Instructor: Mark Taylor
Office: Gerstacker 118
Phone: 5695241
email: taylormp@hiram.edu
Office Hours:
MWF 4:156:00, T 1:004:00, Th 1:004:00, Sun. 3:006:00
Also feel free to stop by at other times, call me, or send me email
Physics Study Session:
Thurs. evenings 6:309:30 in Gerstacker 123
Meeting Times:
MWF 8:309:50; Colton 15
Textbook:
“Thermal Physics” by Daniel V. Schroeder
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 manybody 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 06 
Other Items:
MatLab Code:

Handouts: 
Software: 
binfill4.txt  Ideal Gas Thermo  StatMech for Windows 
modulo_rng.txt  MC_Simulations  StatMech for Mac (OSX) 
ising1.txt  MC_Uncertainty  
ising2.txt  Transport Coefficients  
ising_M.txt  Transfer Matrix for 1D Ising  
ising_Cv.txt 