Basic Info

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Email: dfeldman_at_c0a.3du
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Office Hours: By appointment.
Help Sessions: TBD

Course Goals

  1. I want to learn the basic princples and techniques of thermodynamics, and be able to apply thermodynamics to problems across the sciences.
  2. I want you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the structure and style of physics as an intellectual approach and discpline.
  3. I want you to have fun while working hard and learning a lot.


Daniel V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison Wesley, 2000. ISBN: 0-201-38027-7. This book is awesome. I expect to cover most of chapters 1-5. [ | ]


Your evaluation will be based on weekly homework assignments. There may also be a final synthetic problem set or in-class exercise. We will discuss this after the course has been up and running for a few weeks

I recommend against grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine, reflective learning. However, I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc.

Policies and Stuff

  1. Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  2. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  3. You'll want a calculator that can handle scientific notation, trigonometry, and logarithms. There's no need to buy an expensive graphing calculator.
  4. I will be sending out class info via email. Thus, it's important that you check your email.
  5. Academic misconduct—cheating, plagarizing, etc.—is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct may result in a judicial hearing. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.
  6. A more informal description and some advice about the course can be found here.