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.
- Understand how the microscopic properties of atoms and molecules relate to classical thermodynamic properties and to some non-equilibrium phenomena.
- Analyze and estimate how thermodynamic materials behave and obtain appropriate equilibrium and non-equilibrium properties.
- Apply some computational skills to statistical thermodynamics.

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Non-Equilibrium Applications of Statistical Thermodynamics (Coursera)

Course 5 of Statistical Thermodynamics explores three different applications of non-equilibrium statistical thermodynamics. The first is the transport behavior of ideal gases, with some discussion of transport in dense gases and liquids. It starts with simple estimates of the transport properties of an ideas gas. It then introduces [...]

Ideal Gases (Coursera)

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. [...]

Quantum Mechanics (Coursera)

Course 2 of Statistical Thermodynamics presents an introduction to quantum mechanics at a level appropriate for those with mechanical or aerospace engineering backgrounds. Using a postulatory approach that describes the steps to follow, the Schrodinger wave equation is derived and simple solutions obtained that illustrate atomic and molecular structural [...]

Fundamentals of Macroscopic and Microscopic Thermodynamics (Coursera)

Course 1 first explores the basics of both macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics from a postulatory point of view. In this view, the meaning of temperature, thermodynamic pressure and chemical potential are especially clear and easy to understand. In addition, the development of the Fundamental Relation and its various transformations [...]

Dense Gases, Liquids and Solids (Coursera)

Course 4 of Statistical Thermodynamics addresses dense gases, liquids, and solids. As the density of a gas is increased, intermolecular forces begin to affect behavior. For small departures from ideal gas behavior, known as the dense gas limit, one can estimate the change in properties using the concept of [...]