27 episodes

Thermal and Statistical Physics Purdue University Phys 416

Thermal and Statistical Physics Prof. Carlson

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Thermal and Statistical Physics Purdue University Phys 416

    Lecture 4: Partition Function and Thermodynamic Identity

    Lecture 4: Partition Function and Thermodynamic Identity

    Boltzmann Factor, Partition Function and how to calculate everything else from it. Live near lakes because they have a high heat capacity. Energy and Heat Capacity of a two state system, Definition of a reversible process, Definition of pressure, The Thermodynamic Identity, Thermodynamically Conjugate variables. Digressions: Is toasting bread a reversible process? Do microwaves get water hotter than other heating methods? Lecture 4 Audio

    Lecture 5: Free Energy and Maxwell Relations

    Lecture 5: Free Energy and Maxwell Relations

    Helmholtz Free Energy is the right energy to use when temperature and volume are used as control variables. Free Energy and the Partition Function. Maxwell Relations -- you can derive them all. Legendre Transforms. Ideal Gas. Quantum Concentration. Why some slow processes are still irreversible, as with toast and frogs. Lecture Audio

    Lecture 6: Ideal Gas Law, Planck Blackbody Radiation

    Lecture 6: Ideal Gas Law, Planck Blackbody Radiation

    Deriving the ideal gas law. Equipartition Theorem. Entropy of Mixing. Hot things glow -- or how night vision goggles work (Planck blackbody radiation). Analyzing star spectra. Class discussions: Mixing 2 colors of Kool-Aid, and how to make heavy Kool-Aid out of deuterated water. Why deuterated water can extend the snow skiing season, but is unfortunately toxic. Lecture Audio

    Lecture 2: Multiplicity Function

    Lecture 2: Multiplicity Function

    Why is the most probable configuration important? Multiplicity Function is a gaussian in the two-state system. Weighted averages. Introduction to partition function. Lecture 2 Audio

    Final Review 2

    Final Review 2

    This is a final review for the last 1/4 of the course. This is a very short lecture, because we had a field trip to go see the prestigious Bagwell Lecture given by Purdue's very own Prof. Albert Overhauser of the world-famous Overhauser Effect. Lecture Audio

    Final Review 1

    Final Review 1

    This is a final review for the first 3/4 of the course. Lecture Audio

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

ifuji ,

Awesome now you don't need to listen in class

I'm not even in college yet but this podcast has helped me expand my knowledge of physics and a vast amount of other fields. This podcast was very helpful.

MPLAW ,

A good job ...

"Energies add and the total is conserved; probabilities multiply and the product is unchanged." - Edward Teller

I joined the class late, what I knew about equilibrium statistical physics is contained in this quote from Teller’s book: “Conversations On the Dark Secrets of Physics”
Teller was one of the great physicists of the 20th century, a man of his political circumstances and times. I personally did not agree with most of his politics, with one exception, not knowing very much about anything I agreed with his concern that most people are badly educated and taught only those few skills necessary to make some money and be fitted into “the economy” to serve.
Teller clearly believes that some appreciation of complicated science can be taught to people without a lot of math. In Teller’s book you need only a little understanding of Calculus. Teller is having a conversation with his daughter Wendy and does his best to explain Physics. Wendy’s job is to ask questions and challenge her father to do better.
If you like listening to Professor Carlson’s class she presents in a conversational style and does a good job explaining physics. I do not have the book that goes along with her course, I have “Thermal Physics” by Schroeder and an old paperback by Nash.

Nash begins by stating:

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. "

I have been thinking about this statement for thirty four years but always part time and away from chasing dollars which occupies most of my clear head time.

David Reinertson ,

How to teach

An excellent bridge between statistics and chemistry. Will require, or motivate you to learn, calculus.
For those interested in teaching per se, listen for the interactions; the pacing and organization of questions to students, and, especially, the timing, thoughtfulness, and tone of answers to student questions.
The explications of the equations begin with motivating physical questions, but also with relations to previously learned math "technology" or similar laws. Even the individual variables are given re-introductions as needed, like minor characters in a long novel.
This explanatory structure reminds me of really well-documented code. It applies a rudimentary narrative arc to terse facts. The tone, however, is consistently one of delight in discovery and respect for the cleverness, of, respectively, nature and science.

You'll need calculus, including Taylor expansions and harmonic oscillators, as well as Kittel and Kroehmer's "Thermal Physics", 2nd ed., to actually master the subject, but, if you're homework-phobic, you can enjoy the lectures without the stress.

When out in public, just remember to smile and nod.

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