In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, physicists developed thermal physics as a way of improving the efficiency of steam engines. At nearly the same time, the development of statistical physics gave birth to an understanding of how large ensembles of particles interacted. We will study both the macroscopic (“Thermal”) and microscopic (“Statistical”) view of systems and the connection between those two via multiplicity and the second law of thermodynamics. This topic is of broad scientific interest within physics and beyond: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and even economics can draw on thermal and statistical physics.
Registration: By email or in person after the start of 4000-level registration.