Physics 351, Thermal Physics (Statistics and Thermodynamics), Spring 2015

Class grades are posted in the online Gradebook.

Welcome to Thermal Physics. This is a one-term course on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. Thermodynamics is the study of bulk properties of matter dealing with temperature and heat flow. It was largely put together in the 19th century. Statistical Mechanics attempts to explain the principles of thermodynamics. It does so using concepts from 20th century physics, especially Quantum Mechanics.

  • Professor: Valery Kiryukhin. Office: Serin W 118, email: vkir -AT-, phone: (848) 445-8752.
  • Text: Introduction to Thermal Physics by Daniel V. Schroeder.
  • Lectures: Wed 10:20 - 11:40 am, Fri 3:20 - 4:40 pm, SEC 117
  • Office Hours: Wed afternoon (email to confirm).
  • Homework Grader: Yazhong Wang, email yzwang -AT-



    There is a syllabus for this class. There will be weekly homework, a midterm exam and a final exam. Please let me know as soon as possible if you cannot make either the midterm or final exam.

    Lecture Notes

    The lectures will be blackboard based, so it is essential that you attend. There are also slides originally written up by Prof. Gershenson, which are available on this page . They serve as a good complement to the text and lectures.


    Homework will be assigned every week, announced in this web page, and will be due in one week (exceptions as noted). Here is a directory with homework solutions .
    Note that the homeworks are 20% of your grade. This is a higher weight than homeworks are usually accorded. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics are notoriously opaque subjects and the only way to get a handle on them is to solve problems. The homeworks will be returned one week after submission.


    Here is how the grading breaks down (approximate):
  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm Exam: 30%
  • Final Exam: 50%

    Midterm and Final Exam

    The Midterm exam will be in class on March 13, for a full lecture period. The Final Exam will take place on May 12, from 4-7 pm, in SEC-117.

    Online Gradebook

    There is an online gradebook for this course. Please check this for exam grades, etc.

    Students with Disabilities

    Please consult me as early as possible if you have a disability that might interfere with an optimal learning experience.
    Also, please consult the website on disabilities . The University has coordinators for students with disabilities.