Syllabus for Thermodynamics


A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA517
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-05-27
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    Geometry and calculus I, Mechanics KF or Mechanics II.

  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Decisions and guidelines

Knowledge on partial derivatives is needed, equivalent Geometry and analysis II that may be taken at the same time.

Learning outcomes

On completing the course the student should be able to

  • describe and apply the physical concepts work, heat, inner energy, temperature, thermodynamic observables and entropy, .
  • describe thermodynamic systems and states and apply the laws of thermodynamics,
  • use experimental methods to investigate thermodynamic relations and present the results,
  • do calculations on phase transitions,
  • analyse heat processes theoretically and determine their degree of efficiency,
  • perform calculations on heat conduction and heat radiation in various geometries.


Thermodynamic variables and equations of state. Basics concepts like heat, temperature, inner energy and enthalpy. Classical kinetic theory of gases, temperature, velocity and Maxwell's velocity distribution. The ideal gas law and other simple equations of state for gases and other physical systems. The laws of thermodynamics. Macroscopic definition of and Boltzmann's equation for entropy. Thermodynamics potentials. Maxwell's and other thermodynamic relations. Phase transitions.

Heat processes with technical applications such as heat engines and heat pumps.

Heat conduction in different geometries. Radiation including the usage of Stefan-Boltzmann and Wien laws.


Lectures, tutoring, experimental projects in the laboratory. Laboratory exercises in project form.


Written exam (3 credits). Laboratory exercises with an oral presentation during a seminar (2 credits). The presentation of the laboratory exercise and an oral examination can give higher grades.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Spring 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Rex, Andrew F. Finn's Thermal physics

    Third edition.: Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, [2017]

    Find in the library


  • Çengel, Yunus A.; Boles, Michael A. Thermodynamics : an engineering approach

    Eighth edition in SI units.: New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015

    Find in the library

Last modified: 2022-04-26