*Thermodynamics*
is a subject at the intersection of physics, chemistry, engineering
and information technology, and that is reflected in the content in this lecture. Building on the
introductory coverage of thermal physics in the Classical Physics module in Year 1, we will
discuss the laws of thermodynamics and consider the irreversibility of processes and introduce entropy
as a measure of it. The implications of this for heat engines (and, by extension, other engineering
processes) will be discussed as well as how irreversibility determines phase equilibria via concepts
such as free energy. Finally, statistical mechanics is invoked to explain the behaviour of different
types of ensembles of particles, leading to distribution functions needed in other areas of physics
such as Condensed Matter or Atomic and Molecular Physics, which are covered in a number of Year 3
modules.

There will be two problem sheets focussing on classical and statistical thermodynamics, respectively.
In addition, there will be
*weekly revision quiz questions*:
on
Blackboard
(Aber only). Each of the problem sheets and the combined quizzes are worth 10% of the module mark,
with the remaining 70% allocated to the final exam.

The main textbook is
**CBP Finn**'s
*Thermal Physics*.
There are a number of copies of different vintage in the library, any of which will do nicely. This covers
everything contained in the classical thermodynamics part of the lecture and some additional material at the boundaries.
However, statistical thermodynamics is not included in this text.
[Primo]

The recommended text for the section on statistical thermodynamics is
*Statistical Mechanics - an introduction*
by erstwhile Head of Physics at Aberystwyth,
**David H Trevena**.
This covers all of the statistical thermodynamics covered in this
lecture including the underlying maths, and provides some additional outlook towards the implications
for condensed phases. It also contains some useful worked examples.
[Primo]

**Peter W Atkins**'s
*Physical Chemistry*
is a general physical chemistry book and covers most of our material
in its thermodynamics chapters, although examples are typically drawn from chemical contexts. The book includes a large number of self
test exercises, and a full solution manual is also available in the library.
[Primo]

Finally, for those who wish to delve a little deeper into the mathematical background of statistical thermodynamics, the book
*Statistical Mechanics made Simple*
by
**Daniel C Mattis**
and
**Robert H Swendsen**
might be an interesting read. Despite the title, this is a fairly advanced text which goes
substantially beyond the immediate lecture content both in terms of mathematical rigour and
range of applications.
[Primo]

To get started, let's define the field of Thermodynamics and highlight some important topics within it.