Question about studying Thermodynamics via the MIT online lectures

In summary, the prerequisite and corequisite physics and math courses will depend on the specific university physics program and the specific textbooks used.
  • #1
TGV320
40
22
Hello,

Following previous advice for self studying, I am now looking at the physics curriculum of MIT through this link. http://catalog.mit.edu/subjects/8/

But at first I didn't find a course for thermodynamics, for the Phys I/II/III courses of the list don't provide it. Then I found that the "8.044 Statistical Physics I " course does, and requires the previous Phys I/II/III. I am very confused, is usually thermodynamics taught as a separate subject or is it mean to be blended within the Statistical Physics course?

Thanks
 
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  • #4
TGV320 said:
is usually thermodynamics taught as a separate subject or is it mean to be blended within the Statistical Physics course?
I think in the US, classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are usually taught either as separate courses, or in a single course titled something like "Thermal Physics." But MIT is not a "usual" US college/university. :wink:
 
  • #5
jtbell said:
I think in the US, classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are usually taught either as separate courses, or in a single course titled something like "Thermal Physics." But MIT is not a "usual" US college/university. :wink:
Precisely. The present curriculum at MIT has a two-semester sequence, Statistical Physics I and II. When I was there, it was a one-semester course, Thermal Physics. The text was Thermal Physics by P.M. Morse. I was fortunate to have Prof. Morse teaching the course. He was an excellent teacher; one of the best I ever had.
 
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  • #6
Hello,
Thanks, I'll have a look at it. I never expected the MIT courses to have that much difference in the courses. I guess blending the whole thing in Statistical Physics I does make it more rigorous.
 
  • #7
Hello,
After looking at the course requirements of Statistical Physics I, I have found that the prerequisites are:

8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves, 18.03 Differential Equations

There's something I don't understand, aren't the students supposed to have learned statistics and/or probability before tackling such a tough physics subject?
Am I supposed to learn something like 18.650 Statistics for applications before starting?

Thanks
 
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  • #8
TGV320 said:
Hello,
After looking at the course requirements of Statistical Physics I, I have found that the prerequisites are:

8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves, 18.03 Differential Equations

There's something I don't understand, aren't the students supposed to have learned statistics and/or probability before tackling such a tough physics subject?
Am I supposed to learn something like 18.650 Statistics for applications before starting?

Thanks
It seems like you are hung up on wanting to study math, not physics. You have asked essentially the same question in several threads now. This was one of my previous responses to you:

CrysPhys said:
* The prerequisite and corequisite physics and math courses will depend on the specific university physics program and the specific textbooks used. Undergrad physics textbooks typically include material on the math required, but in varying degrees of depth. So a physics course using a physics textbook that covers a lot of explanatory math and incorporating the needed math as part of the physics course will have less math prerequisite or corequisite than a physics course using a physics textbook that does not cover a lot of explanatory math (or the physics textbook does cover the needed math, but the physics course does not incorporate it).
Look at actual course content of Statistical Physics I here: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/8-044-statistical-physics-i-spring-2013/pages/readings-notes-slides/. What are the first 4 lectures directed to?

If you want a physics curriculum structured to have a lot of math prerequisites, you should consider a program other than MIT OCW Physics. It's just not a good fit for you. Refer to my previous reply concerning math requirements for physics majors at MIT: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/math-analysis-and-ode.1017374/#post-6659774. It doesn't have the zillions of math courses that you want.
 
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Related to Question about studying Thermodynamics via the MIT online lectures

1. How can I access the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics?

To access the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics, you can visit the MIT OpenCourseWare website or search for the specific course on platforms like YouTube or Coursera. You can also download the lectures for offline viewing.

2. Are the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics suitable for beginners?

Yes, the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics are suitable for beginners as they cover the fundamental concepts and principles of Thermodynamics in a clear and comprehensive manner. However, some prior knowledge of physics and calculus may be helpful.

3. Are there any prerequisites for studying Thermodynamics via the MIT online lectures?

While there are no strict prerequisites for studying Thermodynamics via the MIT online lectures, a basic understanding of physics, calculus, and chemistry will be beneficial. It is also recommended to have a strong mathematical foundation.

4. Can I earn a certificate or credit for completing the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics?

No, the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics do not offer any certificates or credits. They are solely for self-study and do not count towards any degree or certification.

5. Are there any assignments or exams in the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics?

No, the MIT online lectures on Thermodynamics do not have any assignments or exams. However, some lectures may include practice problems for self-assessment.

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