Some Web sites of interest and relevance to Physics 404

Spring 2009

Chapter heading to be updated and coordinated

Many broken links fixed (or eliminated); please report any remaining problems

Blundells' site for Concepts in Thermal Physics; listing of errors

Other downloadable books

D. Styer, Statistical Mechanics

R. Fitzpatrick, Thermodynamics & Stat Mech (html)

Schroeder's site for An Introduction to Thermal Physics:

List of important equations in Schroeder

Corrections to Schroeder

from The Onion, for your amusement:

Science is hard

Earth rotation plunges continent into darkness

Collection of simulations:

Java Simulations for Statistical and Thermal Physics from Gould and Tobochnik's excellent curriculum development


General references:


Wikipedia: thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, ...

Compendium of sites for Stat Mech & Thermo, also Nano, Quantum

Hyperphysics subsite on Heat & Thermodynamics: lots of nice calculational modules


1. Kinetic theory applet

1. Permutations and combinations, elementary review and alternative, with binomial coefficients

1. Combinations (wikipedia, terse)

1. Binomial distribution applet

1. Stirling's approximation (wikipedia)

2. Cute applet about heat capacity

2. Heat capacity (wikipedia)

3. Normal probability calculator

3. Binomial and normal distributions, from Rice U.

3. Binomial calculator

4. Thermodynamic equilibrium

4. Clear, succinct, elementary discussion of thermal expansion

4. Mathematica-generated sketch of sharpening of macrostate distribution with N

4. Ideal atmosphere applet (cf. example 4.4)

Kinetic Theory of Gases:

5. Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, applet (Davidson)

5. Speed distribution for noble gases

5. M-B speed distribution for 2D hard spheres (GT)

6. Pressure and kinetic theory (seems to work better with IE than Firefox)

Wolfram demo: simulation of simple model of gas pressure

8. Mean free path, nice discussion with diagrams and calculator (Hyperphysics)

8. Mean collision time and path (GT) via equations of motion and by Monte Carlo

9. Diffusion of gases

9. Diffusion


Partial derivatives: course (clear, with worked examples), analyzemath, wikipedia, mathworld (succinct, gives example of mixed partials of functions that are not "nice", i.e. lacks continuous second derivative)

12. pV diagram, ideal gas, add heat at const p, V, or T and others

13. Carnot cycle [alternative download site] sophisticated

13. Carnot cycle from UVa

13. Wolfram demo: Carnot cycle on ideal gas needs Mathematica Player7 or Mathematica

13. Nice summary of ideal gas processes for atoms and dimers

13. Otto cycle-car engine, animated

13. Otto cycle with p-V diagram, re Wright brothers

13. Diesel engine

13. p-V diagram, lots of controls, fun, needs Shockwave player

13. Stirling engine in Wikipedia, has nice graphics, p-V diagram, and lots of info

13. Stirling engine, excellent applet linked in Wikipedia article

13. Stirling engine (in German)

13. Refrigeration cycle, qualitative

14. Applet of bouncing ball and entropy

14. Extensive, non-technical discussion of entropy

14. Long discussion of entropy claiming to clarify common misconceptions

14. Discussion of entropy

14. Discussion of Joule expansion

14. Slides re 1st law and Joule expansion; some nice basic drawings

14. Maxwell's demon

17. Coefficients of linear expansion of the elements

17. Adiabatic demagnetization: note second figure

17. Adiabatic demagnetization refrigeration equipment

19. Equipartition

19/33. Brownian motion, excellent applet

19/33. Brownian motion, atomic and microscope views

19/33. Brownian motion in 1D and 2D

20/21. Applets for 2-level system and for dimer rotation, plus extensive text and quizzes

21. Buckyball: C60

22. Le Chatlier's principle demo

23. Black body radiation spectrum

23. Black body spectrum, inc. total emitted power

23. Stellar spectra

23. Emissivity primer

23. Solar sails and wikipedia description

23. Space travel with solar power and Dyson sphere

24. Phonon dispersion and display of transverse modes in 1D (excellent java app but too complicated for Phys 404. Just look at the acoustic mode; ignore the optical mode! Also, just focus on either the red or the blue dots)

24. Phonon density of states via "debye"

26. Wikipedia article on van der Waals equation

26. Comparison of van der Waals and ideal gas isotherms

26. van der Waals applet, with adjustable a and b

26. van der Waals compressibility (=pV/NkT) vs. p for adjustable a, b, T

26. Ideal gas, van der Waals, and alternative

26. van der Waals isotherms (in French)

26. van der Waals and Maxwell construction (Wolfram demo hyping Mathematica 6) notebook

28. Better site on latent heat, but less polished graph

28. Generic phase diagrams, nice summary

28. Ice phase diagram

29. Fermi-Dirac distribution

29. Bose-Einstein, Fermi-Dirac, and Maxwell-Boltzmann Statistics (Wolfram demo) Mathematica 6 notebook

29/30. Wikipedia: Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics

30. Applet schematic about when Bose-Einstein condensation occurs

30. Bose-Einstein condensation, popularized exposition with nice java




Selecting histogram bin width

Applets for 2-level system and rotating dimer (scroll down past formalism!)

Equilibration of Einstein solids

Flanders & Swan ditty on Laws of Thermodynamics


Free Energies, Phase Transformations, Chemical Thermodynamics:


Helium phase diagrams

Liquid 4He phase diagram and info

Superconductor phase diagrams

Phase diagrams

Liquid crystals, quickly

Chemistry animations & simulations

Osmosis & cells

Chemical equilibrium, with virtual experiments

Chemical equilibrium, nice example from above

Phase changes, from chemistry suite at Davidson

Phase changes, applets

Phase separation--dramatic movie

Boltzmann Statistics, Classical Systems

Vesely site on Boltzmann & statistical physics in introductory courses

Statistical mechanics simulator

Ising model & Monte Carlo simulation

Ising applet, by Peter Young: control T, monitor configurations, magnetization and energy (seems no longer available)

Ising model collection

another Ising applet

Ising applet with adjustable dimensions and boundary conditions, as well as usual controls

3D Ising model, lots of nice controls

Compendium of Monte Carlo applets Library on MC methods

Random applet, with nice sketch of theory and ability to tune and test

Mersenne twister--state-of-the-art random-number generator

Conductivity & transport:

Random walk applet, along with elementary discussion of diffusion


Langmuir isotherm

Spin waves, illustration

Path-integral simulation of Bose condensation (Shumway at ASU)

FD vs. MB for semiconductor

Broken symmetry and order parameters (by J. Sethna)

Last updated Feb. 4, 2009