Statistical Mechanics (Independent Study)

PHY 330 --- Spring 2004 Syllabus

Physics Department --- Mercer University


Texts: Fundamentals of Physics, 6th edition, by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker;
Modern Physics, 2nd edition, by Kenneth Krane;
Thermodynamics, by Enrico Fermi; and
Statistical Physics, 2nd edition, by F. Mandl.

Class Meetings: TBA

Instructor: Dr. Jose L. Balduz Jr


phone: 301-2229

office: Willet Science Center 110

office hours: MTWRF 11am-Noon, or by appointment, or try your luck anytime...


This course is an introduction to statistical physics, including the laws of thermodynamics and entropy, as well as an introduction to classical and quantum statistics, with application to magnetic systems, solids, gases and photons. It is intended primarily for physics majors, but should be of interest also to many other students, especially those majoring in math, chemistry and engineering.



    PHY 305 Modern Physics I (introduction to quantum physics)

    MAT 293 Multivariable Calculus

    MAT 330 Introduction to Differential Equations.


Text material to be covered (tentative):

    Fundamentals of Physics: (55 pp.)
Ch. 19 (8-10) Temperature, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics (15 pp.)
Ch. 20 The Kinetic Theory of Gases (22 pp.)
Ch. 21 Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics (18 pp.)

    Thermodynamics: (95 pp.)
Ch. 1 Thermodynamic Systems (10 pp.)
Ch. 2 The First Law of Thermodynamics (18 pp.)
Ch. 3 The Second Law of Thermodynamics (15 pp.)
Ch. 4 The Entropy (31 pp.)
Ch. 5 Thermodynamic Potentials (21 pp.)

    Modern Physics: (26 pp.)
Ch. 10 Statistical Physics

    Statistical Physics, selections from the following, to be determined:
Ch. 1 The First Law of Thermodynamics
Ch. 2 The Second Law of Thermodynamics I
Ch. 3 Paramagnetism
Ch. 4 The Second Law of Thermodynamics II
Ch. 5 Simple Thermodynamic Systems
Ch. 6 The Heat Capacity of Solids
Ch. 7 The Perfect Classical Gas
Ch. 9 The Perfect Quantal Gas
Ch. 10 Black Body Radiation


Meetings: Although this is an independent study course, the student and instructor will meet regularly, for about two hours per week. During these times we will discuss the material in the current text, pick problems for the student to work out later, and go over problems the student has already worked. It is imperative that the student be adequately prepared for each meeting, by prior reading of the text and work on assigned problems.


Grading: After each meeting the instructor will assign a grade to the student for that meeting, ranging from zero to ten. If the student failed to show up without proper excuse, or was completely unprepared, the grade will be a zero. If the student did what was expected, namely studied the text and worked the assigned problems correctly, the grade will be a ten. Partial results will yield a grade somewhere in between. The final course grade will be determined as a percentage of the maximum possible grade, and the final letter grade will be determined from the table below.



























Miscellaneous policies:


1.      All parts of this syllabus are tentative and subject to revision.

2.      There will be no extra-credit work.

3.       The College of Liberal Arts' academic misconduct policy will be followed. In addition, all students are bound by the Mercer University Honor Code.

4.       Students are strongly encouraged to discuss with the instructors all their work during the course, regardless of their grades. Questions about point awards should be brought up as soon as possible, as all grades will be final one week after the materials are graded and returned to the students.

5.       Students with a documented disability should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting.  The instructor will refer you to the office of Student Support Services (SSS) for consultation regarding evaluation, documentation of your disability, and recommendations for accommodation, if needed.  Students will receive from SSS the Faculty Accommodation Form.  On this form SSS will identify reasonable accommodations for this class.  The form must be given to the course instructor for signature and then returned to SSS. To take full advantage of disability services, it is recommended that students immediately contact the Office of Student Support Services.  The office is located on the third floor of the Connell Student Center.

6.       All requests for reasonable accommodation are welcome also in regard to absence from class for school representation (i.e., athletic or other events) or personal/family problems. Let's talk about it...