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Comparison of coverage of thermo and stat mech topics

Page history last edited by Ben Dreyfus 8 years, 6 months ago
Topic
Traditional intro physics approach
CLUE approach
Proposed PHYS131 approach
Chemical energy
Black box:   One of those miscellaneous other forms of energy
Chemical bonds as potentials, and molecular orbital theory.
Chemical energy as electric potential energy. Description of chemical bonds as potentials.
Thermal energy
Proportional to temperature.  Kinetic molecular theory approach, connecting kinetic energy of molecules to bulk properties.
Thermal energy as "sum of the kinetic and various other energies associated with the particles", proportional to temperature. Kinetic molecular theory:  thermal energy as kinetic energy of molecules, and proportional to temperature.
First Law of Thermodynamics
Heat and work, applied to expansion and compression of ideal gases.  Internal energy as primarily thermal.
Conservation of energy.  (Seems to equate thermal energy with heat? "There are two ways that the internal energy of a system can change - we can change the total amount of thermal energy in the system (denoted “q”) or the system can do work, or have work done to it (work is denoted “w”)." )  Heat and work. Internal energy includes thermal and chemical energies.  Heat and work (or lack thereof) applied to biological processes.
Entropy
Either completely qualitative approach (entropy as "disorder") or Clausius definition (Q/T)
Boltzmann definition based on counting states.
Boltzmann definition based on counting states.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
Different statements:  Kelvin (heat flows from hot to cold), Clausius (can't convert heat directly to work), Carnot (maximum efficiency of heat engines), entropy increases.
"Change is driven simply by the move to more probable states."
Increasing entropy as the primary definition, leading to Kelvin and Clausius as consequences (but leaving out heat engines).  Making explicit the connection between probability and mechanism, via the example of diffusion.

 

 

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