Wednesday, June 1, 2016

20 key concepts in thermodynamics and condensed matter

Tomorrow I am giving a summary lecture for the end of an undergraduate course PHYS2020 Thermodynamics and Condensed Matter. I taught the second half of the course, which has featured in some earlier posts. Here are the slides where I attempt to summarise 20 key ideas/results/concepts in the course.

My approach to the key ideas in thermodynamics is heavily influenced by Hans Buchdahl, my ANU undergraduate lecturer (and honours thesis supervisor) and his (dense) Twenty Lectures on Thermodynamics.
A similar axiomatic macroscopic approach which starts with the second law has more recently been championed by Elliot Lieb and Jacob Yngvason, and described in a nice Physics Today article.


  1. Ross, one suggestion to making the slides you often post even more useful.
    If you would put one slide per page in the pdf file instead of two, scrolling through them will be much more user friendly. (using single page view, clicking page down will put each new slide automatically properly on the screen).

    Thank you though for often posting slides; they are nice summaries.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I will endeavour to do this in future.

    2. Thank you - it is appreciated, already in your latest post!