Instructor:

Michel
Pleimling

Email: 
Michel.Pleimling@vt.edu

Office: 
Robeson 221 
Phone: 
(540) 2312675



Office hours:

Tuesday, Thursday: 2.30 
3.30 p.m., Monday: 1.30  2.30 p.m., and by appointment



Lectures:

Thursday, Tuesday: 5.00 
6.15 p.m., Robeson 101



Homework:

Three to four problems
will be assigned each Thursday. Solutions are due one week later in
class
(unless otherwise noted).
Teamwork in solving these problems is encouraged, but
solutions must be handed in separately. Your solutions will be graded,
and
sample solutions will be provided.

Grader:



First midterm exam:

Tuesday, February 19, 5.00  6.15 p.m.

Second midterm exam:

Tuesday, March 25, 5.00  6.15 p.m.

Final exam (comprehensive):

Saturday, May 3, 7.00  9.00 p.m.


All are closedbooks exams. A sheet with useful equations will be provided.
The honor code pertains to all three
inclass exams.



Grade distribution:

30 % homework, 20 % each midterm exam, 30 % final exam



Prerequisite:

PHYS 2306  Foundations of Physics I



Recommended literature:

Draft chapters of Thermal and Statistical Physics
by Harvey Gould and Jan Tobochnik, freely available at http://stp.clarku.edu/notes/


M. Kardar,
Statistical Physics of Particles (Cambridge 2007)


R. Baierlein, Thermal Physics (Cambridge 1999)


A. H. Carter, Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics (Prentice Hall 2001)


C. Kittel and H. Kroemer, Thermal Physics (Freeman 1980)


D. V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics (AddisonWesley 1999)



Topics:

1. Fundamentals of Statistical Mechanics


2. The microcanonical, the canonical and the grandcanonical ensembles


3. Thermodynamic processes


4. Quantum systems: Bose and Fermistatistics


5. Interacting systems and phase transitions
