Topic outline

  • General

    Overview in the pandemic times

    Passing the course

    The course can be passed by a combination (as mentioned in the syllabus) of a pre-test in thermodynamics (12 points max), exercises (50 points max per 10 exercises), take-home tasks (20 points max per 10), article presentation (10 points), computational project (10 points), and if so desired an exam (3 problems, 18 points) for a maximum of 120 points. The course can be passed without the last one if enough tasks are completed.

    Course material is covered in the book of Sethna (syllabus), and the additional lecture notes (to be available here).


    This fall the course is organized remotely. On Tuesdays, the teaching assistant provides additional help and hints for the home exercises. On Fridays, we have a short summary of the material to be studied, a student research paper presentation, and a brief introduction to the next topic in the programme (take-home material, important points).

    The initial pre-test is provided by Tue 8th and you have one week to complete it. Questions can be asked at the session (see below).

    Each week a set of exercises is published, out of which one problem is to be returned via MyCourses. The exercises will be based on the lecture notes. Also, the students are to do a take-home task (study the material for the week, reply to a question or two). An example goes like this: on Friday, you get the take-home for next week and the home and demonstration problems. On Tuesday, you get hints for the home problem and the demo problems are discussed. The home problem solutions are then expected by next Tuesday (so you have 1.5 weeks to do them). The take-home tasks have deadline on Thursday noon, so that we are able to collect your best solutions for discussion for the lecture on Friday.

    The exercise sessions will cover the home problem and additional demo problems via a chat room (Zoom, where the lecture sessions will also be held). You can also ask questions via email.

    The students are formed into groups to prepare the article presentations and the computational projects. The presentation and project topics are announced during the first lecture on Friday, September 11. You are expected to provide us your preferences from the topics (and eventual group partners) by email to TA Henri Salmenjoki by September 17 noon so that we are able to form the groups. The presentations are scheduled once we have assigned them to groups.  The computational projects are returned towards the end of the course. We will dedicate one session to discuss these.

    The first pre-lecture is on Friday 11th, at 14.30. We will shortly go through the organization. Note the time has been slightly postponed.

    The first exercise session will be on Tuesday, September 22.

    Zoom meeting link to lectures and exercises:


    Lecturer: Mikko Alava

    Assistant: Henri Salmenjoki