Physics 354 Thermodynamics Spring Semester 2010 Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Brian M. Davies

Instructor's office: Currens 532 (top floor, NW corner)

Phone: 309-298-1307

Office Hours: MWF

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

__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.

__ADA____
policy__: “In accordance with
University policy and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), academic
accommodations may be made for any student who notifies the instructor of the
need for an accommodation. It is
imperative that you take the initiative to bring such needs to the instructor’s
attention, as he/she is not legally permitted to inquire about such particular
needs of students. Students who may
require special assistance in emergency evacuations (i.e. fire, tornado, etc.)
should contact the instructor as to the most appropriate procedures to follow
in such an emergency. Contact Disability
Support Services at 298-2512 for additional services.”

__Grading: __

Homework 35
%

2 hourly Exams 40 % Feb. 26 (over

Final Exam 25 % Mon.
May 10, at

__Homework policy: __

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.