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Last updated:

November 30, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course covers elementary statistical mechanics, transport properties, kinetic theory, solid state, reaction rate theory, and chemical reaction dynamics.


The staff for this course would like to acknowledge that these course materials include contributions from past instructors, textbooks, and other members of the MIT Chemistry Department affiliated with course #5.62. Since the following works have evolved over a period of many years, no single source can be attributed.

Course Curriculum

  • Review of thermodynamics Unlimited
  • E, A, and S: macroscopic properties for microscopic probabilities {Pi} Unlimited
  • Canonical partition function: replace {Pi} by Q Unlimited
  • Microcanonical ensemble: replace {Pi} by Ω, Q vs. Ω Unlimited
  • Molecular partition function: replace E (assembly) by ε (molecule) Unlimited
  • Q corrected for molecular indistinguishability Unlimited
  • Translational part of Boltzmann partition function Unlimited
  • Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein statistics Unlimited
  • Calculation of macroscopic properties from microscopic energy levels: qtrans Unlimited
  • Equipartition Unlimited
  • Internal degrees of freedom for atoms and diatomic molecules Unlimited
  • Rotational partition function Unlimited
  • Nuclear spin statistics Unlimited
  • Supplement Unlimited
  • Low and high-T limits for qrot and qvib Unlimited
  • Polyatomic molecules: rotation and vibration Unlimited
  • Chemical equilibrium I Unlimited
  • Chemical equilibrium II Unlimited
  • Model intermolecular potentials Unlimited
  • Configurational integral: cluster expansion Unlimited
  • Virial equation of state Unlimited
  • Thermodynamics of solid: Einstein and Debye models Unlimited
  • Supplement Unlimited
  • Einstein and Debye solids Unlimited
  • Phonons: 1-D linear chain of atoms Unlimited
  • Free electron theory of a metal Unlimited
  • Band theory of solids Unlimited
  • Kinetic theory of gases: Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution Unlimited
  • Kinetic theory of gases: effusion and collisions Unlimited
  • Kinetic theory of gases: collision dynamics and scattering Unlimited
  • Kinetic theory of gases: mean free path and transport Unlimited
  • Kinetic theory of gases: transport coefficients Unlimited
  • Kinetic isotope effect Unlimited
  • Rates of unimolecular reactions: RRKM Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology