- Introduction
- Intended audience
- Major sources
- Why study thermodynamics?
- The atomic theory of matter
- Thermodynamics
- The need for a statistical approach
- Microscopic and macroscopic systems
- Thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics
- Classical and quantum approaches

- Probability theory
- Introduction
- What is probability?
- Combining probabilities
- The two-state system
- Combinatorial analysis
- The binomial distribution
- The mean, variance, and standard deviation
- Application to the binomial distribution
- The Gaussian distribution
- The central limit theorem

- Statistical mechanics
- Introduction
- Specification of the state of a many particle system
- The principle of equal
*a priori*probabilities - The theorem
- The relaxation time
- Reversibility and irreversibility
- Probability calculations
- Behaviour of the density of states

- Heat and work
- A brief history of heat and work
- Macrostates and microstates
- The microscopic interpretation of heat and work
- Quasi-static processes
- Exact and inexact differentials

- Statistical thermodynamics
- Introduction
- Thermal interaction between macrosystems
- Temperature
- Mechanical interaction between macrosystems
- General interaction between macrosystems
- Entropy
- Properties of entropy
- Uses of entropy
- Entropy and quantum mechanics
- The laws of thermodynamics

- Classical thermodynamics
- Introduction
- The equation of state of an ideal gas
- Heat capacity or specific heat
- Calculation of specific heats
- Isothermal and adiabatic expansion
- Hydrostatic equilibrium of the atmosphere
- The isothermal atmosphere
- The adiabatic atmosphere
- Heat engines
- Refrigerators

- Applications of statistical thermodynamics
- Introduction
- Boltzmann distributions
- Paramagnetism
- Mean values
- Partition functions
- Ideal monatomic gases
- Gibb's paradox
- The equipartition theorem
- Harmonic oscillators
- Specific heats
- Specific heats of gases
- Specific heats of solids
- The Maxwell distribution

- Quantum statistics
- Introduction
- Symmetry requirements in quantum mechanics
- An illustrative example
- Formulation of the statistical problem
- Fermi-Dirac statistics
- Photon statistics
- Bose-Einstein statistics
- Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics
- Quantum statistics in the classical limit
- The Planck radiation law
- Black-body radiation
- The Stefan-Boltzmann law
- Conduction electrons in a metal
- White-dwarf stars
- The Chandrasekhar limit
- Neutron stars

- About this document ...

Richard Fitzpatrick 2006-02-02