Following your study of this chapter, you should be able to:
  • explain why transitions between quantum states must usually be described in probabilistic terms
  • give three reasons that statistical physics is necessary
  • follow in the text how Maxwell confirmed the mean translational kinetic energy of a molecule
  • state the equipartition theorem
  • understand basically when quantum theory overrides the equipartition theorem
  • describe what is meant by translational, rotational and vibrational modes of molecules
  • write down the Maxwell velocity distribution and speed distribution
  • follow the derivations of the most probable speed, the mean speed, and the root mean square speed
  • name the one major characteristic makes quantum statistics different from classical statistics
  • for each of the three distributors, name its properties, an example and its distribution function
  • discuss the graphs of the Fermi-Dirac factor, FFD, at various temperatures
  • calculate the Fermi energy and temperature for a given element
  • determine electrical conductivity and electronic contribution to the molar heat capacity of a metal
  • know how electrical conductivity varies with temperature
  • understand how to use the Bose-Einstein distribution to derive Planck's radiation law
  • use Bose-Einstein statistics to account for the properties of a superfluid