Activities
These lecture notes for the second week of https://paradigms.oregonstate.edu/courses/ph441 involve relating entropy and temperature in the microcanonical ensemble, using a paramagnet as an example. These notes include a few small group activities.
Problem
Suppose \(g(U) = CU^{3N/2}\), where \(C\) is a constant and \(N\) is the number of particles.
Show that \(U=\frac32 N k_BT\).
Show that \(\left(\frac{\partial^2S}{\partial U^2}\right)_N\) is negative. This form of \(g(U)\) actually applies to a monatomic ideal gas.
Problem
Calculate the temperature of the surface of the Earth on the assumption that as a black body in thermal equilibrium it reradiates as much thermal radiation as it receives from the Sun. Assume also that the surface of the Earth is a constant temperature over the day-night cycle. Use the sun's surface temperature \(T_{\odot}=5800\text{K}\); and the sun's radius \(R_{\odot}=7\times 10^{10}\text{cm}\); and the Earth-Sun distance of \(1.5\times 10^{13}\text{cm}\).
In this introduction to heat capacity, students determine a derivative that indicates how much the internal energy changes as the temperature changes when volume is held constant.
This small group activity has students reasoning about how the Planck distribution shifts when the temperature is doubled. This leads to a qualitative argument for the Stefan-Boltzmann law.
Students will determine the change in entropy (positive, negative, or none) for both the system and surroundings in three different cases. This is followed by an active whole-class discussion about where the entropy comes from during an irreversible process.
Students generate a list of properties a glass of water might have. The class then discusses and categorizes those properties.
Problem
Find the equilibrium value at temperature \(T\) of the fractional magnetization \begin{equation} \frac{\mu_{tot}}{Nm} \equiv \frac{2\langle s\rangle}{N} \end{equation} of a system of \(N\) spins each of magnetic moment \(m\) in a magnetic field \(B\). The spin excess is \(2s\). The energy of this system is given by \begin{align} U &= -\mu_{tot}B \end{align} where \(\mu_{tot}\) is the total magnetization. Take the entropy as the logarithm of the multiplicity \(g(N,s)\) as given in (1.35 in the text): \begin{equation} S(s) \approx k_B\log g(N,0) - k_B\frac{2s^2}{N} \end{equation} for \(|s|\ll N\), where \(s\) is the spin excess, which is related to the magnetization by \(\mu_{tot} = 2sm\). Hint: Show that in this approximation \begin{equation} S(U) = S_0 - k_B\frac{U^2}{2m^2B^2N}, \end{equation} with \(S_0=k_B\log g(N,0)\). Further, show that \(\frac1{kT} = -\frac{U}{m^2B^2N}\), where \(U\) denotes \(\langle U\rangle\), the thermal average energy.
Einstein condensation temperature Starting from the density of free particle orbitals per unit energy range \begin{align} \mathcal{D}(\varepsilon) = \frac{V}{4\pi^2}\left(\frac{2M}{\hbar^2}\right)^{\frac32}\varepsilon^{\frac12} \end{align} show that the lowest temperature at which the total number of atoms in excited states is equal to the total number of atoms is \begin{align} T_E &= \frac1{k_B} \frac{\hbar^2}{2M} \left( \frac{N}{V} \frac{4\pi^2}{\int_0^\infty\frac{\sqrt{\xi}}{e^\xi-1}d\xi} \right)^{\frac23} T_E &= \end{align} The infinite sum may be numerically evaluated to be 2.612. Note that the number derived by integrating over the density of states, since the density of states includes all the states except the ground state.
Note: This problem is solved in the text itself. I intend to discuss Bose-Einstein condensation in class, but will not derive this result.
The students will set up a Styrofoam cup with heating element and a thermometer in it. They will measure the temperature as a function of time, and thus the energy transferred from the power supply, from which they compute changes in entropy.
Students determine the “squishibility” (an extensive compressibility) by taking \(-\partial V/\partial P\) holding either temperature or entropy fixed.
Students count the quadratic degrees of freedom of a few toy molecules to predict their internal energy at temperature \(T\).
Students sketch the temperature-dependent heat capacity of molecular nitrogen. They apply the equipartition theorem and compute the temperatures at which degrees of freedom “freeze out.”
In this small group activity, students work out the steady state temperature of an object absorbing and emitting blackbody radiation.
In this activity, students apply the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the principle of energy balance in steady state to find the steady state temperature of a black object in near-Earth orbit.