Schroeder – Thermal Physics problems

Here are my solutions to various problems in the textbook An Introduction to Thermal Physics, by Daniel V. Schroeder (Addison-Wesley, 2000). Obviously I can’t offer any guarantee that all the solutions are actually correct, but I’ve given them my best shot.

After some consideration, I’ve decided to repost this index to the solutions. I understand that some folks may be concerned that I am providing ‘free’ answers to problems that some students have been assigned as homework, but there are several points that should be made:

  • There are already many web resources (including physics blogs, tutorial sites and other pages where solutions are provided) available that provide answers to problems, so I’m not providing solutions that aren’t available elsewhere. What I am providing, hopefully, are background explanations of the theory that expands on, or describes in a different way, material found in the textbook. Judging by comments I have received, many people find these explanations helpful, and that is my main goal.
  • If a teacher is concerned about students copying answers from the internet, s/he should consider making up their own problems. I did this for the courses that I taught in my 25 years as a university lecturer. For a field as rich as physics, it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with original problems.
  • If you’re a student seeking to copy solutions, you should realize that you won’t learn much unless you make a genuine effort to solve the problem on your own first. Remember that in most universities, the majority of the marks for a course are obtained from exams, and if you sit an exam without having worked out problems on your own beforehand, your chances of passing are pretty low. In my experience as a teacher myself, I found that most students realize this and do make a genuine effort to learn the material on their own.

These solutions are the only ones that I’ve worked out so far, so please don’t ask me to post “the rest of the chapters” as I haven’t worked on those yet. I will get to them eventually.

Chapter 1 – Energy in Thermal Physics

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, 1.19, 1.20, 1.21, 1.22, 1.23, 1.24, 1.25, 1.26, 1.27, 1.28, 1.29, 1.30, 1.31, 1.32, 1.33, 1.34, 1.35, 1.36, 1.371.38, 1.39, 1.40, 1.41, 1.42, 1.43, 1.44, 1.45, 1.46, 1.47, 1.48, 1.49, 1.50, 1.51, 1.52, 1.53, 1.54, 1.55, 1.56, 1.57, 1.58, 1.60, 1.611.62, 1.63, 1.641.65, 1.66, 1.67, 1.681.691.70

Chapter 2 – The Second Law

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, 2.15, 2.16, 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.20, 2.21, 2.22, 2.23, 2.24, 2.25, 2.26, 2.27, 2.28, 2.29, 2.30, 2.31, 2.32, 2.33, 2.34, 2.35, 2.36, 2.37, 2.38, 2.39, 2.42

Chapter 3 – Interactions and Implications

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15, 3.16, 3.17, 3.18, 3.19, 3.20, 3.21, 3.22, 3.23, 3.24, 3.25, 3.27, 3.28, 3.30, 3.313.32, 3.33, 3.34, 3.35, 3.36, 3.37, 3.38, 3.39

Chapter 4 – Engines and Refrigerators

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.44.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14, 4.154.16, 4.17, 4.18, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, 4.24, 4.25, 4.264.27, 4.28, 4.29, 4.30, 4.31, 4.32, 4.33, 4.34, 4.35, 4.36

Chapter 5 – Free Energy and Chemical Thermodynamics

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13, 5.14, 5.15, 5.16, 5.175.18, 5.19, 5.20, 5.21, 5.22, 5.23, 5.24, 5.25, 5.26, 5.27, 5.28, 5.29, 5.30, 5.31, 5.32, 5.33, 5.34, 5.35, 5.36, 5.37, 5.38, 5.39, 5.40, 5.41, 5.42, 5.43, 5.44, 5.45, 5.46, 5.48, 5.49, 5.50, 5.51, 5.52, 5.53, 5.54, 5.55, 5.56, 5.57, 5.58

9 thoughts on “Schroeder – Thermal Physics problems

  1. Felipe Kosareff

    I love the help I get from this website. I am finding Electrodynamics much easier to understand due to the in-depth explanations that you give. I only hope to see more of Schroeder’s book on here. I am almost done with the class, but I feel as though I didn’t learn as much as I should have. To me it’s a difficult subject. I hope to get better at the subject as I progress through my career. Again, thank you for this website!

    Reply
    1. growescience

      Thanks for the kind words. I hope to get back to statistical mechanics at some point. At the moment, I’m on the last chapter of the electrodynamics book so I hope to get that finished in the coming weeks.

      Reply
      1. Alex

        I’m currently using your notes for electrodynamics and find them amazing. I took stat mech about 2 years ago, and was just thinking how great it would be if you had a stat mech section for shroeder. And apparently here it is! You are amazing, and your notes and problem solutions are invaluable resources to help people self study for these classes. shroeder’s thermo book is very well written, but lacks any solutions or hints problems, and also leaves out a lot of important parts to the problems. This is no doubt going to be a crazy useful supplement. Thank you for your hard work, it is ridiculously useful!!!

        Reply
  2. Arthur

    Your notes are simply incredible! I’m currently using them for my electrodynamics and thermodynamics classes. Really great work!

    Reply
  3. Katarina R

    Thank you so much!
    You’re explication are so clearly! I feel I have learned more in a couple pages here than in my classes! Will you be posting chapters 6 and 7 soon?

    Reply

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