Courses » Chemical Principles II

Chemical Principles II


In this course, we will now find out the reason for changes in matters (Chemical Principles II). The earlier course, Chemical Principles I, deals with the matter itself, and the understanding of it comes from quantum mechanics. However, for the change of matter, thermodynamics says the final word. The most critical quantity in thermodynamics is the entropy, and this course is all about understanding entropy and related thermodynamic potentials. Although classical thermodynamics was developed from observations and heuristic understanding, statistical thermodynamics provides a microscopic basis of it. In this course, a holistic approach covering three different approaches (classical, statistical, and postulate-based) of thermodynamics will be covered. The objective of this course is demystification the enigma of entropy.

First-year undergraduates of B.Sc. in Chemistry. Some of the concepts are helpful for M.Sc. students in physical chemistry and doctoral students who would need to refresh their concepts of thermodynamics.


UG/PG: First year UG course

PREREQUISITES: It requires 12th standard mathematics. It requires the knowledge of calculus (differentiation) and basic probability.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: This course will be helpful for all students across disciplines because of its fundamental nature.

429 students have enrolled already!!


Arnab Mukherjee did his B. Sc from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 1998. He then joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as an integrated Ph.D. student in chemical sciences. He completed his Ph.D. from S. S. C. U. department of IISc Bangalore in 2005 under the supervision of Professor Biman Bagchi. Dr. Mukherjee then went for his postdoctoral research to Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France from 2005 to 2007 and then to the University of Colorado, Boulder from 2007 to 2009. He then joined IISER Pune as an assistant professor in November 2009. He became an associate professor in 2015. Dr. Mukherjee works on the computational biophysics area such as drug-DNA intercalation, DNA structural changes, single water entropy, protein folding, protein-DNA interaction, dynamical recrossing, internal friction in proteins, etc. He also collaborates with experimental colleagues in various projects such as synthetic ion channels, spectroscopic investigation of molecular recognition, etc. He has over eight years of teaching experience at IISER Pune.


Week 1:  Thermodynamics everywhere; historical development of thermodynamics; Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics and concept of temperature; 
Week 2:  Discussion on internal energy heat and work; First Law of Thermodynamics
Week 3:  State function and path function; calculation of p-V work
Week 4:  Heat capacities; Joule & Joule-Thomson expansion; Some practice problems; thermochemistry
Week 5:  Second Law of thermodynamics (various statements and their equivalence); Carnot cycle; definition of entropy
Week 6:  Heat engines and their efficiencies; practice problems on the classical second law
Week 7:  Statistical Formulation of the Second Law (probability overview; Boltzmann formula, distribution of energy)
Week 8:  Statistical formulation of the Second Law continued (the most probable distribution, Boltzmann distribution)
Week 9:  Calculation of entropy for various processes using Boltzmann entropy formula
Week 10:  Fundamental equation and entropy postulates; introduction to free energies
Week 11:  Maxwell Relations and conversion of thermodynamic derivatives
Week 12:  Applications of free energy


1. Robert J. Silbey, Robert A. Alberty, Moungi G. Bawendi, Physical Chemistry, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons 2005.
2. Peter Atkins, Julio de Paula, Physical Chemistry, 9th edition, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York 2010.
3. Mark W. Zemansky and Richard R. Dittman, Heat and Thermodynamics, Seventh Edition, McGraw-Hill Inc, USA 1981.
4. Robert M. Hanson and Susan Green, Introduction to Molecular Thermodynamics, University Science books 2008.
5. Ken A. Dill and Sarina Bromberg, Molecular Driving Forces, Second edition, Garland Science, New York 20115.
6. Herbert B. Callen, Thermodynamics and an introduction to Thermostatistics, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons 1985.
  • The exam is optional for a fee.
  • Date and Time of Exams: April 28 2019(Sunday).  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.


  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of  Best 8 out of 12 assignments
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.