Statistical Physics (P602), Fall 2017

Statistical Physics (P602), Fall 2017

Instructor: Romain Vasseur, Assistant Professor
office: Hasbrouck 101
email: rvasseur[at]umass[dot]edu
office hours: by appointment and email, or visit my office

Lectures: MWF 9.05-9.55am, room: LGRT 1033

TA: Yong Du
email: yongdu@umass.edu

Textbook: Kardar, Statistical Physics of Particles (Cambridge University Press)
I also strongly recommend David Tong’s lecture notes: http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/statphys.html

Website: https://blogs.umass.edu/rvasseur/teaching/. Course materials will also be made available on Moodle.

Grading:
The course grade will be based 35% on the homework, 30% on the midterm, and 35% on the final exam.

Topics:

  • Introduction and probabilities
  • The fundamentals of statistical mechanics
  • Classical ideal gases
  • Thermodynamics
  • Quantum statistical mechanics (phonons, photons, diatomic gases)
  • Ideal Bose and Fermi gases
  • Interacting systems and phase transitions
    • Dilute interacting gases and van der Waals equation
    • Phase transitions (Ising model, mean field theory, critical exponents)
    • Landau theory
    • Renormalization group
  • Numerical methods

Lecture Notes:

  1. Introduction
  2. The fundamentals of statistical mechanics
  3. Ideal classical gases
  4. Thermodynamics
  5. Quantum Statistical Mechanics
  6. Ideal Bose and Fermi gases
  7. Interacting systems and phase transitions
  8. Numerical Methods

Combined file (87 pages): P602_Combined

Problem Sets:

  1. Problem Set #1 (Due in class Friday, Sept. 15)
  2. Problem Set #2 (Due Monday, Sept. 25)
  3. Problem Set #3 (Due Wednesday, Oct 4)
  4. Problem Set #4 (Due Wednesday, Oct 11)
  5. Problem Set #5 (Due Wednesday, Oct 18)
  6. Problem Set #6 (Due Wednesday, Oct 25)
  7. Problem Set #7 (Due Wednesday, Nov 1)
  8. Problem Set #8 (Due Wednesday, Nov 8)
  9. Problem Set #9 (Due Wednesday, Nov 15)
  10. Problem Set #10 (Due Wednesday, Nov 29)
  11. Problem Set #11 (Due Wednesday, Dec 6)

Exams:

Solutions available on Moodle, or upon request by email.

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