Statistical Mechanics

Spring 2007

Class time: MWF 2:40 pm - 3:30 pm, Gottwald D209

Instructor:  Dr. Ovidiu Lipan

                    Office: Gottwald Science Center, D 104

                    Phone: 287-6670. I will check my voice mail every morning.

                    E-mail: . The best way to contact me is by e-mail.

Office hours: Thursday from 4:30 pm to 8 pm. Please feel free to contact me whenever you have a physics question.

Materials: Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics by Claude Garrod 

                   Oxford University press (1995)

Overview: The course will consist of lecture, interactive discussions, writing and problem solving.

Homework: Every Wednesday your homework will be posted on the course’s blackboard web page. Homework will be collected on the next Wednesday.On the following Wednesday you will be expected to write a quiz (5-10 minutes) based on a problem similar to one of the problems assigned as homework the previous week. 

Quizzes: The quizzes are similar to the problems in your homework.

Exams: There will be three exams during the semester.

              Exam 1: February 14

              Exam 2: March 21

              Exam 3: April 11

Final Exam: The final exam will be comprehensive.

Attendance:  Attendance is required and expected for all classes. Quizzes and exams missed due to unexcused absence will receive a zero. No make-up quizzes and exams will be administered.

When absence is unavoidable to quizzes, exams, or homework question, a written exemption note must be submitted to the instructor prior the event or in the first week after the event. No excuses are accepted afterwards, meaning that 0 marks will be awarded for the missed work. If a quiz or an exam is missed because of an excused absence, the other quizzes or exams will count more heavily to make up for the loss.


                      Quizzes         15%

                      Homework    9%

                      Exam 1          17%   

                      Exam 2          17%

                      Exam 3          17%

                      Final exam     25%

Honor Code:  I strongly support the University’s Honor Code and I will report and pursue any of its violations.

Please turn off your cell phones during the class.

Communication and feedback to me:

 Solutions to quizzes, exams and other course materials will be posted on

Physics is a house with many entries and many rooms. I will try to show you as many entries as I can fit in an introductory course. I hope that each of you will find a door to step into the physics mansion. I need feedback from you to know your opinion, and I will frequently poll you.

 Enjoy the course and feel free to speak with me if you have any difficulties.

Disclaimer: all of the information in this syllabus is subject to change and be improved as a result of the course development throughout the semester.