Syllabus

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Overview

This course will cover the following three major areas:

Principles of Statistical Mechanics

  • Ensembles and partition functions: canonical and microcanonical
  • Atomic and molecular degrees of freedom: translation, rotation, vibration, electronic, and nuclear spin
  • Chemical equilibrium and thermodynamic properties: entropy, enthalpy, free energy, chemical potential
  • Intermolecular potentials, equations of state

Solid State Chemistry

  • Models for solids: Einstein, Debye, metals, semiconductors

Kinetics

  • Kinetic theory of gases: pressure, effusion, transport
  • Rate theory: collision theory, transition state theory

Textbook

Hill, Terrill L. An Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics. New York, NY: Dover, 1987. ISBN: 9780486652429.

Reading Assignments

Readings of relevant pages in several standard texts are listed per lecture. No single textbook is satisfactory for the topics covered (and the level at which they are covered) in 5.62. It is expected that you will spend 5-10 minutes previewing each day’s lecture notes before class.

Homework

Problem sets will be assigned weekly. The problem sets will be due in class. Lat problem sets will not be accepted, although adjustments for missed homework due to prearranged absences will be made in the final grades.

Exams

There will be three hour-long midterm exams and a three hour final exam.

Grading

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Homework (8 problem sets) 25%
Three midterm exams (15% each) 45%
Final exam 30%

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

grading Exams
notes Lecture Notes