Physics 351, Thermal Physics (Statistics and Thermodynamics), Spring 2013
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: Amitabh Lath, Serin W 324. (email: lath -AT- physics.rutgers.edu, phone: (732) 445-5500 ext 5853)
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, Friday morning anytime (email to confirm).
Homework Grader: Po-Chun Yeh
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.
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 compliment to the text and lectures.
Homeworks will be assigned every Wednesday, and will be due in one week (exceptions as noted).
Here is the homework list .
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 on the Wednesday after submission. On that day, I
will go over the homework problems in class, discussion to be continued in office
hours after end of lecture.
Here is how the grading breaks down (approximate):
Midterm Exam: 30%
Final Exam: 50%
Midterm and Final Exam
The Midterm exam will be in class, for a full lecture period. I will have a
review session before the midterm. I will hand out a previous year's exam for
practice when the time comes. The Final Exam will be during the finals
There is an online
gradebook for this course. Please check this for exam grades, etc.
This page has
some interesting items about subjects we are discussing in class.
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.
Amitabh Lath &
Last modified: Tue Jan 22 11:15:28 EST 2013