Modern Concepts in Statistical Physics module (PH42004)

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In this module, you will learn the basics of statistical physics's modern (20th-century) formulations. This will serve as a basis for further post-graduate studies of many-body physics. 

Topics include: 

  • Review of thermodynamics: state variables, equation of state, laws of thermodynamics; fundamental equation of thermodynamics; thermodynamic potentials. 
  • Classical statistical mechanics ensembles (micro-canonical, canonical, macro-canonical) 
  • Black-body radiation. Failure of classical physics. Planck's formula. 
  • Specific heat of solids. Einstein and Debye models. 
  • Fermi-Dirac statistics. Fermi energy. Sommerfeld expansion. 
  • Bose-Einstein statistics. Bose-Einstein condensation. 
  • Thermodynamics of phase transitions. Ehrenfest classification of phase transitions. 
  • Scaling (phenomenology). Scaling relations. Landau's mean-field theory of continuous phase transitions. 
  • Basic of out-of-equilibrium physics. Random walk. Langevin equation. Brownian motion. Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process.