First cycle
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Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCL1000346, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1158, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination THERMODYNAMICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/01 Experimental Physics 3.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines FIS/03 Material Physics 3.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 16 34.0 No turn
Lecture 4.0 32 68.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
10 Termodinamica 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 PIERNO MATTEO AMBROGIO PAOLO (Presidente)
MISTURA GIAMPAOLO (Membro Effettivo)
9 Termodinamica 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 PIERNO MATTEO AMBROGIO PAOLO (Presidente)
MISTURA GIAMPAOLO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Maths: multivariable differential calculus, elements of linear algebra
Physics: Newtonian Mechanics, electro-magnetism, elements of Statistical and Quantum Mechanics
Chemical Physics: fundamentals of chemical reactions and chemical equilibrium, kinetic theory of gases.
Target skills and knowledge: MAJOR OUTCOMES:
i) Principles of thermodynamics and the fundamental equation;
ii) measure of the entropy, properties of (real) gases, phase transitions, corresponding law and other universal scalings.
iii) Thermodynamic changes subject to external fields;
iv) Non equilibrium configurations and processes;
v) Interference between different processes near thermodynamic equilibrium;
vi) Stationary states and their coupling;
vii) Generalized flow and forces; linearità and applications.

- linking different parts of the course one each other;
- solve both closed and open-ended problems in Thermodynamics topics;
- critical knowledge of the approximations made throughout the derivations of the thermodynamic relations
- critical comparison between experiments and theoretical relations
Examination methods: Colloquium focused on the program topics.
Assessment criteria: i) Approach in problem solving a general problem
ii) Communication skills (clarity, completeness, synthesis, appropriateness etc.) when reporting a specific topic
Course unit contents: CLASS OUTLINE

PART I: Thermodynamics of equilibrium states
- Macroscopic and microscopic systems.
- Isolated and interacting systems.
- Equilibrium states.
- Thermal equilibrium-Zero principle and the definition of empirical temperature.
- Adiabatic systems; closed systems.
- First Principle and the definition of energy (U) and of quantity of heat (Q).
- Second Principle: Entropy and Temperature.
- The approximation of discontinuous systems.
- Engines and maximum efficiency.
- The fundamental equation of Thermodynamics for closed systems and its generalization to open systems with chemical reactions.
- Thermodynamic potentials F, H, G, μ .
- The problem of the stability of equilibrium states.
- General relations; Maxwell relations.
- Definition of the coefficients of thermal expansion, of isothermal and adiabatic compressibility
- Definition of Cp and Cv and the relation between them.
- The measurement of the Entropy.
- Third Principle.
- The properties of gases; experimental evidence on the first virial coefficient and the measurement of T.
- Adiabatic equations the Joule-Thompson coefficient.
- The van der Waals equation.
- Phase transitions and Clapeyron equation. Triple points.
- The law of corresponding states.
- On the thermodynamics of the surface layers.
- Thermodynamics in the presence of external fields (electric or magnetic fields).
- Thermodynamics of equilibrium radiation fields.

PART II: Thermodynamics of irreversible processes
- The approximation of discontinuous systems. The entropy production in closed and in open systems.
- Chemical reactions: Affinity and velocity.
- Generalizes fluxes and forces. The interference among irreversible processes.
- Linear relations between fluxes and forces and the Onsager relations.
- The fluctuations in an equilibrium state. The dacay of fluctuations as a case of linear irreversible processes.
- Electrokinetic effects; thermomechanical effects, heat of transfer and thermomolecular pressure difference. The case of Knudsen gases.
- Stationary states. Minimum entropy production and the stability of non-equilibrium stationary states.
- Stationary states coupling.
- Some discussion on non-linear irreversible processes.

PART III: Thermodynamics in continuous systems
- Local thermal equilibrium. New formulation of the energy and entropy equations in continuous systems.
- The Entropy production per unit volume. Generalized fluxes and forces.
- Einstein relation between diffusion coefficient and mobility.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: • Room classes
• Group Discussion Teacher-Students for problem solving,
• Individual discussions for corrections, clarifications, etc.
• Demos, Movies, Video-Animations.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Textbooks and reviews on Thermodynamics are really countless, not only in Physics.
For the fundamentals it is recommended to start by the the class handouts. On the other side, for the application it is suggested to browse the references therein, including multimedia applets.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Guggenheim, Edward Armand, Thermodynamicsan advanced treatment for chemists and physicistsby E. A. Guggenheim. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1967. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Prigogine, Ilya, Introduction to thermodynamics of irreversible processesby I. Prigogine. New York: London, John Wiley, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Callen, Herbert, Thermodynamicsan introduction to the physical theories of equilibrium thermostatics and irreversible thermodynamicsHerbert B. Callen. New York [etc.]: Wiley, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Saggion, Antonio; Pierno, Matteo; Faraldo Rossella, Principles of Thermodynamics. --: --, --. Handouts of the classes. Delivered via Moodle platform