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Cours scientifique - PHY305 : Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

Domaine > Physique.


Thermodynamics and statistical physics are two pivotal frame theories, with uncountable applications in many fields. Thermodynamics offers a conceptual framework that is both elegant and remarkably powerful for describing the physics of a wide variety of macroscopic systems. It makes it possible to understand, describe, and predict the physics of systems as diverse as molecular gases, fluids, magnetic materials, as well as astrophysical objects, such as stars, galaxies or even the entire Universe. Statistical physics, on the other hand, permits to justify the axioms of thermodynamics and go significantly beyond, bridging the gap between the microscopic and macroscopic scales. It played a major role in the revolution of physics in the 20th century, paving the way for major advances. In the first place, it makes it possible to understand how quantum effects show up at the macroscopic scale, for example in condensed matter physics or in astrophysics.

The aim of this course is to offer
an introduction to thermodynamics and statistical physics, and discuss a number of applications in a variety of contexts, from classical to quantum.

Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

Vous devez avoir validé l'équation suivante : UE PHY101 Et UE PHY201 Et UE PHY205

PHY101, PHY201, PHY205, or equivalent courses
Recommended previous course: PHY301

Format des notes

Numérique sur 20

Littérale/grade américain

Pour les étudiants du diplôme M1 Physics

Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée)
    L'UE est acquise si note finale transposée >= C
    • Crédits ECTS acquis : 4 ECTS

    La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

    Pour les étudiants du diplôme Bachelor of Science de l'Ecole polytechnique

    Vos modalités d'acquisition :

    Grading :

    Attendance, participation: 20%

    Mid-term exam: 40%

    Final exam: 40%


    Notes :

    Coursework requires original input from students. The instructor may give a zero to any coursework for which a student fails to do so, whether intentionally or unintentionally, independent of further disciplinary action. Cases of cheating and plagiarism are subject to disciplinary action as stated in the Bachelor Program Academic Handbook: Section 3, Article 10.

    Students arriving more than 10 minutes late will be considered absent. Students who repeatedly arrive late will be considered absent right after the beginning of the lecture or exercise class. Each unexcused absence will result in the loss of one participation point.


    Le rattrapage est autorisé (Note de rattrapage conservée écrêtée à une note seuil de 11)
      L'UE est acquise si Note finale >= 9
      • Crédits ECTS acquis : 4 ECTS

      La note obtenue rentre dans le calcul de votre GPA.

      Programme détaillé

      • Introduction to thermodynamics

      • The basic laws of thermodynamics

      • Thermodynamic identities

      • Thermodynamic potentials and equilibrium

      • Phase transitions

      • The statistical approach

      • Classical gases

      • Statistical quantum distributions

      • Quantum gases I: Bosons

      • Quantum gases II: Fermions

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