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Lecture Notes


PHY 418: Statistical Mechanics I
Prof. S. Teitel stte@pas.rochester.edu ---- Spring 2013


January | February | March | April | May

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

lecture 5

Extremum principles for free energies, Maxwell relations, response functions and relations between them

make-up lecture

3 4

lecture 6

Curvature of free energies and stability requirements for response functions, kinetic theory of ideal gas, Maxwell velocity distribution

supplemental notes

Heat engines, thermodynamic efficiency, Carnot cycle

5 6

lecture 7

Ergodic hypothesis, statisitcal ensembles, density matrix, Liouville's theorem

HW #1 due

7 8 9
10 11

lecture 8

Microcanonical ensemble, density of states and connection to entropy, entropy of the ideal gas and problem of extensivity

12 13

lecture 9

Entropy of mixing and Gibbs paradox, indistinguishable particles, the canonical ensemble and the canonical partition function

HW #2 due

14 15

lecture 10

Helholtz free energy and the canonical partition function, energy fluctuations, equivalence of canonical and microcanonical ensembles in the thermodynamic limit

make-up lecture

17 18

lecture 11

Average energy vs most probably energy, Stirling's formula, factoring the canonical partition function for non-interacting objects, Maxwell velocity distribution revisited, the virial theorm

19 20

lecture 12

The equipartition theorem, elastic vibrations of a solid and the law of Dulong and Petit, paramagnetism of classical spins

HW #3 due

21 22 23
24 25

lecture 13

The Curie law of paramagnetic susceptibility, a note about the proper choice of coordinates, entropy and information

26 27

lecture 14

Entropy and information, the grand canonical ensemble