Teaching statistical physics by thinking about models and algorithms

Jan Tobochnik, Harvey Gould
2008 American Journal of Physics  
We discuss several ways of illustrating fundamental concepts in statistical and thermal physics by considering various models and algorithms. We emphasize the importance of replacing students' incomplete mental images by models that are physically accurate. In some cases it is sufficient to discuss the results of an algorithm or the behavior of a model rather than having students write a program.
doi:10.1119/1.2839094 fatcat:mmidjzjq5vbk5gdcp5mibgvcgy