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# Lecture #1

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

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The adjective that best describes physics is:
ON Board: Essentials: Physics 224: Thermal Physics
Course web site: Canvas – HW, OLO, lecture notes, etc. available there
Office: PAB B433. Office hours 1110 -12 Mon/Thurs. [After class is fine,
but I realize most of you have Phys 227, and I need to eat before 12:30
seminars]
TA: 4 different TAs, who will likely rotate grading.
• HW – first assignment due Friday, Oct 7.
• Daily OLO (online learning opportunity = reading feedback) due with
person on list for the following day.
• Clicker equivalent: Poll Everywhere. Bring web-enabled device; text
may be OK for most questions.
WELCOME
Special welcome to transfer students just starting out at UW.
About half of physics majors fill out the paperwork while taking this class
– come talk with me if you are interested. I’m the new UFA.
This is the class where we start to make the transition from receiving and
generating knowledge – you will start to derive things in your HW, and
we will often make educated guesses to direct our thinking.
Survey results on forming study groups – I’ll set something up on Canvas.
Thermal Physics – Dealing with Complexity
Most of the time in Physics 121 (mechanics), you dealt with single
particles or objects, frequently treated as a single point.
Macroscopic objects are complex, and have internal energy associated
with the individual parts – vibrations in a solid, motion of molecules
inside a balloon, etc. We say they have “thermal energy,” although the
term encompasses more than this.

Printed 11:50, 9/28/2016

force balance. but not identical. Friction. You can't win. Results of Class Survey See graphs on canvas. What is Thermal Physics? • Thermodynamics: the branch of physical science that deals with the relations between heat and other forms of energy (such as mechanical. or chemical energy).” which is a measure of how much information we have about the individual constituents of the complex object. by extension. Defining thermal equilibrium § 1. energy conservation. and. Printed 11:50. inelastic collisions led to “irreversible” processes. you can only break even. electrical. Review these over the weekend if they are rusty.e. Another thing that complex objects have. 9/28/2016 . of the relationships between all forms of energy. There is a game you must play. These happen with complex objects. to a parameter we call “temperature. Absolute zero can never be reached exactly o Standard physics joke: § 0. Arrow of Time and Spontaneous Heat Flow § 3. Conservation of Energy § 2.” which is something not well defined for a single point particle. You can't reach absolute zero. is “entropy. kinetic energy + potential energy). You can only break even at absolute zero. § 2.Lecture #1 Wednesday. § 3. momentum conservation. 28 September 2016 page 2/8 This thermal energy is related. but point particles don’t have. o Four basic laws – derived empirically § 0. § 1. We also tended to slip under the rug processes that didn’t conserve mechanical energy (i. since energy can go into relative motion of the constituents and not just center of mass DEMO elastic/inelastic processes You will need Physics 121 in this class: your first HW set will need free body diagram.

What is the Difference? Consider a cup of tea. you know you don't understand it. Thermo was developed BEFORE we knew for sure about molecules – we’ve known about heat flowing from hot to cold for millennia (or longer). except for one or two small points. How can we characterize it macroscopically? How does that relate to microscopic information? This is likely the toughest conceptual leap you need to work on this quarter: the connection between what we can see (macroscopic) and what we know must be there (microscopic) that gives rise to what we see. 9/28/2016 . The first time you go through it. and the concept of heat as thermal energy dates to the 1830’s.Lecture #1 Wednesday. it doesn't bother you any more. The third time you go through it. Therefore the deep impression that classical thermodynamics made upon me. we know that complex objects are comprised of many parts. the more different kinds of things it relates. within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts.g. the before atomic hypothesis was well accepted. Printed 11:50. Quote from Einstein • A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises. o Thermodynamics deals with average properties of large numbers of molecules – macroscopic materials. The second time you go through it. and the more extended its area of applicability. What is Statistical Physics? • Now.g. H2O molecules) • It puts thermodynamics on a firm microscopic foundation Quote from Sommerfeld • Thermodynamics is a funny subject. but by that time you are so used to it. you think you understand it. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown. a cup of tea) knowing it is very many microsystems (e. • Statistical Mechanics is how we describe properties of a macrosystem (e. you don't understand it at all. 28 September 2016 page 3/8 o From these laws. we can make very accurate predictions about very complicated systems.

although can subtract off finite volume of molecules Number density n = N/V ~ 3×1022 molecules/cm3 Costs no free energy to move molecule between phases (chemical potentials equal) . Volume V (~ 240 cm3) Density ρ (~ 1 g/cm3) In Liquid-vapor equilibrium Printed 11:50. or a degree in something else) is: a) > 95 % b) 75-95 % c) 50 – 75% d) 25-50% e) 5 – 25% f) < 5% PE 09-28-3: Estimate of number of molecules About how many molecules are in a cup of tea? a) a trillion (1012) b) a billion billion (1018) c) a billion trillion (1021) d) 100 billion trillion (1023) e) 10 trillion trillion (1025) f) a billion billion billion (1027) ANSWER: (250 g water)/(18g/mole) = 14 moles = 14×6×10!" molecules ~ 1025 = 10 trillion trillion.Lecture #1 Wednesday.5 × 1025 atoms. 28 September 2016 page 4/8 Test of Poll Everywhere PE 09-28-1 Multiple choice example The probability that I will get a bachelors degree in physics (as opposed to no degree. Temperature = how # of accessible states changes with energy Number of molecules N (240 g water)/(18g/mole) = 13 moles = 8 × 1024 molecules = 2. 9/28/2016 Same – space available for molecules to move. What else do we know about the tea? Macroscopic Microscopic Temperature – T (~ 320 K) Mass – M (~240 g) Thermal equilibrium = most probable states.

N! is a humongous number. Imagine moving the molecules around. Printed 11:50. 28 September 2016 page 5/8 Counting States Cup of tea is a “macrostate” made up of indistinguishable “microstates”: 1025 molecules. and need to extrapolate to 1025 microstates. 9/28/2016 . stat mech will allow us to handle small systems where fluctuations are significant.8 billion years = 440 million-billion seconds = 4 × 102+6+9+12 = 4 × 1029 psec since the beginning of the universe – you could never count the microstates.Lecture #1 Wednesday. but mostly on the thermo side. trading energies and positions among the microstates: and there will be on the order of N! indistinguishable combinations of microstates to give the same macrostate. each with certain momentum and position. while thermo doesn’t. We will go back and forth between these two views this quarter. Thermodynamics doesn’t care about the microstate properties. Statistical Mechanics is all about figuring out how to predict the properties of a macrostate given that we can only calculate what’s really going on in a microstate. There have only been 13. Physics 328 goes into much more detail on the stat mech side. Each molecule is a “microstate”: we can imagine measuring everything and/or knowing its quantum mechanical state N = 1025 microstates make up this macrostate.