Thermodynamics (MP 460)   (Fall 2011)

There will be a revision tutorial for this course on Monday January 16.
Time and Place: 9:05 in Hall C

The exam is on Tuesday, January 17, 9:30 in the Small Sports Hall

Note: Details on the assignments and on the material covered appear on the Weekly Schedule.


Class meets

Course content

We will roughly cover the module content posted on the mathematical physics department's webpage. A more accurate Weekly Schedule will appear gradually as the course evolves.


We will use the following book:

# Title: Thermodynamics
# Author: Enrico Fermi.

This is the main text for this course. You will need this book, so please buy it.

This book is a classic, written by one of the greatest physicists of all time. It is also a steal at the price Dover is asking for it. You will need this book. Buy it now or be sorry later. Further details on the book:

# Paperback: 160 pages
# Publisher: Dover Publications (June 1, 1956)
# ISBN-10: 048660361X
# ISBN-13: 978-0486603612

The bookshop should have copies of this book for you can also buy them online (should be about 10 euro).

Supplementary Text:

You may also be interested in the following book, which gives an alternative prespective. This will be the main text for statistical mechanics (MP461) in the Spring.

# Title:An Introduction to Thermal Physics
# Author: Daniel V. Schroeder.

The book comes in hardcover or as a paperback "international edition" (I have the paperback, but I expect they are identical as far as the content is concerned):

# Hardcover: 422 pages
# Publisher: Addison Wesley; US ed edition (August 28, 1999)
# ISBN-10: 0201380277
# ISBN-13: 978-0201380279

# Paperback: 422 pages
# Publisher: Pearson Education; 1st International edition edition (2 Sep 2004)
# Language English
# ISBN-10: 0321277791
# ISBN-13: 978-0321277794

This book also has its own webpage, maintained by the author.

The bookshop should have some copies of this book and you can also buy it online for about 40 euro.

Exam and Continuous Assessment

There will be a one and a half hour written examination at the end of Semester 1 which counts for 80% of the mark. Continuous Assessment (that is, hand-in exercises) makes up the remaining 20%.


There will be homework exercises every week (except for the first week). For this week's homework, see the Weekly Schedule

Roughly every second week, the homework exercises should be handed in (I will indicate which exercises are meant to be handed in). These homeworks will be marked and the results will count for 20% of the final mark.

The deadline for handing in homework is the start of the Monday tutorial after the tutorial in which the homework was assigned (unless indicated otherwise). Late homework will not be accepted.

Homework can be handed in at the start of class on Monday, or before that, directly to me (in my office) or it can be left in my pigeon hole in the mathematical physics department, Rm 1.11 (Monica Harte's office). Please make sure your homework shows some cohesion as well as your name and student number.

I encourage you to work on the homework in small groups; it is important to learn to communicate about the subject. However, please make sure you do fully understand the solutions to the problems and please write them up from scratch, in your own words.


If you have questions, comments or suggestions for the lectures and the webpage (maybe you don't like green :)), then please send me an email. I can't promise to make everybody happy, but I will try.