Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE PHY3145

 
TITLE Statistical Mechanics

 
LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 5

 
DEPARTMENT Physics

 
DESCRIPTION Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide the student with a practical understanding of the principles and applications of statistical mechanics. It consists of:

- Introduction to equilibrium statistical mechanics: relation to thermodynamics and the microcanonical formalism;
- The canonical formalism;
- The grand canonical formalism;
- Revisiting the concept of entropy;
- Ideal quantum gases;
- Statistical perturbation theory;
- Magnetic systems;
- An introduction to phase transitions and critical phenomena;
- Beyond equilibrium statistical mechanics: Brownian motion and the Boltzmann equation.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this study-unit, students should be able to:

- Explain thermodynamics as logical consequences of the postulates of equilibrium statistical mechanics;
- Define and discuss the concepts and roles of entropy;
- Apply the principles of equilibrium statistical mechanics to various problems;
- Derive the Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions;
- Understand statistical perturbation theory;
- Describe first and second order phase transitions;
- Understand the basic notions and techniques of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Statistical mechanics, F. Schwabl (Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2006).

Thermodynamics and an introduction to Thermostatistics, H. B. Callen, (John Wiley & Sons, Singapore, 1985).

Statistical Mechanics, Selecta of Elliott H. Lieb (Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2004).

 
RULES/CONDITIONS Before TAKING THIS UNIT YOU MUST TAKE PHY2185

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Gabriel Farrugia

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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