Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Modern statistical mechanics builds from the quantum nature of individual particles to describe the behavior of large and small systems of such particles. In this course, we will derive the fundamental laws of thermodynamics using basic principles of statistics and investigate applications to such systems as ideal and real atomic and molecular gases, radiating bodies, magnetic spins, and solids. We will study Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics and learn about exciting new developments, such as Bose-Einstein condensation and ultra-cold Fermi gases. We will cover additional applications of statistical mechanics in the fields of biology, chemistry, and astrophysics. This course is strongly recommended for students planning to attend graduate school in physics.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: PHYS 205 and PHYS 207 and MATH 205 (or equivalent), or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring