Thermal and Statistical Physics

** Instructor:**
Horst D Wahl,

- Office 512 Keen Bldg.
- Phone 644-3509
- Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday after class and by appointment, any time you can get a hold of me

- Office TBA Keen Bldg.

**Class meetings:** Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30 to 10:45 in UPL 211

First Class meeting: Tuesday, 7 Jan 2020 at 9:30

**Tutorial session:** time and place to be defined.
**Prerequisite:**
PHY3101, PHZ3113, MAC2313

**Homework:** Weekly, due every Tuesday.

**Homework turned in late without valid excuse will be given 50% credit.**

**Midterms:** One hour during class time, twice.

First midterm: **Thursday, 13 February 2020** during class time.

Second midterm: **Thursday, 26 March 2020** during class time.

Pop Quizzes: There will be a few Pop Quizzes at random times which will allow you to earn extra points.

**Final exam: Monday, 27 April 2020, 7:30 to 9:30 UPL 211.**

**About the course:**

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the basic laws of thermodynamics and statistical physics.
Statistical and thermal physics concern the behavior of systems that are made up of very large numbers
of microscopic units. Thus, they form the bridge between the descriptions of the macroscopic and the
microscopic worlds. In your previous physics courses, you have typically learned to treat systems that
consist of just one or a few "parts," such as a simple pendulum, the trajectory of a cannon ball,
or planetary motion. You may even have been told that we cannot solve exactly anything more
than a system of two interacting particles, such as a hydrogen atom or the orbit of a single planet
orbiting its sun. In statistical and thermal physics we look at the problem from the other end:
systems with a very large number of parts, such as the number of molecules in a mole of gas,
Avogadro's Number, which is of the order of 10^{23}.
We will start out with a review of probability theory and summarize some of the elements of
quantum theory which are needed in the context of statistical physics of quantum systems.
We will then introduce the concepts of entropy and information. The discusson of statistical
mechanics will be in terms of the quantum formalism from the beginning. We will introduce the concept of
microstates and macroscopic states and discuss partition functions. After looking at a few simple systems, we will
consider the thermodynamic limit of systems and homogeneity. Then we will introduce the concepts of
extensive and intensive variables and discuss stability criteria, followed by ensembles and their
equivalence in the thermodynamic limit.
The four laws of thermodynamics will appear as natural consequences of the statistical framework.
The rules of statistical mechanics will then be applied to a perfect gas and then specialized to
consider Fermi and Boson gases. A discussion of processes and responses will then lead us to define
thermodynamic potentials and thermodynamic coefficients. We'll conclude with a short discussion of phase transitions.

There will be a lot of exercises and homework, an essential ingredient in furthering and
deepening understanding.
The tentative course schedule is given here,
called "tentative" since it may well change, depending on speed of progress.

The emphasis will be on developing intuition by paper-and-pencil analytical work.

Homework is an integral part of the course and acounts
for 25% of the total grade. Working problems is absolutely essential to developing
a true understanding of the material. There will be tutorial sessions where you will
have occasion to ask questions and get help with solving problems. You will be expected to show
how far you got in your solution, and we'll go from there. Attending these tutorials is
highly recommended.

**Grading:**

Homework |
25% |

1st midterm exam |
20% |

2nd midterm exam |
20% |

Final exam | 35% |

grade |
points |

A |
96 |

A- |
90 |

B+ |
85 |

B |
77 |

B- |
70 |

C+ |
63 |

C |
57 |

C- |
50 |

D |
40 |

**Important update on grading:**

In view of the Covid 19 situation, students have the option to ask for S/U grade instead of
a letter grade. You are eligible for S if your letter grade would be at least a C-.
You can ask for this during the period from Monday, March 30 until Sunday, April 12 2020.

Websites:

- class Website: http://www.hep.fsu.edu/~wahl/phy4513/sp20/Thermal.htm. The Website can be reached via Canvas or from my homepage (http://www.hep.fsu.edu/~wahl )
- This course makes heavy use of the FSU Canvas utility. Class notes, homework assignments and solutions, as well as exam solutions will be posted there. To get to the Canvas pages, go to https://canvas.fsu.edu. You will be prompted to enter your ACNS username and password to log in. After having logged in, you will be given a list of all the courses for which you are registered and which use Blackboard. The Canvas site will be used for announcements and for student discussion.
- useful information about thermodynamics
- useful FSU links (find FSU general links, FSU course related links, FSU computing,..)

Here follow a few additional statements which by FSU rules have to be part of a syllabus (see http://facsenate.fsu.edu/Curriculum-Resources/syllabus-language.

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should:

(a) register with, and provide documentation to, the Student Disability Resource
Center (SDRC); and

(b) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.
This should be done during the first week of class.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities,
contact the:
Student Disability Resource Center:

874 Traditions Way 108

Student Services Building

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167

(850) 644-9566 (voice) (850) 644-8504 (TDD)

email ,
Resource Center's web site .

Students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and in the Student Handbook. The Academic Honor System of Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility

- to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work,
- to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the University community, and
- to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the University community.
- In particular,
**the use of material from someone else's presentation or publication without citation is considered plagiarism.**

and http://fda.fsu.edu/Academics/Academic-Honor-Policy.)

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Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

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On-campus tutoring and writing assistance is available for many courses at Florida State University. For more information, visit the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services' comprehensive list of tutoring options - see http://ace.fsu.edu/tutoring or contact tutor@fsu.edu for more information. High-quality tutoring is available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. These services are offered by tutors trained to encourage the highest level of individual academic success while upholding personal academic integrity.

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Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice