Statistical Mechanics
An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics JCE
Michelle M. Francl, Bryn Mawr College
An introduction to the partition function for vibrational and rotational energy by a review of Sterling's approximation and an examination of the harmonic oscillator partition function. The document can be used with experimental data or a supplied spectrum of HCl/DCl or some other diatomic gas to examine the effect of temperature on the partition function and the changes in the partition function for different molecules.
A Summary of Statistical Thermodynamic Calculations JCE
Theresa Julia Zielinski, Monmouth University
Sidney H. Young, University of South Alabama
In this document students can explore the full set of statistical thermodynamic calculations leading to the prediction of the heat capacity at constant volume from the translational, rotational, vibrational, and electronic partition functions. An extension of the calculation of the thermodynamic properties of a molecule is made to predict the equilibrium constant of the dissociation of N2. The document concludes with the study of the NO molecule which has a low lying electronic energy level.
Heat, Work and Entropy: A Molecular Level Illustration JCE
Jeffrey A. Draves, Monmouth College
This worksheet is intended to help students understand the difference between heat and work at the molecular level and to appreciate the proper use of the term (dis)order when applied to entropy. The worksheet makes use of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and classical thermodynamics to illustrate these differences.
Temperature as a Measure of the Distribution of Particles Over Energy States: Would a Negative Absolute Temperature be Very Cold, or Very Hot? JCE
Arthur Ferguson, Worcester State College
This exercise explores the implications of the Boltzmann Equation for the population of energy states as a function of temperature. Plots present the relative population of the first three vibrational states of carbon monoxide from 0 K to very high temperatures and focuses attention on what happens to the relative populations of these states over that range, especially at the extremes of infinite and zero absolute temperature. It then seeks explors the implications of hypothetical negative absolute temperatures.