An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics©
Michelle M. Francl
Department of Chemistry
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
United States
mail to: mfrancl@brynmawr.edu

This Mathematica notebook introduces physical chemistry students to the partition function for vibrational and rotational energy. Students start with a review of Sterling's approximation and proceed to examine the harmonic oscillator partition function. They extend their understanding by using their own experimental data or a supplied spectrum to study the fine structure of HCl/DCl or some other diatomic gas. The notebook guides students in their understanding of the effect of temperature on the partition function and the changes in the partition function for different molecules.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Thermodynamics, Quantum Chemistry, Statistical Mechanics, Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
IntroStatMech.nb JCE Mathematica Computational Document Mathematica 5.0
IntroStatMech.pdf Read-Only Document
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Francl, Michelle M. J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82, 175.
Comments to: mfrancl@brynmawr.edu
©Copyright 2005 Journal of Chemical Education