Open Problems In Statistical Physics Homework

The URL of this page is http://www.physics.smu.edu/scalise/P3374fa17/

Physics 3374 / 6351 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Course Information

Fall 2017


"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906 by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on his work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously."
-- David L. Goodstein (States of Matter, Dover 1985)
  • Lecturer: Professor Randall J. Scalise
  • Meeting time and place: MWF 11:00PM-11:50AM in room 153 Fondren Science Building
  • Office hours: after lecture and by appointment in room 107 Fondren Science Building
  • Contact:
    • Call or leave a message at 768-2504, or
    • Leave a note in the Physics Department Office - 102 Fondren Science, or
    • send me e-mail: <scalise@smu.edu>
  • Exam Dates: Open book, open notes, open Mathematica, closed Google.
    • Midterm - Wednesday 27 September 2017 in class
    • Final - Thursday 7 December 2017, 11:30am - 2:30pm
  • Practice exam
  • Mathematica tutorial:PDF 4 pages, 32563 bytes
  • Grading:
    • Homework - 60% (drop lowest)
    • Midterm Examination - 20%
    • Final Examination - 20%
  • PHYS 3374 Text:An Introduction to Thermal Physics by Daniel V. Schroeder
  • Lecture notes:
    • 24Aug15.
    • 26Aug15. See also Temperature from Wikipedia; The Mechanical Universe: 45. Temperature and Gas Laws; Comparison of temperature scales.
    • 28Aug15. See also Perpetual Motion Machine, Perpetual Motion from Wikipedia.
    • 31Aug15. See also First Law by Professor Valery Kiryukhin at Rutgers.
    • 02Sep15. See also Third Law of Thermodynamics, Carnot Engine; Heat Engines: the Carnot Cycle; The Einstein Szilard Refrigerators
    • 04Sep15. See also A Mnemonic Scheme for Thermodynamics by J.-C. Zhao, MRS Bulletin, Volume 34, Feb 2009 and Legendre transformation.
    • 09Sep15. See also Maxwell relations, Gaussian Integrals.
    • 11Sep15. See also Stirling's approximation.
    • 14Sep15. See also Unit sphere, Kinetic theory of gases.
    • 16Sep15. See also Lagrange multipliers.
    • 18Sep15. See also Partition Function.
    • 21Sep15.
    • 23Sep15. See also Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
    • 25Sep15. See also Pierre Curie's Law.
    • 28Sep15. See also Below Absolute Zero: Negative Temperatures Explained, Negative temperature, What is negative temperature?.
    • 30Sep15. See also Sackur-Tetrode Equation.
    • 02Oct15. See also Practice problems.
    • 05Oct15.
    • 09Oct15. See also
    • 14Oct15. See also
    • 16Oct15.
    • 19Oct15. See also Ultraviolet catastrophe
    • 21Oct15. See also Black body radiation, Planck's Law, Thermodynamics of Blackbody Radiation by Robert E. Kelly.
    • 23Oct15. See also Some paradoxes, errors, and resolutions concerning the spectral optimization of human vision by Bernard H. Soffer and David K. Lynch, Am. J. Phys. 67(11), November 1999.
    • 26Oct15.
    • 28Oct15. See also The Spin-Statistics Theorem
    • 30Oct15. See also Clebsch-Gordan Coefficients, Phonons, Debye specific heat, Dulong-Petit law.
    • 02Nov15.
    • 04Nov15. See also
    • 06Nov15. See also Heat Capacity of a Free Electron Fermi Gas.
    • 09Nov15.
    • 11Nov15.
    • 13Nov15.
    • White Dwarfs - guest lecture by Farley Ferrante
    • 16Nov15. See also Bose-Einstein condensate, The Nobel Prize in Physics 2001, BEC animation, Bose-Einstein Condensates with Rubidium Atoms.
    • 18Nov15.
    • 20Nov15. See also Van der Waals equation, vdW Slides, Cluster Expansion.
    • extra van der Waals notes.
    • 23Nov15.
    • 30Nov15.
    • 02Dec15. See also
    • 04Dec15. See also
    • 07Dec15.
    • There are more cosmic photons than cosmic neutrinos


