Physics 354 Thermodynamics Spring Semester 2010 Syllabus
Instructor: Dr. Brian M. Davies
Instructor's office: Currens 532 (top floor, NW corner)
Office Hours: MWF and MW – or by arrangement
Instructor's e-mail address: BM-Davies at wiu.edu
Instructor’s web site: http://frontpage.wiu.edu/~bmd111/
Required textbook: "Introduction to Thermal Physics", by Dan Schroeder.
Class Schedule: Lecture: M W F , Room: Currens 336
Course Objective: To introduce the student to basic principles in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Topics mentioned in the catalog description include: “the concept of temperature, the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics, applications to gases, change of state, kinetic theory, and applications to simple models of familiar situations.” To clarify the fundamental concepts of classical thermodynamics, we will also consider concepts from statistical mechanics. This mixed approach makes it easier to understand the entropy function and the second law of thermodynamics.
2 hourly Exams 40 % Feb. 26 (over
Final Exam 25 % Mon. May 10, at (over
In the text by Schroeder, exercised are embedded in the text, at the end of each section of reading. There will be three types of homework in the course. Prior to each class, the student should read the assigned reading and write out short solutions to the assigned exercises (one or two short exercises). This short assignment will be turned in at the beginning of class and will serve a purpose similar to reading quizzes, i.e., to motivate the student to read material before class. Then there will be several problems assigned for discussion. The student should look at these and be prepared to discuss these in class. The classroom discussion will thus involve less lecturing and more discussion than is typical for a physics class. Finally, there will be regular homework problems, which involve somewhat more work, which will be turned in and graded in the usual way. Late homework will lose 20% of its potential points per day that it is late.