2020 Exercise in Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Chemistry
Nishino Tomoaki  Kaneko Satoshi 
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Course description and aims

This course facilitates, through solving exercises, students’ understanding of the laws of thermodynamics, which has a macroscopic viewpoint, and fundamentals of statistical thermodynamics having a microscopic viewpoint. Specifically, topics include the first and second laws of thermodynamics and entropy for thermodynamics. For statistical thermodynamics, topics include Boltzmann distribution law, molecular partition function, number of microstates, thermal interaction between macroscopic systems, canonical distribution, and molecular thermodynamics for a simple system.
The aims are to learn thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics, which have macro- and microscopic viewpoints, respectively, and to explain the classical thermodynamics by statistical mechanics on the basis of probability and statistics.

Student learning outcomes

Through solving exercises in this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain the concepts and physical quantities of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics,
2) Describe physical changes, such as phase transition, and chemical reactions on the basis of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics from the macro- and macroscopic viewpoints, respectively.


physical chemistry, thermodynamics, statistical thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, partition functions

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Solving exercises and its explanation.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 The first law of thermodynamics Calculate the internal energy of a system.
Class 2 The second law of thermodynamics Calculate the entropy change for physical and chemical changes.
Class 3 Free energy and chemical equilibrium Explain the free energy and chemical potential.
Class 4 Boltzmann distribution Calculate entropy by using Boltzmann formula.
Class 5 Molecular partition function and average energy Calculate the average energy by using the molecular partition function.
Class 6 Molecular thermodynamics for a simple system Calculate the molecular partition function of translation, rotation, and vibration.
Class 7 Molecular partition function and chemical equilibrium Calculate the equilibrium constant by using the partition function.

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.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

P. Atkins. Atkins' Physical Chemistry

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of the laws and physical properties of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics, and their ability to describe physical changes and chemical reactions on the basis of thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics.
Learning achievement is evaluated by a final exam (40%) and exercise problems (40%).

Related courses

  • CHM.C202 : Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics

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

Attending at Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics (CHM.C202) is desirable.

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