2017 Thermodynamics (Physics) A

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Physics
Tanaka Hidekazu  Watabiki Yoshiyuki 
Course component(s)
Lecture / Exercise
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Course description and aims

This course teaches the basics of thermodynamics, e.g., laws of thermodynamics, entropy, free energy, equilibrium condition, with gas as main subject.
Thermodynamics is important for understanding state of matter and state change. Students will understand laws of thermodynamics, the concepts of entropy, free energy etc., and their mathematical descriptions. This will allow them to understand thermodynamical phenomena as well as allow them to solve problems in thermodynamics.

Student learning outcomes

By completing this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand laws of thermodynamics.
2) Understand the concepts of entropy, free energy, chemical potential, etc.
3) Master mathematical descriptions of thermodynamics, and explain the physical meaning of said equatuion.


Internal energy, first law of thermodynamics, quasistatic process, isochoric change, isobaric change, isothermal change, adiabatic change, Carnot cycle, second law of thermodynamics, efficiency, thermodynamical temperature, entropy, reversible and irreversible processes, equilibrium condition, free energy, Maxwell relations, phase equilibrium, chemical potential

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

This course is composed of Lectures and Exercises. Three-quarters of each lecture is devoted to fundamentals and the rest to advanced content or application. To allow students to get a good understanding of the course contents and practice application, problems related to the contents of this course are provided in Exercises.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Internal energy Explain internal energy.
Class 2 First law of thermodynamics Explain the first law of thermodynamics.
Class 3 Carnot cycle Explain Carnot cycle.
Class 4 Second law of thermodynamics Explain the second law of thermodynamics.
Class 5 Entropy Explain entropy.
Class 6 Equilibrium condition and free energy Explain equilibrium condition using free energy.
Class 7 Thermodynamic functions Derive Maxwell relations.
Class 8 Phase equilibrium and chemical potential Explain phase equilibrium using chemical potential.


Distribute handouts.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

S. Miyake: Thermodynamics, SHOKABO
A. Harashima: Thermodynamics, BAIFUKAN

Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by a final exam.

Related courses

  • N/A

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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