Physics 450: Statistical Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sonoma State University

Fall 2010

Class: Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-12:50 pm, Darwin 037

Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi

Phone: 664-2013


Office: Darwin 300J

Office Hours: Monday 2-3:30 pm, or by appointment

Learning Objectives

Goals: To understand matter in more detail by taking into account both the quantum behavior of atoms and the laws of statistics.

Prerequisite: Physics 314: Introduction to Physics III

Required Textbook: Daniel V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley Longman, 1999, ISBN 0201380277

Course Outline:

1. Energy in Thermal Physics (1.1-1.6)

2. The Second Law (2.1-2.6)

3. Interactions and Implications (3.1-3.3)

4. Applications: Engines and Refrigerators (4.1-4.2)

5. Boltzmann Statistics (6.1-6.4)

6. Quantum Statistics (7.1-7.6)

Course Schedule

Grading Policy:

Homework, Quizzes and Exams 30% Final Exam, Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, 11 am - 12:50 pm. Comprehensive!
  40% Quizzes
  30% Homework Assignments
Course Grade Percent
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F Below 60

Attendance is not mandatory. But my experience tells me that your grades will suffer if you often miss the classes.

2. Reading and homework will be assigned every week from the book, due the following week.

3. There is no tolerance for late homework submission without medical or tragic reason, as solutions will usually be posted the day after due date.

4. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when I compute your term grade.

5. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework, discussing the problems, but I expect each of you to write up your own solutions handed in for grading.

6. All quizzes, exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one index card to the class with equations and formulas. No makeup will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware the makeup exam/quiz may be entirely different from the original one.

7. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed through the semester.

Disability: If you have a disability and need special consideration, please contact the Office of Disabled Student Services ( DSS ). Located in Salazar Hall, Room 1049, Phone 664-2677.

Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, etc., can be found here.

Email me if you have questions or comments.

Last updated: 08/20/2010