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Syllabus for

Academic year
FTF140 - Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-13 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKTFY
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: Swedish
Block schedule: D

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0195 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   29 Oct 2015 am H,  04 Jan 2016 am M,  23 Aug 2016 am SB

In programs



Professor  Göran Wahnström

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a first cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme(s) that has the course included in the study programme.

Course specific prerequisites

Classical mechanics and basic quantum physics. Multivariabel analysis. Basic probability theory and statistics.


The purpose of the course is to provide basic knowledge about thermodynamic relations and statistical distributions, so that the student after finished course will be able to apply these laws to various practical problems and also be able to assimilate new scientific and technical information in order to attack novel and more complicated technological problems.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • apply basic laws in thermodynamics and statistical physics to various practical problems;

  • assimilate new scientific and technical information in order to attack novel and more complicated technological problems.
  • Content

    Basic thermodynamic concepts as equilibrium, reversible and irreversible processes, state functions, heat and work. Statistical description of many-body systems and the concept of multiplicity and entropy. The laws of thermodynamics. Application of thermodynamics to heat engines, refrigerators and heat pumps. Thermodynamic potentials, free energies and chemical potential. Phase equilibrium in one and two-component systems. Microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles. Equipartition theorem. Maxwell velocity distribution. Applications to classical ideal gases, lattice vibrations, paramagnetism and adsorption problems. Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distribution functions for ideal quantum gases and density of states. Applications to electrons in metals and in semi-conductors, stability of stars and Bose-Einstein condensation. Planck distribution, blackbody radiation and heat balance applied to the earth atmosphere.


    Instruction is given in the form of lectures and problem-solving sessions. These are supplemented by one compulsory experimental laboration: The Hot-Air Engine.


    Daniel V. Schroeder: An Introduction to Thermal Physics (Addison Wesley Longham, 2000).


    The course ends with a written exam, mostly consisting of problems to be solved. During the course there is two written tests ("duggor") which may give bonus-points for the exam. The experimental laboration is compulsory and give no extra bonus points.

    Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.