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physics course for non-physicist complex systems researchers

Physics in the science of complex systems – draft 0

The lectures are organized in lessons within thematic courses.

General introduction

Thermal and statistical physics

The main chapters are copied from the courses of Harvey Gould and Jan Tobochnik , Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA. If not, the source is precised intobrackets.

(External Link)

1.1 from microscopic to macroscopic behavior: statistical physics

Lesson 1

  • Introduction
  • Some qualitative observations
  • Doing work
  • Quality of energy

Lesson 2

  • Some simple simulations
  • Work, heating, and the first law of thermodynamics
  • The fundamental need for statistical approach
  • Time and ensemble averages

Lesson 3

  • Models of matter

The ideal gas

Interparticle potentials

Lattice models

  • Importance of simulations
  • Summary

Additional problems

Suggestions for further reading

1.2 thermodynamic concepts

Lesson 4

  • Introduction
  • The system
  • Thermodynamic equilibrium
  • Temperature
  • Pressure equation of state

Lesson 5

  • Some thermodynamic processes
  • Work
  • The first law of thermodynamics
  • Energy equation of state

Lesson 6

  • Heat capacity and enthalpy
  • Adiabatic processes
  • The second law of thermodynamics
  • The thermodynamic temperature

Lesson 7

  • The second law and heat engine
  • Entropy changes
  • Equivalence of thermodynamic and ideal gas scale temperatures
  • The thermodynamic pressure

Lesson 8

  • The fundamental thermodynamic relation
  • The entropy of an ideal gas
  • The third law of thermodynamics
  • Free energies

Additional problems

Suggestions for further reading

1.3 statistical mechanics

Lesson 9

  • Introduction
  • A simple example of a thermal interaction
  • Counting microstates

Non-interacting spins

One-dimensional Ising model

A particle in a one-dimensional box

One-dimensional harmonic oscillator

A particle in a two-dimensional box

Two non-interacting identical particles and the semi-classical limit

Lesson 10

  • The number of states of N non-interacting particles: semi- classical limit
  • The microcanonical ensemble (fixed E, V, and N)
  • Systems in contact with a heat bath: the canonical ensemble (fixed T, V, and N)
  • Connection between statistical mechanics and thermodynamics

Lesson 11

  • Simple applications of the canonical ensemble
  • Example of a simple thermometer
  • Simulations of the microcanonical ensemble
  • Simulations of the canonical ensemble

Lesson 12

  • Grand canonical ensemble (fixed T, V, and )
  • Entropy and disorder
  • The volume of a hypersphere
  • Fluctuations in the canonical ensemble
  • Molecular dynamics

(Course from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA:

(External Link) )

Additional problems

Suggestions for further reading

1.4 thermodynamic relations and processes

Lesson 13

1.4.1 Introduction

1.4.2 Maxwell relations

1.4.3 Applications of the Maxwell relations

Internal energy of an ideal gas

Relation between the specific heats

Lesson 14

1.4.4 Applications to irreversible processes

The Joule or free expansion process

Joule-Thomson process

  • Equilibrium between phases

Equilibrium conditions

Clausius-Clapeyron equation

Simple phase diagrams

Pressure dependence of the melting point

Pressure dependence of the boiling point

The vapor pressure curve

Lesson 15

  • Lattice gas and Ising model

(Introduction to lattice gas from Victor Batista, Chemistry department, Yale University, New Haven, NE, USA:

(External Link) )

(Applet of ising model, from A. Peter young, Physics department, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA:

http://bartok.ucsc.edu/peter/java/ising/keep/ ising.html)

  • Phase transitions

(Generalities from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Phase_transition)

  • A geometric phase transition: percolation

(Lectures notes from the MIT NSE Virtual Reading Room, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA:

(External Link) )

Lesson 16

  • Brownian motion

(Introduction from the physics department of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia:

http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/people/mcintyre/ php/laboratories/download_file.php?eid=38)

  • Chaos and self-organization

(Introduction to chaos theory from the center of complex quantum systems, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA:

(External Link)

Generalities from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self- organization)

Lesson 17

  • Fractals

(Introduction from Michael Frame, Benoit Mandelbrot, and Nial Neger, Yale University, New Haven, NE, USA:


  • Sand Piles

(Introduction from Benoît Masson, Laboratoire Informatique Signaux et systèmes of Sofia Antipolis, France, EU:

(External Link) )

  • Spin glasses

(Short introduction&references from Daniel Stariolo, Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande doSul, Porto Alegre, Brazil:

(External Link) )

Additional problems

Suggestions for further reading

Quantum physics made relatively simple

Hans Bethe, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Presentation of quantum theory and mechanics through their histories.

(External Link)

3 courses of about 45-50 mn

Video and audio versions

Slides are presented in parallel to the video documents

2.1 “old quantum theory”: 1900 – 1915

2.2 quantum mechanics: 1924 – 1928

2.3 interpretation works on the wave function, the heisenberg uncertainty principle, and the pauli exclusion principle

Suggestions for further reading

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Class. OpenStax CNX. Dec 24, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11261/1.3
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