Physics 335: Thermal Physics - Spring (12) 2013

Instructor: Mark Taylor

Office: Gerstacker 118
Phone: 569-5241
email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office Hours:

MWF 4:15-6:00, T 1:30-4:00, Th 9:00-12:00, Sun. 3:00-6:00

Also feel free to stop by at other times, call me, or send me email

Physics Study Session:

Thurs. evenings 6:30-9:30 in Gerstacker 123

Meeting Times:

MWF 8:30-9:50; Colton 15

Textbook:

"Thermal Physics" by Ralph Baierlein

Course Overview:

Thermal or statistical physics provides the link between the microscopic world of atoms and molecules and the macroscopic world of everyday objects.  This subject tackles such foundational issues as 1) the origin of irreversible processes from the time symmetric fundamental laws of physics and 2) the emergence of simple thermodynamic behavior in systems comprised of a large number of particles governed by an underlying chaotic dynamics.  We will address these issues by examining the microscopic origins of the laws of thermodynamics.  Since macroscopic systems are composed of an enormous number of particles, an exact description of each individual particle is impractical (if not impossible).  Thus, we make use of probabilistic or statistical methods.  While such an approach may appear to be approximate, in fact, statistical mechanics is a rigorous and exact theory of macroscopic matter.  This course will cover the fundamentals of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and elementary transport theory.  Since computer simulations play an important role in contemporary statistical mechanics research, we will also study the Monte Carlo method and everyone will carry out a computational project to investigate a magnetic, liquid, polymer, or other many-body system.

Links to pdf files:

Course Information Syllabus Maple_Notes Monte Carlo Projects

Problem Sets

Problem Set 01 Problem Set 07
Problem Set 02 Problem Set 08
Problem Set 03 Problem Set 09
Problem Set 04 Problem Set 10
Problem Set 05 Problem Set 11
Problem Set 06  

Other Items:

MatLab Code:
(must change .txt to .m to run)

Handouts:

binfill4.txt Ideal Gas Thermo
modulo_rng.txt MC_Simulations
ising1.txt MC_Uncertainty
ising2.txt Transport Coefficients
ising_M.txt Tranfer Matrix for 1D Ising
ising_Cv.txt  
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