Fundamentals of Macroscopic and Microscopic Thermodynamics
University of Colorado Boulder
This is is course about physics. But why do you, as an IT practitioner, need to learn thermodynamics? If the notion of information still seems intangible, unreal, and ephemeral. This course probably will be the winds to howl, blowing away the spooky fog, because energy is the essence of information.
This succinct 3-week course actually covers tons of stuff ranging from high school to undergraduate, to graduate. Not only those obscure physical knowledges but also historical celebrities / figures and their anecdotes.
The first week is all about fundamental concepts: atoms, molecules, work, heat, a few laws, rules and properties. Easy-peasy. Those are the warm-ups, you probably have learnt in high school.
The second part “macroscopic thermodynamics” mainly focus on the postulates and the relations between extensive properties (energy, volume, entropy, moles, enthalpy) and intensive properties (temperature, pressure, chemical potential).
The final week is quite challenging, we are diving into the microscopic world and statistics plays an important role. It will be better if you have some quantum mechanics background. Particularly the partition functions are elaborated, since they are so important to be the bridge between macroscopic and quantum. Here you will meet Maxwell, Boltzmann and Pauli. Their great minds change the way we see this world.
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