3.20 | Fall 2003 | Graduate

Materials at Equilibrium (SMA 5111)


Course Introduction by Prof. Gerbrand Ceder

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week
Two sessions: 1.5 hours / session
One session: 1 hour / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Course Organization


For Classical Thermodynamics two texts will be particularly useful. Occasionally I will assign readings from these:

Zemanksy, Mark, and Richard Dittman. Heat and Thermodynamics. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Publishers.
Good book if you have never had thermodynamics.

Callen, Herbert B. Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics. Wiley.
More fundamental approach to thermodynamics.

For Statistical Mechanics you should get the following text:

McQuarrie, Donald A. Statistical Mechanics.
Those of you that have access to the older Statistical Mechanics can also use that.

Course Administration

Problem Sets

No graded problem sets. Problems relating to the course material + solutions will be distributed on a regular basis through the course web site. You are strongly encouraged to work on these problems.

Two written 90 minute midterm exams. Tentatively scheduled:
Friday Oct. 10: 9.30am - 11.00am
Friday Nov. 14: 9.30am - 11.00am

Final Exam

The final exam is a three hour written exam given in the period from Dec. 15 to Dec. 19. Please, keep this period free. No substitute exam can be given, unless you have a scheduling conflict. In that case, your final will be an oral with written preparation.

All exams are closed book. To reduce the need for memorizing, you can bring a regular letter-sized sheet with formulas (You can use both sides).

Mailing List

There will be an e-mail list for this class. It is based on the class list that the registrar has. If you are a listener and not registered, please contact one of the staff to have your email added. Important information is distributed through this list, so make sure you are on it.


Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 20%
Final Exam 50%
Thermocalc Assignment 5%

Academic Honesty

Cheating is strongly discouraged. Trust me, if you knew the consequences you wouldn’t even think about it.

MIT’s academic honesty policy can be found at MIT Policies and Procedures.

Other Interesting References

Gaskel, D. Introduction to Metallurgical Thermodynamics. OR

———. Introduction to the Thermodynamics of Materials. (same book as above)

DeHoff, R. T. Thermodynamics in Materials Science.

Kubaschewsky, O. Materials Thermochemistry.

Lupis, C. H. P. Chemical Thermodynamics.

Gordon. Principles of Phase Diagrams in Materials Systems.

Ragone, D. V. Thermodynamics of Materials. Wiley.

Chandler, D. An Introduction to Modern Statistical Mechanics.

Approximate Course Outline

Introduction to Classical Thermodynamics (16 sessions: 15 Lec, 1 Rec)
Statistical Mechanics (10 sessions: 9 Lec, 1 Rec)
Advanced Solution Theory, Phase Diagrams and Modeling (12 sessions: 11 Lec, 1 Rec)

Here is the more lyrical description of what will be covered in the course:

Shakespearean Ode to Thermo (author unknown)

_If two systems and one have equal heat,
Shall they trade energy when they meet? No!

Energy is constant like Julia’s love;
It giveth work and warmth like the sun above

Alas, ’tis true"! All must wither away,
For entropy, black night, must triumph o’er day

Yet is there hope? As temperature drops
All entropic vibration — stops!_

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003
Learning Resource Types
Course Introduction
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions