Old Announcements

10 Apr 2013: Problem 1 of sample exam 4 asks inquires about the energy distributions associated with Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics.  Focus instead on the energy-dependent occupancy factor.  How does the factor of $\pm1$ affect the actual state occupancies above and below the chemical potential.


9 Apr 2013: Exam 4 has been delivered to the testing center.  It opens Wed 10 Apr and closes Mon 15 Apr.  We'll review for it in class tomorrow (Wed).  The Ising model project can be passed off as late as 5:00 PM tomorrow.


3 Apr 2013: Your exam 3 scores have been posted.  Feel free to stop by to pick up your exams.  Otherwise, I will return them in class on Friday.


3 Apr 2013: I have posted HW32-33, which is a computational project that you can now begin working on in pairs.  Computers will be in short supply in N337; if you have a laptop with Mathematica installed, please bring it.  You will need to meet with me for 10-15 minutes to be graded on this lab?  You can meet with me in N337 ESC during the regular exam hour, or at other times by appointment.  I will try to keep my schedule free on the Tuesday afternoon before the lab is due.


3 Apr 2013: I just posted a revised class schedule that includes the computational project due date and the upcoming exam review sessions.


3 Apr 2013: Towards the end of the day, I revised and reposted my lecture notes on systems of interacting particles.  I recommend using the new version.


1 Apr 2013: As promised, I posted substantially revised lecture notes after class.  Based on your questions this afternoon, I also took the liberty of reposting HW30, which now includes some helpful hints on problem #5, and minor clarifications to other problems.  None of the answers changed -- you don't need to redo anything that you have already completed.


27 Mar 2013: After class today, we found some algebra mistakes in my notes on the black-body spectrum, which I have now corrected and reposted.


21 Mar 2013: The hint on HW26.3 was intended for HW26.4, and the hint on HW26.4 is unnecessary.


18 Mar 2013: The course schedule was updated today.  HW26 will be due Monday March 25.


6 Mar 2013: I reworded the HW21.1 and reposted the assignment for you.  Only the wording (not the result) changed, so that you don't need to reprint it.  If you are struggling with the problem, you might check the updated version.


25 Feb 2013: On HW18.2, I should have used $Q_a$ rather than $q_a$ to indicate the number of quanta on a given atom, so as to match the notation used in class and in my notes.


22 Feb 2013: Another hint on HW17.1(b): assume that $\Delta/N$ is a small quantity and remember that $ln(1+x)\approx x$ for small $x$.


20 Feb 2013: There was a mistake in the key used to grade HW13.1(e).  The Carnot isotherms have negative curvature in the SV plane.  If you did this correctly but lost a point due to the mistake, send me an email and we'll get it corrected.


20 Feb 2013: I updated the course schedule today to reflect plans for the statistical mechanics sequence.  I also changed the upcoming HW16 and HW17 assignments, which had been posted prematurely.


11 Feb 2013: On HW14.1(c), all four (not just three) segments are assumed to be reversible.  On HW14.2, I mislabeled the various parts and their cross references.  On HW14.2(c), I should have said, "Consider the following reversible four-segment counter-clockwise cycle, which uses some of the vertices of the psycho cycle", and thereby avoided incorrectly applying the word "isothermal".


7 Feb 2013: There are reports that HW12:3(b) is quite involved.  I confirm the reports.  Quite a few steps are required -- I should have left you a whole page.


5 Feb 2013: On HW11.3(e), a number of students have not noticed that 1 liter = $10^{-3} m^3$.  Also note that the use of K&T 4.50 to relate chemical potential and pressure is outlined in my lecture notes.


1 Feb 2013: On HW10.3, in addition to the hint given, you should know that the idea gas state equations can save considerable effort.  If you need more space than I provided, you are probably working too hard.


31 Jan 2013: On HW9.3, there is some confusion about which side of the equation the reactants should be moved to (always to the right).  Because I ran out of time for this discussion in class, I have clarified the issue in my lecture notes (reposted this morning).  If you reversed the convention, you won't be penalized.


28 Jan 2013: I updated the thermodynamic glossary today, replacing some of the material that we will discuss during the next two weeks.


24 Jan 2013: When I introduced HW7.1 in class today, I warned you to watch your factors of 2, and then botched a factor of 2 myself in part of the derivation.  I'll leave you to figure out where.


22 Jan 2013: Based on your feedback, Drake Ranquist set regular TA hours (see above) each week in N337 ESC.  This will be an important resource for completing homework assignments.  He said that you can also make appointments via email.


18 Jan 2013: I updated the course schedule today (changed the reading assignments for lectures 8&9).


16 Jan 2013: I updated the thermodynamic glossary today after class.  Please download a new copy.


16 Jan 2013: On HW 5.3, it would have been better to ask which processes are reversible rather than asking which ones are spontaneous.  Only the "free expansion" process is irreversible.  But I indicated careful quasi-static control of the expansion, some of you argued that we aren't allowing the free expansion to proceed spontaneously.  For that example, I agree.  But in general, a spontaneous process can proceed slowly enough without controls to be called quasi-static.


14 Jan 2013:  On HW4.3, disregard the last sentence, which was intended for the black-body radiation problem.  This obviously is an ideal gas problem.  It was defined that way.  But this case is not isothermal.


11 Jan 2013:  Here's an important point that I forgot to mention on Monday, but remembered in class today (Friday).  Always draft your HW problems on scratch paper.  Then copy the final version onto the sheets handed out in class for submission.  Messy HW sheets won't receive full credit (beginning with HW3).


11 Jan 2013: On HW3.1, only consider regions of state space where the candidate entropy functions are real valued.


7 Jan 2013: The first homework is due before class on Wednesday.  Be sure to complete the pre-class reading before you come.  I posted a list of textbook errata to the resource page today.  You should keep this on hand when completing reading assignments.


7 Jan 2013: I think that the iClicker registration link has been fixed.  Let me know if you still have trouble with it.


December 2012: If you don't receive a course CID via email by the first day of class, get one at http://gardner.byu.edu/cid.  If you haven't registered your iClicker, do it here.  Note that homework assignments should be downloaded, printed, and worked in the spaces provided; feel free to draft your problems on scratch paper -- the submitted versions should be clean and polished.