Course Information

Basic information

Date/Time: Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 pm – 7:40 pm
Location: TBD (typically in Ryder Hall)
Canvas Website:
Credits: 4 semester-hours

Instructor Contact

Name: Asst. Prof. Peter Schindler (you can call me Prof. Peter, Professor, or Dr. Peter)
Email: p.schindler (at)
Office Location: 275 SN
Office Hours: Once a week (Day is decided during the first lecture).

Primary Textbook

No textbook will be explicitly required. However, a large portion of the course will follow the textbook by Gaskell and Laughlin:

Primary textbook

D. R. Gaskell and D. E. Laughlin, “Introduction to the Thermodynamics of Materials“, Sixth Edition, Taylor & Francis, Washington, DC, 2018.

Secondary Literature

There are a few other textbooks that can be of interest (and the last three are available on Amazon for about $10 each):

Interesting classification of binary phase diagrams

Boris S. Bokstein, Mikhail I. Mendelev, David J. Srolovitz, “Thermodynamics and Kinetics in Materials Science”, Oxford University Press, 2005.

Chemistry viewpoint

Svein Stølen and Tor Grande, “Chemical Thermodynamics of Materials: Macroscopic and Microscopic Aspects”, Wiley, 1st Edition, 2004.

Easy read

H. C. Van Ness, “Understanding Thermodynamics”, Dover Publications Inc., 1983.

Historic context

Don S. Lemons, “Thermodynamic Weirdness”, The MIT Press, 2020.

Succinctly written

Enrico Fermi, “Thermodynamics”, Dead Authors Society, 2020.

Learning Outcomes

This course will give students the opportunity to…

  • understand the basics of thermodynamics including the 3 laws of thermodynamics and extensive/intensive properties.
  • become proficient in applying the laws of thermodynamic on various processes (e.g. isothermal, isobaric,…).
  • understand the concepts entropy, thermodynamic potentials (such as enthalpy and Gibbs free energy), work, heat, etc.
  • learn the difference between exact and inexact differentials and the difference between path and state functions.
  • master thermochemistry calculations and understand temperature dependence of heat capacity and enthalpy.
  • learn the basics of statistical thermodynamics and what micro/macrostates are.
  • become comfortable with implementing Maxwell’s relations.
  • understand and learn to read single component and binary (and ternary) phase diagrams.
  • understand ideal and non-ideal gas behavior.
  • learn the basics of solution thermodynamics (Henry and Raoult’s laws and Hume-Rothery rules).