Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory

I am scheduled to teach this course during Fall 2016 to first semester undergraduates from either the dual degree programme in Physics or the Engineering Physics program at IIT Madras.

Course Content

Overview and introduction: characteristic features of macroscopic systems, conditions of equilibrium. The basic problems of thermodynamics. Specification of the state of a system. Number of states accessible to a macroscopic system, constraints, equilibrium and irreversibility, interaction between systems and first law of thermodynamics.

Thermal interaction: Approach to thermal equilibrium, temperature, systems in contact with heat reservoir, probability of occurrence of a state. Classical approximation, Maxwell Velocity distribution, the equipartition theorem, the specific heat of solids. General thermodynamic interaction between systems. Dependence of number of states on the external parameters. General thermodynamic relation at equilibrium. Thermodynamic potentials. Legendre Transformations. Second and third law of thermodynamics. Equilibrium conditions of an isolated systems and a system in contact with reservoir. Equilibrium between phases. Gibbs phase rule.

Elementary kinetic theory of transport process. Viscosity, conductivity, self diffusion, electrical conductivity. Boltzmann transport equation.

Course References:

  1. F. Reif – Statistical Physics – Berkeley Volume 5 (Tata McGraw Hill – special Indian eddition 2008)
  2. H .B. Callen – Thermodynamics and an introduction to thermostatistics (John Wiley and Sons 1985)
  3. F. Mandl – Statistical Physics (John Wiley and Sons 1978)
  4. K.P.N.Murthy; Excursions in Thermodynamics and Statistical mechanics (Universities press 2009)
  5. H. Gould and J. Tobochink – Thermal and statistical Physics (Princeton university press 2010)
  6. Halliday, Resnick and Walker – Fundamentals of Physics for basic kinetic theory
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