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AIM: PHY 4523 focuses on the statistical treatment of the (quantum mechanical or classical) dynamics of individual particles and the general physical properties that can be deduced. Statistical mechanics is a very general framework for analyzing equilibrium systems which also provides a microscopic basis for thermodynamics. We will look at many applications of statistical thermodynamics taken from different areas of physics.

PRE-REQUISITES: It will be assumed that you have successfully completed an introductory course in classical thermodynamics at the level of PHY 3513 (Thermal Physics) or PHY 3062 (Accelerated General Physics III). Some experience with quantum mechanics will be advantageous but not absolutely necessary.

HOMEWORK: Homework problems for each chapter in the  textbook are assigned basically each week with designated due dates. To obtain full credit the homework must be handed in on time. Homework can be handed in late for reduced credit but must be by the next class meeting time and then for 50% of maximum credit. Solutions to the homework will be posted about 4 days after the due date.  

QUIZZES: In addition to homework sets there will be at least four short in-class quizzes based on problems related to the previous homework set and problems reviewed in lectures.

EXAMS: There will be three in-class exams. The exams will not merely require memorization and regurgitation of material covered in lectures and homework but test your understanding of fundamental concepts and methods. Formula sheets or textbooks will be allowed; details will be announced nearer the time.

In the event of a documented conflict with another event, it may be possible to take an exam shortly before or after its scheduled time. Make-up exams will be offered only for serious medical conditions or University-approved absences supported in writing by the appropriate professional. Any request for a special exam sitting or a make-up must be made a week ahead for any scheduled absence, and as soon as reasonably possible after an unforeseen absence.

GRADE: Your grade will be assigned on the basis of an overall score, derived as follows:

Homework 10 %
Quizzes 40 %
Mid-Term Exams 30 %
Final Paper 20 %


A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ E
G. Pt.
4.0 3.67 3.33 3.0 2.67 2.33 2.0 1.67 1.33 0
85+ 75+ 70+ 65+ 60+ 55+ 50+ 45+ 40+ 40-

*The actual grading scale may vary depending on numerous factors within +/- 2.5 points out of 100. There will also be an extra-credit assignment which will allow you the chance to compensate at least partially for missed homework or a poor performance on one of the exams.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students who require accommodation for disabilities must first contact the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide documentation, which the student must bring to his/her instructors during the first week of the semester.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: Each student is expected to hold himself/herself to a high standard of academic honesty. Under the UF academic honesty policy, unauthorized assistance or the use of unauthorized resources is strictly forbidden on work-for-credit. Although discussions among the students are highly encouraged, you are to work alone on all homework assignments unless specified differently. Fabrication or falsification of excuses or related documentation is also a violation of the UF academic honesty policy. Violations of this policy will be dealt with severely. There will be no warnings or exceptions.