Department of Physics
Physics 344: Statistical Properties of Matter
The vast majority of systems studied by Physics are fundamentally ensembles of large numbers of particles. This course focuses on the two areas of Physics that directly address the properties unique to ensembles: Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics. Starting with the Mechanics that describe individual particles and employing Statistics to extrapolate from the few to the many, Statistical Mechanics builds our understanding of ensembles from first principles. Thermodynamics applies this understanding to describe how ensembles behave and do work in both natural and man-made systems.
|Lecture: MWF 11 - 12:20; AHoN 101
Instructor: Eric Hill
|Office Hours: TBA
|Text: Thermal Physics, Schroeder, (the text's site is quite good) errata
Office: AHoN 127
Phone: ext. 8659
This course is an extension, in both directions, of “Unit T” in Phys 233; don’t be lulled by the overlap – it will step back and explore where things came from, and forward to see where they lead. The two greatest challenges that it poses are the abstractness of the physical quantities that are useful in describing ensembles (for example, entropy, enthalpy, and temperature) and the diversity of conceptual and mathematical tools you’re called to apply, with little warning.
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class web pages.