2021 Thermodynamics (Physics) (Lecture)

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Physics
Nishida Yusuke 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
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Course description and aims

Thermodynamics is important for understanding state of matter and state change. This course teaches the basics of thermodynamics, e.g., laws of thermodynamics, entropy, free energy, equilibrium condition, with gas as main subject.
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, hollow space radiation, rubber elasticity, magnetic materials.

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 by use of blackboard. 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 First law of thermodynamics and Carnot cycle Explain the first law of thermodynamics. Explain Carnot cycle.
Class 2 Second law of thermodynamics Explain the second law of thermodynamics.
Class 3 Entropy Explain entropy.
Class 4 Equilibrium condition and free energy Explain equilibrium condition using free energy.
Class 5 Thermodynamic functions Derive Maxwell relations.
Class 6 Phase equilibrium and chemical potential Explain phase equilibrium using chemical potential.
Class 7 Application of thermodynamics I Explain rubber elasticity and the properties of magnetic materials using thermodynamics.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Lecture notes will be distributed via OCW-i.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

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

Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by report problems or a final exam.

Related courses

  • PHY.S301 : Statistical Mechanics(Lecture)
  • PHY.S312 : Statistical Mechanics II(Lecture)

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

No prerequisites.

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