Professor Kent Hornbostel's lecture notes based on grown-up Reif

  • Homework: Due dates are strictly enforced. 50% if late; 0% once the solutions are posted. You may work together, but the work that you turn in should be unique. Identical work will receive a grade that is divided among all parties. It is possible to find answers to some homework problems on the internet; do not do this. The point, after all, is not to fool me into thinking that you have learned physics, but rather actually to learn some physics.
    • homework #1 (PDF format) - due Monday 28 August 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #2 (PDF format) - due Tuesday 5 September 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #3 (PDF format) - due Monday 11 September 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #4 (PDF format) - due Monday 18 September 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • No homework due on Monday 25 September 2017 because of the midterm exam.
    • homework #5 (PDF format) - due Monday 2 October 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • No homework due on Monday 9 October 2017 because of Fall Break.
    • homework #6 (PDF format) - due Monday 16 October 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #7 (PDF format) - due Monday 23 October 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #8 (PDF format) - due Monday 30 October 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #9 (PDF format) - due Monday 6 November 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #10 (PDF format) - due Monday 13 November 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • homework #11 (PDF format) - due Monday 20 November 2017 at 11:59:59pm
    • No homework due on Monday 27 November 2017 because of Thanksgiving Break.
    • homework #12 (PDF format) - due Monday 4 December 2017 at 11:59:59pm
  • Homework Solutions
  • Disability Accommodations, Religious and Excused Absences
  • Official University Calendar
  • Other Resources:
    • A Mnemonic Scheme for Thermodynamics by J.-C. Zhao, MRS Bulletin, Volume 34, Feb 2009.
    • "Baby Reif" Statistical Physics: Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 5 by Frederick Reif
    • Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics by Frederick Reif
    • Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters and Complexity by James P. Sethna
    • Heat and Thermodynamics by Mark Waldo Zemansky
    • The Principles of Chemical Equilibrium: With Applications in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering by K.G. Denbigh
    • More textbooks
    • Thermal Physics by Charles Kittel and Herbert Kroemer
    • Statistical Mechanics by Kerson Huang
    • Statistical Physics by L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz (Volume 5 of the Course of Theoretical Physics)
    • Feynman lectures Volume 1 Chapters 39-46
    • Statistical Mechanics: A Set Of Lectures by Richard P. Feynman
    • Leonard Susskind - Statistical Mechanics 2009 from YouTube
    • Leonard Susskind - Statistical Mechanics 2013 from YouTube
    • Leonard Susskind | Lecture 1: Boltzmann and the Arrow of Time
    • Partition Function - Wikipedia
    • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
    • Classical statistical mechanics Lecture Series on Classical Physics by Prof.V.Balakrishnan, Department of Physics, IIT Madras.
    • Course in Thermal and Statistical Physics undergraduate class on thermal and statistical physics by Mark Ancliff
    • Physics 12c Statistical Mechanics by John Preskill @Caltech
    • MIT Open Courseware (Physics)
    • Dr. Henry Glyde's lecture notes
    • Mechanical Universe 45, 46, 47, 48.
    • Maxwell's Demon: Why Warmth Disperses and Time Passes by Hans Christian Von Baeyer
    • Introduction to Renormalization by Simon DeDeo
    • Welcome To Hotel Boltzmann
    • Ludwig Boltzmann - Response to Josef Loschmidt
    • H-Theorem
    • Einstein's Approach to Statistical Mechanics: The 1902-04 Papers by Luca Peliti and Raúl Rechtman
    • Flanders & Swann - 'First And Second Law'
    • Ising model 2 dim by Daniel Schroeder

    Back to Professor Scalise's Home Page
    "[Thermodynamics] is the only physical theory of a general nature of which I am convinced that it will never be overthrown."
    --Albert Einstein
  • PHY 418: Statistical Mechanics I
    Prof. S. Teitel stte@pas.rochester.edu ---- Spring 2013

    The final exam and solutions are now posted on the Homework page.

