PHYSICS 410 - Thermal Physics

Spring 2001

Prof. Norman Birge


Office:  126D PA, 353-8746

Class will not meet on the following Mondays: 1/29, 2/5, 2/19, 3/12, 3/26, and maybe some in April.  Instead, we will go until 5:30pm on Fridays (with a 5-minute break in the middle).

 Click here for the homework and exam schedule

Course Information

Office Hours: By appointment. 
Lectures: Tentative (pending student approval):  WF, 4:10-5:30pm, Room 120 Physics & Astronomy (PA)
Required Text: Thermal Physics, C. Kittel and H. Kroemer, Freeman, 2nd edition
Homework: There will be 11 assignments due on Wednesdays at the beginning of class.  The lowest homework score will be dropped when calculating your final grade.  You are welcome to consult with your peers when doing your homework, but you are responsible for completing the problems yourself.  Copying somebody else's homework is not acceptable.
Grader: Chun Qian,, office hours by appointment
Exams:  There will be 3 midterm exams and a final.  The dates for the midterm exams are Feb. 7, March 14, and April 11.  The final exam is Monday, April 30 at 5:45pm.  All exams are closed book.  You are, however, allowed a sheet of formulas that I will hand out in class the week before each exam.  The final exam will be cumulative.
Grades: Homework      30%             Maximum grade cut-offs:  >90%  4.0      >66%  2.0
Midterm #1     12%                                                     >84%  3.5      >60%  1.5
Midterm #2     12%                                                     >78%  3.0      >54%  1.0
Midterm #3     12%                                                     >72%  2.5      <54%  0.0
Final Exam      34%      These cut-offs may be lowered, but they won't be raised.
Course Outline: We will cover chapters 1-10 and 14 of Kittel and Kroemer.  The course covers statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and kinetic theory.  The emphasis is on showing how the laws of thermodynamics arise from the fundamental principles of statistical mechanics.

This page is maintained by N. Birge, email:

Last updated 1/16/2001