Thermodynamics: Classical To Statistical

By Prof. Sandip Paul   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 56
ABOUT THE COURSE : This course is intended for final year BSc (in Chemistry) as well as for MSc (in Chemistry) and PhD (in Chemistry) students and it is assumed that no previous knowledge of the subject is required. Moreover, this course demonstrates the form physical and statistical basis of thermodynamics by showing how the properties of macroscopic systems are direct consequences of the behaviors of their elementary constituents. Thus this course will give the students a broader spectrum of skills as well as a better understanding of the physical bases.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Any interested learners
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 30 Jan 2023
Category :
  • Chemistry
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Properties of ideal gases and how they differ from real gases, first law of thermodynamics 
Week 2: Concepts of state and path functions (with examples); Proof of work and heat as path functions and internal energy as state function
Week 3: Activity, activity coefficient, Debye-Hückel theory for activity coefficient of electrolytic solutions; determination of activity, activity
coefficients and ionic strength.
Week 4: Phase diagram of two component systems (with examples).
Week 5: One dimensional random walk and its importance
Week 6: Canonical ensemble and calculation of different thermodynamical quantities such as average pressure, average energy.
Week 7: Translational partition function
Week 8: Rotational and vibrational partition function
Week 9: Quantum Statistics of ideal gases. Identical particles and symmetry requirements.
Week 10:Quantum distribution functions: Bose-Einstein Statistics
Week 11:Ideal Bose gas
Week 12:Ortho and para hydrogen

Books and references

1. Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by D. A. McQuarrie and J. D. Simon, University Science Books, 3rd Ed. 2001.
2. Physical Chemistry by R. S. Berry, S. A. Rice and J. Ross, Oxford University Press, 2nd Ed. 2000. 
3. Statistical Mechanics by D. A. McQuarrie University Science Books; 2000 edition.
4. Statistical Mechanics by R. K. Pathria, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd Ed. 1999.

Instructor bio

Prof. Sandip Paul

IIT Guwahati
The broad area of instructor’s teaching and research interest is statistical mechanics and its applications to chemistry and biology. The instructor completed his Ph.D. in computational chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Later he worked with Prof. Gern Patey of University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and with Prof. Max Berkowitz of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA for his postdoctoral research. Soon after postdoctoral research experience, he joined in the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati as a faculty member. Understanding the effect of osmolytes on the protein conformation, the use of hydrotrope molecules to enhance the aqueous solubility of sparingly soluble drug molecules etc. is main interest of instructor’s research group. The instructor has published 64 journal papers as of now.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 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. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

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 Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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