Syllabus Appendix

Additional Syllabus Information for PH465

Course Catalog description

PH 465. Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics (3). Application of statistical methods to explain the laws of thermodynamics. Includes discussion of temperature, multiplicity of states, entropy, Boltzmann factors, and the partition function, applied to systems including ideal gases, quantum gases, and solids.

Student Learning Outcomes

After the successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  • Explain and apply probability distribution functions.
  • State the fundamental postulates of statistical mechanics.
  • Explain what is meant by thermal equilibrium, chemical equilibrium, temperature, and entropy.
  • Derive the equations of state and calculate the specific heat and other thermodynamic quantities for ideal gases and solids.
  • Describe the cycle of a heat engine and calculate its efficiency and other thermodynamic quantities.
  • Write the partition function for a system and calculate the thermodynamic properties of the system from it.
  • Derive the equipartition theorem, explain what it means, and apply it to calculations of thermodynamic quantities.
  • Derive the Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, explain what they mean, and apply them to calculations of thermodynamic quantities.

Successful completion of this course contributes to the following Departmental Learning Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of the fundamental principles of analytical mechanics, special relativity, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics.
  • Ability to apply the principles of physics to solve qualitative and quantitative problems using both analytical and computational methods.

Attendance policy

Attendance at every course meeting is expected. Activities completed in class will affect the participation category of the course grade, and may not be completed late in the case of an unexcused absence.

Excused absence policy

Excused absences will be granted in compliance with Regis College policies. Graded work that is missed due to medical or University-sanctioned athletics will be excused, but you remain responsible for the material missed.

University-sponsored absences (e.g. student absences for varsity athletics, debate, dance team, scholarly conference presentations/participation) are considered excused absences. Your job is to notify me well in advance of such events and to submit the work due that day in advance. I respect the right of all students to observe their religious holidays and will make reasonable accommodations, upon advance request, for such observances.

Incomplete policy

If unforeseen circumstances occur, and a student is unable to complete the required work for the course, an “Incomplete” grade may be submitted. A request must be made in writing and approved by the instructor. The request will include a timeline and plan for completing the work. The incomplete grade will reflect the grade earned in the course to this point ( an “I” with whatever grade earned, including the missing work: an IF or ID or IC) and will only change when the plan is completed. Please see the University Catalog for more of the full policy: “A grade of an Incomplete or “I” denotes that the required work for the course is incomplete due to unforeseen circumstances” (emphasis added), which means “an accident, an illness, a death or major life transaction has occurred.”

Key dates

The add/drop deadline is 2021-08-30. The withdrawal deadline is 2021-11-07. Midterm grades are due 2021-10-14.

Academic Honor Code

All members of the Regis University community exhibit the qualities of honesty, loyalty and trustworthiness in all academic activities, holding themselves and each other accountable for the integrity of the learning community. Regis University students are committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and assume full and complete responsibility for maintaining those standard in the academic environment.

Academic integrity violations

Violations of academic integrity are taken very seriously and include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct. All violations will be reported with appropriate sanctions applied. Sanctions can include, but are not limited to failure of an assignment, failure of a course, removal of academic honors, or review of the Academic Integrity Tutorial. For more serious violations, program suspension, College dismissal or University expulsion may be imposed. Refer to the Regis College Office of the Academic Dean for further information. This Academic Honor Code applies to any student enrolled in a course at Regis University or one of its university partners, regardless of the student’s home college or program, and will be enforced according to the policies and procedures outlined in the University Academic Integrity Policy.

It is the responsibility of each student to review all aspects of the course syllabus and agree to adhere to the Academic Honor Code. In doing so, the student acknowledges that the work represented in all examinations and other assignments is his or her own and that he or she has neither given nor received unauthorized information. Furthermore, the student agrees not to divulge the contents of any examination or assignment to another student in this or ensuing semesters.

Learning Support

If you have a documented disability requiring academic adjustments, please contact Disability Services to start the process or go to for more information. Your documentation will be reviewed and appropriate and reasonable accommodation will be determined. Following the notification of your accommodation, please make an appointment with your instructor to discuss your them in light of the course requirements. You may self-disclose and request academic adjustments at any time during the semester. However, it is strongly recommended that you do so as soon as possible because accommodations are not provided retroactively and adequate lead-time is required.

