29::212 Statistical Mechanics Syllabus

  Spring Semester 2014



 W: 2:30 -3:30PM;  F: 8:30 -9:30 AM and 3:00-4:00PM. Feel free to schedule appointments at other times.

Additional references:
  There are also many good  undergraduate textbooks that you may consult (Mandl, Morse, Reif, ...)


The course is an introduction to statistical physics and is organized as follows:
  1. Equilibrium Ensembles
  2. Thermodynamics
  3. Ideal and real Gases, liquids and solutions
  4. Magnetism
  5. Phase transitions
  6. Approach to equilibrium (if time permits)

A reading assignment and a problem set will be provided each week. The possibility of having the students more actively engaged in the class will be discussed during the first lecture. More detail will appear in the final version of the syllabus.


The final grade will be based on the quizzes and homework (40 percent),  midterms (30 percent), and the final (30 percent).   The final dates will be provided by the registrar in February   (see final exam schedule).


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Policies and Procedures

Administrative Home
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and other related issues. Different colleges may have different policies. Questions may be addressed to 120 Schaeffer Hall or see the CLAS Academic Handbook.


Electronic Communication
University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their standard University of Iowa e-mail address (@uiowa.edu). Students should check their account frequently. (Operations Manual, III.II.15. 2. k.11.)

Academic Fraud
Plagiarism and any other activities when students present work that is not their own are academic fraud and are considered by the College to be a very serious matter. Academic fraud is reported by the instructor to the departmental DEO who enforces the departmental consequences. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum is also informed. The Associate Dean enforces collegiate consequences which may included suspension or expulsion. See the CLAS Academic Handbook.

Making a Suggestion or a Complaint
Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit the instructor, then the course supervisor and the departmental Associate chair. Paul Kleiber. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See the CLAS Academic Handbook.  

Accommodations for Disabilities
A student seeking academic accommodations should register with Student Disability Services and meet privately with the course instructor to make particular arrangements. For more information, visit this site.

Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment at www.uiowa.edu/~eod/policies/sexual-harassment-guide/index.html for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy.

Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
In severe weather, the class members should seek shelter in the innermost part of the building, if possible at the lowest level, staying clear of windows and free-standing expanses. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. (Operations Manual, IV. 16.14. Scroll down to sections e and i for severe weather information.)

*The CLAS policy statements have been summarized from the web pages of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.