 | Boltzmann probability for microstates, Partition function |

1/30 | Partition function (see e.g. Sec 2.2 of Statistical Mechanics) (HW2 due Jan 30) |

2/4 | Probability (see Kardar text): One random variable; Many random variables; Maxwell Boltzmann Distribution (see Wallace text and slides) |

2/6 | Equipartition of energy; Ideal diatomic gas -- vibration and rotation (HW3 due Feb 7) |

2/11 | Quantum mechanics: Wave/particle duality; de Broglie wavelength; (See Double slit experiment, Wave equation, plane wave, Video of double-slit and wavefunciton collapse) |

2/13 | Uncertainty relations; Schrodinger's equation; QM for 1) Particle in a box |

2/18 | QM for 2) Rigid Rotator; 3) Harmonic Oscilator; (approx anharmonic oscillator) (HW4 due Feb 19) |

2/20 | Modifying Boltzmann statistics: Fermi-Dirac statistics: Bose-Einstein statistics (See Wikipedia entry, Textbook chapter, Bose Einstein condensation(BEC) ) (Videos on BEC: Nova (theory), Nova (experiment), Slowing down light & Quantum Computing,) |

2/25 | Electronic states/Atomic energy levels |

2/27 | Ideal Quantum Gas: Monoatomic (See Ideal Quantum Gas) |

3/4 | Band structure and semi-conductors; Diatomic, polyatomic gas (See Ideal Quantum Diatomic gas) |

3/6 | Next steps: Chemical reactions, phase transtions, Monte Carlo simulation |

3/11 | In-class office hours with TA -- HW 6 discussion |

3/13 | Review (Interesting further reading: Connections to information theory); A Table showing how to get thermodynamic quantities from z. |