Regis’s Nondiscrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

The Regis University Policy on Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation prohibits University community members from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, or stalking) gender, disability, age, religion, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information or any other legally protected status (“protected class”) in any of its policies, programs, admissions or activities.

Your instructors are Responsible Employees, which means if you disclose any information about incidents of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, they are required to report that information to the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator. The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator will then reach out to you in order to provide information on resources, your rights, and the policy and process at Regis University. The goal of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX is to ensure that incidents of discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct are stopped, remedied, and prevented from reoccurring.

If you have any questions or concerns related to discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator directly:

Carole Goddard (she, her, hers) Equal Opportunity & Title IX Coordinator | EO & Title IX 3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221 B-4 Main Hall Suite 204 P 303.964.6435 | E

You can also make a report online at:


During the semester, if you find that life stressors are interfering with your academic or personal success, consider contacting the Office of Counseling and Personal Development (OCPD). All full-time Regis College students are eligible for counseling services at no charge. OCPD is located in the Coors Life Direction Center, Room 114 and can be contacted by phone 24/7 at 303-458-3507. For more information, see

The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons’ Writing Center, Tutoring, and Academic Success Workshops help with writing and studying in one-on-one and group sessions, in person and online.

  • Writing Center: all stages of writing, all degrees and disciplines. Graduate students, too!
  • Tutoring: available in a range of subjects at introductory and intermediate levels.
  • Smarthinking: another free online tutoring option. Writing, business, nursing, computer programming, mathematics, sciences, and Spanish support by highly trained tutors! 10 free hours annually.
  • Academic Success Workshops: led by Regis faculty and staff, free for Regis members, and cover a range of topics.

Visit to schedule writing/tutoring appointments, log into Smarthinking, reserve study space in TLC, view workshop schedule, access online resources, and learn more about TLC. Contact / 303.964.6591 / Clarke Hall 241.

Diversity and Inclusion

At Regis University the term “diversity” affirms our Jesuit commitment to build an inclusive community that values the dignity and contributions of all our members. We strive to shape a learning environment characterized by the Jesuit traditions of mutual respect and the pursuit of social justice, recognizing that our various identities and experiences, including but not limited to age, gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, religion and other forms of human difference, contribute to the richness and vitality of our Regis community, and those we are connected to locally, nationally, and globally. In accordance with our Jesuit Catholic mission, we commit ourselves to shaping an atmosphere, where the human rights of every individual are respected. We desire that same commitment to be instilled in each member of our community and demonstrated through our words and actions. Should an individual ever feel as though these values are not being upheld in the academic or residential environment, we encourage that person to bring it to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence in the Student Center, Suite 208; or 303-964-5301.

Electronic and Audio Recording Policy

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. If permission is granted, any distribution of the recording is prohibited. Students with specific electronic recording accommodations authorized by the Office of Disability Services do not require instructor permission; however, the instructor must be notified of any such accommodation prior to recording. Any distribution of such recordings is prohibited.

Preferred Name Policy

For this class, I will learn and refer to you by your preferred name and preferred pronouns. Please fill out the appropriate university preferred name forms if you would like to change the name that appears on your student ID card. If I ever make a mistake, you are welcome to correct me; I appreciate the opportunity to learn from and correct my mistakes, and I want to do better at making everyone feel welcome.

Indigenous Lands Acknowledgement


Regis University recognizes that Indigenous Peoples are the original stewards of the land we stand on today. We respectfully acknowledge that this land is the traditional homeland and buffalo hunting grounds of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute Nations. We also recognize the 48 tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado.

As a Jesuit university, Regis is engaged in a mission of walking with those communities who have been excluded. Accordingly, it is important that we acknowledge that our presence on this land is due to the forced displacement of Indigenous Peoples from their ancestral lands. It is only in publicly recognizing this historical reality that we are able to embrace, in the present, our moral and intellectual responsibility and to affirm our commitment to a faith that does justice. In order to honor the original inhabitants of this land and to enter into right relationship with their descendants, Regis will continuously reimagine this acknowledgment, act on our responsibilities to the common good and respectfully collaborate with and support members of local Indigenous communities.


Especially in the midst of a pandemic, there is a significant possibility that aspects of the course may need to change. The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the course if such a need arises for any reason whatsoever.