1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is statistical thermodyanmics worth taking if your an ME?

  1. Aug 11, 2009 #1
    I'm an ME grad student in the thermal fluids area and a lot of my work involves electrochemistry, a little bit of inorganic chemistry, and optics, along with fluid and energy transport (fuel cells and stuff). I'm considering taking a statical thermodynamics class this fall to help me better understand things like energy of reactions and the production of entropy on the micro level. My other option is to take a combustion course mostly covering the thermal science of internal combustion engines which doesn't really relate my research a whole lot.

    I haven't taken a physics course since my gen ed intro to EM class I took when I was an undergrad. Would taking ST be a good idea for me since I don't have much of a physics background or would I just find myself overwhelmed by the material?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2009 #2

    Mapes

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I was an ME grad student who worked for several years in industry and later went on to a PhD program in materials science. I dare say that for most industry positions, a familiarity with entropy, the Second Law, and ensembles is near-worthless. For continued research in physics or materials science, however, it's vital. Stat mech will teach you the real difference between heat and work, will promote a real understanding of entropy, and (along with kinetics) teach you why any process would occur spontaneously: to minimize energy / maximize entropy. You'll never look at material properties, dynamics, force equilibrium, or the virtual work theorem the same way again.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is statistical thermodyanmics worth taking if your an ME?
Loading...