Calendar

The table below provides information on the course's lecture (L), recitation (R) and exam (E) sessions.

SES # Topics Key Dates
I. Thermodynamics
L1 Fundamental Definitions, The Zeroth Law, The First Law Problem set 1 out
L2 The Second Law, Carnot Engines and Thermodynamic Temperature, Entropy  
L3 Approach to Equilibrium and Thermodynamic Potentials, Useful Mathematical Results  
L4 Stability Conditions, The Third Law  
R1 Recitation  
II. Probability
L5 General Definitions, One Random Variable, Some Important Probability Distributions  
L6 Many Random Variables, Sums of Random Variables and the Central Limit Theorem, Rules for Large Numbers, Information, Entropy, and Estimation Problem set 1 due
R2 Recitation  
E1 In-class Exam #1 Problem set 2 out
III. Kinetic Theory of Gases
L7 General Definitions, Liouville's Theorem  
L8 The Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon Hierarchy, The Boltzmann Equation  
L9 The H-Theorem and Irreversibility, Equilibrium Properties Problem set 3 out
R3 Recitation  
L10 Conservation Laws Problem set 2 due
L11 Zeroth Order Hydrodynamics, First Order Hydrodynamics  
IV. Classical Statistical Mechanics
L12 General Definitions, The Microcanonical Ensemble, Two-Level Systems  
L13 The Ideal Gas, Mixing Entropy and Gibbs' Paradox, The Canonical Ensemble  
R4 Recitation Problem set 3 due
E2 In-class Exam #2 Problem set 4 out
L14 Examples, The Gibbs Canonical Ensemble, The Grand Canonical Ensemble  
V. Interacting Particles
L15 The Cumulant Expansion  
L16 The Cluster Expansion  
R5 Recitation  
L17 The Second Virial Coefficient and Van der Waals Equation, Breakdown of the Van der Waals Equation, Mean Field Theory of Condensation  
L18 Variational Methods, Corresponding States, Critical Point Behavior Problem set 5 out
R6 Recitation Problem set 4 due
VI. Quantum Statistical Mechanics
L19 Mean field theory of condensation, Corresponding states, Critical point behavior (from L17 & L18)  
L20 Dilute Polyatomic Gases, Vibrations of a Solid, Black-body Radiation  
L21 Quantum Microstates, Quantum Macrostates Problem set 6 out
VII. Ideal Quantum Gases
L22 Hilbert Space of Identical Particles  
R7 Recitation  
E3 In-class Exam #3 Problem set 5 due
L23 Canonical Formulation, Grand Canonical Formulation  
R8 Recitation  
L24 The Degenerate Fermi Gas  
L25 The Degenerate Bose Gas Problem set 6 due
L26 Superfluid He4  
R9 Recitation  
E4 Final Exam