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Lecture Notes


PHY 418: Statistical Mechanics I
Prof. S. Teitel stte@pas.rochester.edu ---- Spring 2018


January | February | March | April | May

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
  1 2 3
4 5

lecture 6

Curvature of free energies and stability requirements for response functions, heat engines, thermodynamic efficiency, Carnot cycle

6 7

lecture 7

Kinetic theory of ideal gas, Maxwell velocity distribution, Ergodic hypothesis, statisitcal ensembles, density matrix

8 9 10
11 12

lecture 8

Liouville's theorem, microcanonical ensemble, density of states and connection to entropy

HW#1 due

13 14

lecture 9

Entropy of the ideal gas and problem of extensivity, entropy of mixing and Gibbs paradox, indistinguishable particles

15 16 17
18 19

lecture 10

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

20 21

lecture 11

Average energy vs most probably energy, Stirling's formula, factoring the canonical partition function for non-interacting objects, the ideal gas in the canonical ensemble

HW#2 due

22 23 24
25 26

lecture 12

Maxwell velocity distribution revisited, the virial theorm, the equipartition theorem, elastic vibrations of a solid and the law of Dulong and Petit, paramagnetism of classical spins

27 28

lecture 13

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