Skip to main content

FCK3307 Molecular Thermodynamics 7.5 credits

The power of thermodynamics is its generality. This course deals with the microscopic and molecular origin of the mechanisms on which thermodynamics is based. In this course we develop a basic knowledge in statistical thermodynamics to understand the forces that drive molecules and to be able to predict their combined behavior in physical, chemical, and biological systems.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus FCK3307 (Spring 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Principles of probability.
  • The Boltzmann distribution law.
  • The statistical mechanics of simple gases and solids and the molecular interpretation of temperature and heat capacity.
  • Chemical and phase equilibria.
  • Solutions, mixtures and transfer of molecules between phases.
  • Physical (i.e. diffusion, permeation and flow) and chemical kinetics.
  • Electrostatics: Coulomb’s Law, electrostatic potential and electrochemical equilibria.
  • Intermolecular interactions and phase transitions.
  • Adsorption, binding and catalysis.
  • Thermodynamic properties of water
  • Introduction to the thermodynamics of polymer solutions.

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student should have the knowledge and ability to

  • Reflect over and describe in detail microscopic models and basic relationships in terms of entropy and enthalpy contributions that together determine the free energy for different molecular systems. 
  • Use the resulting formalism and concepts to describe and explain macroscopic behaviour in different materials and systems.

Course disposition

Lectures and tutorials.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Eligible for studies at the third-cycle level.**

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


Ken A. Dill and Sarina Bromberg, Molecular Driving Forces, 2nd Edition, Garland Science.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • TEN1 - Written exam, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Eric Tyrode

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FCK3307

Offered by


Main field of study

No information inserted

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Eric Tyrode

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at CBH/Chemistry