Theoretical Physics 4B (Thermodynamics and Elements of Statistical Mechanics)
Module PH0012 [ThPh 4B]
Module version of SS 2020 (current)
There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.
Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.
|available module versions|
|SS 2020||SS 2019||SS 2018||SS 2016||WS 2010/1|
PH0012 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.
This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.
- Physics Modules for Students of Education
If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.
|Total workload||Contact hours||Credits (ECTS)|
|270 h||90 h||9 CP|
Responsible coordinator of the module PH0012 is Mathias Garny.
Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions
Temperature and heat
- Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, ideal gas law, temperature and pressure
- work, heat, entropy, thermodynamical processes
Fundamentals of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
- QM many particle systems, density operators
- entropy, thermal equilibrium, microcanonical distribution
- canonical distribution, partition functions
- thermodynamic potentials, stability
- Jarzynski-Crooks fluctuation theorem
- interaction-free quantum gases, classical limes
- degenerate fermi and bose gas
- bose einstein condensate
- photons, thermodynamics of radiation, phonons
Interacting gases, liquids, phase transitions
- virial expansion, van der Waals equation, phase equilibrium
- pair correlation, structure factor
- Poisson-Boltzmann and Debye-Hückel theory
lattice gas and Ising model
molecular field approximation, Ginzburg-Landau theory, critical exponents
Non equilibrium thermodynamics
- brownian motion, fluctuation dissipation theorem
- particle and heat diffusion, Einstein relation
After successful participation, students are able to
- know the fundamental terms of temperature and heat and master the corresponding relations
- comprehend the basics of statistical mechanics and their consequences for macroscopic effects in thermodynamics
- describe ideal (quantum) gases and know their meaning in certain cases
- know important properties and descriptions of interacting gases and liquids as well as the behaviour at phase transitions
- reproduce an insight into processes of non equilibrium thermodynamics
PH0005, PH0006, PH0007
Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature
Learning and Teaching Methods
In the thematically structured lecture the learning content is presented.
In the Tutorial the learning content is deepened and exercised using problem examples and calculations. Additionally in scientific discussions the analytic-physics intellectual power is stimulated so that the students are able to explain and apply the learned physics knowledge independently.
writing on blackboard, presentations, computer animations
freely available lecture notes
D.V. Schroeder: An Introduction to Thermal Physics (Addison Wesley 2000)
R. Balian: From Microphysics to Macrophysics (Springer 1991)
L.D. Landau / E.M. Lifschitz: Lehrbuch der Theoretischen Physik, Band V
S. K. Ma, Statistical Mechanics (World Scientific 1985)
R. K. Pathria, Statistical Mechanics, 2nd Edition (Butterworth Heinemann 1996)
T. Fließbach, Statistische Physik, Spektrum Wissenschaftlicher Verlag
Description of exams and course work
There will be an oral exam of about 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations. Especially important is to prove that she/he has realised the correlation between different topics in thermodynamics and is able to explain this in a comprehensive manner. In an (developing) oral exam this can be proved in the most efficient way.
For example an assignment in the exam might be:
- What is the first law of thermodynamics?
- How is entropy calculated in statistics physics and what is the meaning of it?
- What kind of statistics must be used to describe an electron gas?
The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.