ASE 382R.6 / ME 381Q.4 - Molecular Gas Dynamics
Fall 2012

Course Page on UT Blackboard



Class meets: MWF  10:00-10:50, WRW 312
Instructor: Prof. Philip L. Varghese
Office: WRW 314C
Telephone: Office: 471-3110
E-Mail: Contact me here
Home page:
Office Hours: MWF: 11:00-12:00, other times by appointment.

Course description

This course focuses on the molecular description of physical and chemical processes in gases. The molecular viewpoint is essential to understand processes that occur at very high or low temperature and pressure, in high speed and rarefied gas flows, etc. Additionally, the microscopic viewpoint provides insight into the the behavior of fluids at ordinary conditions.

The course will provide you with a basic working knowledge of the kinetic theory of gases, chemical thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics. These analytical tools will then be applied to the study of equilibrium gas properties over wide temperature ranges, the kinetics of physical and chemical reactions, and the interaction of matter with radiation.

The course material is useful in studies of combustion chemistry, high temperature and rarefied gas dynamics, CVD plasmas, hypersonics, gas diagnostics with lasers, etc.

Course Outline

  1. The microscopic basis of thermodynamic and transport properties (~6 lectures).
  2. Kinetic theory of equilibrium gases (~8 lectures).
  3. Chemical thermodynamics and non-equilibrium (~7 lectures).
  4. Statistical mechanics (~12 lectures).
  5. Properties of non-equilibrium gases including dissociation and ionization (~5 lectures).
  6. Additional topics based on students' interests - e.g. shock calculations with variable gas properties, vibrational relaxation, chemical kinetics, etc. (~6 lectures).


Introduction to Physical Gas Dynamics, by W. G. Vincenti and C. H. Kruger, R. Krieger Publishing Company (1982).


Four to six problems per week typically. Solutions to assignments will be placed in the library two days after they are assigned. Assignments will not be collected or graded, but if you don't do them you will have trouble on tests and final.


Two tests 25% each, Final 50%. All tests open textbook and notes, but no HW solutions.