PHY 205: Thermal Physics



Learning Outcomes
On completion, the students should be able to:
1. discuss the concept of heat and temperature;
2. explain and determine thermodynamic processes;
3. explain and evaluate properties of real and ideal gases;
4. evaluate the consequences of the thermodynamic laws;
5. describe the basis of the kinetic theory; and
6. describe the statistical behaviour of gases with applications.

Course Contents

The foundations of classical thermodynamics including the definition of temperature. The first
law. Work, heat and internal energy. The second law. Carnot cycles and Carnot engines. Zeroth
law. Entropy and irreversibility. Thermodynamic potentials and the Maxwell relations. Ideal gas
equation. Internal energy and internal molecular modes. Qualitative discussion of phase
transitions. Gibbs free energy. Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Examples of phase transitions. Van
der Waals gas. Kinetic theory. Mean free path. Equi-partition of energy. Heat transfer. Diffusion