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Mid-Term 1

Thermal Physics
PHYS 320
20 Sep 2012 Name:
ID:
Read all of the following information before starting the exam:
Show all work, clearly and in order, if you want to get full and partial credit. I reserve the
right to take o points if I cannot see how you arrived at your answer (even if your nal
answer is correct).
If your answer does not t, use the Scrap page at the end or request extra paper from the
proctor.
A calculator is permitted, but no wireless or communicating devices are allowed.
Box in your nal result!
Note k
B
= 1.38 10
23
J/K and m
p
= 1.67 10
27
kg and R=8.3 J/mol K, also 1 atm =
1.01 10
5
N/m
2
, h=6.6 10
34
Js.
This exam includes 7 questions. The total number of points is 34.
1. (a) (2 points) Consider 5 coins, calculate the probability of getting 2 heads.
Solution:
The total number of microstates is
tot
= 2
5
= 32; and there 10 ways of getting 2 heads,
such that:
(2heads)

tot
=
10
32
= 0.31
(b) (1 point) Evaluate = ln(4000!)
Solution:
Using Stirlings approximation ln N! N ln N N (eq. 2.16):
= ln(4000!) 4000 ln(4000) 4000 29176
2. (a) (3 points) Consider a container with two large compartments each of volume V
0
. The
compartments are connected by a small tube that has a valve, which is initally closed.
The left compartment is lled with one mole of ideal gas at temperature T
i
and pressure
P
i
. The valve is suddenly opened and the gas ows to the right compartment. Assuming
that the container is thermally isolated, nd the nal pressure p
f
and nal temperature
T
f
after the gas has expanded.
Solution:
from the ideal gas law we know:
p
i
V
0
= RT
i
so the nal state will be:
p
f
(2V
0
) = RT
f
Since the container is thermally isolated, no energy is transferred; i.e. (U = 0), such
that T
f
= T
i
from U = 3/2Nk
B
T, then
p
f
= p
i
/2
(b) (1 point) Make a plot P vs. V and indicate approximately what happens as you go from
the initial to the nal state. Draw carefully paying attention to the shape of the process
line.
Solution:
Even though the initial and nal temperature are the same, the process does not neces-
sarily need to follow an isothermal line (PV =const.), but generally deviates a bit, see
below:
3. An ideal gas undergoes the cyclic process shown in Fig. 1 below.
Figure 1: Pressure versus Volume diagram for a cyclic process with labels.
(a) (3 points) Determine the work done in steps A and B. Calculate the total work output
from completing one cycle.
Solution:
In step A, no work is done, and in step B:
W
B
=

P(V ) dV = P
2
(V
2
V
1
)
The total work is equal to the enclosed area, which is (P
2
P
1
)(V
2
V
1
). Alternatively,
you can add the work from each step (or the two steps B and D, in this case).
(b) (3 points) Which point (r,s,t,u) has the highest temperature and why? Draw the same
cyclic process in the P T diagram. Label each process line with A,B,C,D corresponding
to the same process in Fig. 1.
Solution:
point s - see ideal gas law (PV = nRT); s has the highest P and highest V , so PV is
maximized, which means that it has the highest temperature T.
(c) (2 points) Draw the same cyclic process (Fig.! 1) in the P T diagram. Label each process
line with A,B,C,D corresponding to the same process from Fig. 1.
Solution:
Assuming that points r and t have approximately the same temperature, the cycle can
be reconstructed using the ideal gas law.
4. Consider an ideal gas.
(a) (1 point) Describe briey what an adiabatic process is:
Solution:
A process where Q = 0. That is a process where no heat is added, which means that
U = W.
(b) (2 points) Describe how and point out the dierence of how you would experimentally
implement an isothermal versus an adiabatic process (use a diagram if needed to add to
your description).
Solution:
An insulated system for an adiabatic process (system is surrounded by thermal insula-
tion), a large heat bath for an isothermal process (the system is surrounded by a large
water bath that is very large compared to the system such that the temperature of the
water remains constant.
(c) (2 points) Draw a P V diagram for an ideal gas and draw an isothermal line and an
adiabatic line. Clearly label the two lines in the diagram. For clarication of your plot,
provide the equations that guided you to draw the lines.
Solution:
We derived in class, for an ideal gas: PV =const. for an isothermal process and
PV

=const. for an adiabatic process, where > 1, in fact = 5/3 for the ideal
gas, which means that the slope is steeper as shown below:
5. Consider a paramagnetic system with only 3 atoms that each have exactly one Bohr magneton

B
. Note that these are dipole moments that can either point up or down only.
(a) (2 points) Draw a schematic picture showing all dipole moments of the system in the
lowest energy state in the presence of a magnetic eld

B =< 0, 0, +B
z
>. Also draw the
magnetic eld. Calculate the total internal energy U of the system.
Solution:
The internal energy is U = 3 (
B
B) = 3
B
B.
(b) (4 points) Make a table with all possible macrostates and list for each of them the reduced
entropy S/k
B
and energy U/N
B
, as well as the dimensionless temperature k
B
T/
B
B and
specic heat C/Nk
B
.
Solution:
There are 4 macrostates for N = 3. Note that N = N
up
+ N
down
, such that U =

B
B(N
down
N
up
). Also, the temperature is related to the entropy S, so that we can say
k
B
T =
U
ln
and nally C =
U
T
. We are using the following conventions: U
n
= U/
B
B,
S
n
= S/k
B
, T
n
= k
B
T/
B
B, and C
n
= C/Nk
B
, such that:
N
up
U
n
S
n
T
n
C
n
N(1 2
Nup
N
)

N
Nup

ln S
n
/U
n
U
n
/(NT
n
)
0 3 1 0
1 1 3 ln 3 -2 / ln 3
2 -1 3 ln 3 -2 / 0
3 -3 1 0 2 / ln 3
(c) (2 points) Draw the specic heat as a function of temperature based on your calculation
(for all data points that you have) and separately plot schematically the specic heat
C(T) as a function of temperature T for a macroscopic paramagnet.
Solution:
6. (a) (2 points) Use the Sackur-Tetrode equation to estimate the entropy dierence of a mole
of argon gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure and one mole of helium gas.
Figure 2: Shows a portion of the periodic table.
Solution:
The Sackur-Tetrode equation is:
S = Nk
B

ln

V
N

4mU
3Nh
2

3/2

+
5
2

Since both gases are monatomic gases, then they have the same number of degrees of
freedom. Now, the only dierence is the mass m. Therefore,
S = S
Ar
S
He
= R

ln(40)
3/2
ln(4)
3/2

= 3/2R(ln(40) ln(4)) 3.45R


(b) (1 point) Which one has more entropy, if any. Explain briey.
Solution:
One mole of argon gas has more entropy as compared to helium gas. The larger mass
gives the atom more momentum and therefore more possibilites,so that the entropy is
larger.
7. List / describe all 3 Laws of Thermodynamics:
(a) (1 point) 1st Law of TD
Solution:
Energy is always conserved:
dU = Q+W
This could also be rewritten as:
U
sys
+ U
surr
= 0
(b) (1 point) 2nd Law of TD
Solution:
Entropy is not a conserved quantity:
S
sys
+ S
surr
0
Note that S k
B
ln is simply the denition of the entropy; it does not say anything
about entropy. Entropy can decrease locally at the expense of an increase of entropy of
the surrounding.
(c) (1 point) 3rd Law of TD
Solution:
At the lowest possible temperature, the system is supposed to be in a unique state,
therefore = 1, and so S = 0. This is, however, an assumption, so it shall be stated:
S 0 as T 0