Course 3 of Statistical Thermodynamics, Ideal Gases, explores the behavior of systems when intermolecular forces are not important. This done by evaluating the appropriate partition functions for translational, rotational, vibrational and/or electronic motion. We start with pure ideal gases including monatomic, diatomic and polyatomic species. We then discuss both non-reacting and reacting ideal gas mixtures as both have many industrial applications. Computational methods for calculating equilibrium properties are introduced. We also discuss practical sources of ideal gas properties. Interestingly, in addition to normal low density gases, photons and electrons in metals can be described as though they are ideal gases and so we discuss them.
About this Course
University of Colorado Boulder
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About the Statistical Thermodynamics Specialization
This specialization was developed for the mechanical or aerospace engineering advanced undergraduate graduate or graduate student who already has a strong background in undergraduate engineering thermodynamics and is ready to tackle the underlying fundamentals of the subject. It is designed for those entering advanced fields such as combustion, high temperature gas dynamics, environmental sciences, or materials processing, or wishes to build a background for understanding advanced experimental diagnostic techniques in these or similar fields. It covers the relationship between macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics and derives properties for gases, liquids and solids. It also covers non-equilibrium behavior as found in kinetic theory and chemical kinetics. The main innovation is the use of the postulatory approach to introducing fundamental concepts and the very clear connection between macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics. By introducing basic ideas using postulates, students are given a very straightforward way to think about important concepts, including entropy and temperature, ensembles and quantum mechanics.
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