PHYS 3P41: Statistical Physics 1
Course Outline 2017
What this course is about:

This course will provide an introduction to concepts in Thermal and Statistical Physics. The course will have three major sections: Kinetic Theory, Classical Thermodynamics and an introduction to Statistical Mechanics.


Prerequisite: PHYS 2P50

Topics covered:
  • Heat, Heat Capacity
  • Review of Probability
  • Statistical Interpretation of Temperature
Kinetic Theory of Gases
  • Maxwell Boltzmann Distribution
  • Gas Laws
  • Effusion, Flux
  • Collisions
  • Transport Properties
  • Thermal Diffusion Equation
Classical Thermodynamics
  • The First Law of Thermodynamics
  • Isothermal and Adiabatic Processes
  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics, Heat Engines
  • Entropy
  • Thermodynamic Potentials, Maxwell's Relations
  • Applications
  • The Third Law of Thermodynamics
Statistical Mechanics
  • Equipartition of Energy
  • Partition Function, Functions of State
  • Chemical Potential, Grand Partition Function
  • Further Examples (time permitting)

Concepts in Thermal Physics, 2nd Edition by Stephen J. Blundell and Katherine M. Blundell

on reserve in the library as well as in e-book format

Monday and Friday 12:30-2:00 pm, in TH 240


17:00-18:00 pm Wednesday in WH 305


Maureen Reedyk (MC B205, ext. 3877, e-mail:

The marking scheme:
Component Weight
Assignments 20% Assigned during lecture.
Tutorial Work Sheets 20% Completed during Tutorial hour.
Midterm Test 20% During Lecture Period Fri. Oct. 27, 2017
Examination 40% You must obtain a grade of 40% or greater on the final exam in order to pass the course
Academic Misconduct
  • Must be present in tutorial to obtain credit for tutorial work.
  • No late Assignments or Tutorial Work Sheets will be accepted.
  • The test and the examination will be based on material covered during lectures, tutorials and homework assignments.
  • Topics may be covered in lectures, tutorials, assigned reading and/or assignments.
  • If your grade is less than 40% on the final exam your final grade in the course can be no greater than 45%.