    Course grades have been turned in to the registrar.

    Please remember to fill our the online course evaluation survey. The survey closes Monday, May 13.

    Have a good summer!

    Solutions to Problem Set 7 are now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through the end of the course, lecture 28, are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 27 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    The online course survey is now open for your comments. You may access the survey by going to the Blackboard system. I would greatly appreciate it if everyone could take a few moments to complete the survey. Your feedback is very important to me. Of particular interest to me are any comments about how the course went for you - was it too fast, too slow? Did we spend too much time on something, not enough time on something else? Do you feel you were well prepared for the course, or do you feel I assumed more background than you had? All comments are welcome and appreciated.

    Notes through lecture 26 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Solutions to Problem Set 6 are now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 25 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Problem Set 7, due Monday, April 29, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 24 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 23 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 22 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Problem Set 6, due Wednesday, April 17, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Solutions to Problem Set 5 are posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 21 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 19 have been posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    There will be a make-up lecture this Friday, April 5, at 10:45 am in BL 269.

    The Midterm Exam has been graded and will be returned to you in lecture tomorrow. A histogram of the grades may be found on the Homework page.

    Notes for lecture 18 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Lecture this Monday, April 1, is canceled. There will be a make-up lecture Friday, April 5, at 10:45 in BL 269.

    Notes for lecture 17 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    There will be a make-up lecture this Friday, March 29, at 10:45 in BL 269.

    Problem Set 5, due Wednesday, April 3, is now posted on the Homework page.

    The Midterm Exam and Solutions are posted on the Homework page.

    Lecture this Wednesday, March 27, is canceled. There will be a make-up lecture this Friday, March 29, at 10:45 in BL 269.

    Notes through lecture 16 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Solutions to Problem Set 4 are now posted on the Homework page. I hope to return to you this Friday, in your physics mailbox, your graded work on Set 4. If you do not have a physics mailbox, you can pick up your work from me by stopping by my office.

    Notes through lecture 15 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    NOTE: Next week is Spring Break, so no classes. The following week of March 17, lectures are canceled -- I am out of town all week. But Friday of that week, March 22, is the MIDTERM EXAM at 10am to noon in BL 269. Lectures resume on Monday, March 25.

    The MIDTERM EXAM is closed book, closed notes, (i.e. no cheat sheets). It will have two problems and will cover all material up to, but not including, the grand canonical ensemble. I am available all week of Spring Break if you have questions.

    Notes through lecture 14 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 13 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Solutions to Problem Set 3 are now posted on the Homework page.

    Problem Set 4, due Monday, March 4, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 12 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    The MIDTERM EXAM has been postponed. It will now be on Friday, March 22, 10 am - noon, in BL 269.

    Notes through lecture 11 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Problem Set 3, due Wednesday, February 20, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Solutions to Problem Set 2 are posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 9 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    There will be an additional make-up lecture this week on Friday, at 10:45, in BL 269.

    Solutions to Problem Set 1 are now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 8 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    There will be an additional make-up lecture this week on Friday, at 10:45, in BL 269.

    Problem Set 2, due Wednesday, February 13, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 7 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 6 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    I have also posted some supplemental notes on heat engines, thermodynamic efficiency, and the Carnot cycle. We will not have time to go over this material in lecture, but you are responsible for knowing it.

    Notes through lecture 5 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    There will be a make-up lecture this Friday, February 1, at 10:45 am in BL 269.

    Problem Set 1, due Wednesday, February 6, is now posted on the Homework page.

    Notes through lecture 4 are posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes through lecture 3 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Notes for lecture 2 have been posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    The make-up lecture originally scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 25, has been moved to Friday, Feb. 1. There is NO make-up lecture this Friday.

    Notes for lecture 1 are now posted on the Lecture Notes page.

    Welcome to Statistical Mechnics I!

    For those who are anxious to read ahead, you can find lecture notes amd problem sets from last year's course at:

    http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~stte/phy418S12

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