2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PHYS3440 Statistical Mechanics
10 creditsClass Size: 50
Module manager: Dr P D Olmsted
Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable
Year running 2005/06
Pre-requisitesPHYS2190 (Thermal & Statistical Physics)
This module is approved as an Elective
ObjectivesUpon completion of this module the student should be able to:
- Define and calculate the partition function for simple non-interacting systems.
- Calculate averages of quantities for non-interacting statistical systems.
- Describe and use the microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles.
- Use the Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distribution functions to calculate thermodynamic quantities.
- Describe the second virial coefficient, and the effects of interactions on liquids and gases.
- Describe and use the mean field approximation (e.g. to study magnetic systems).
- Recall the assumptions of Landau theory, and apply Landau theory to simple phase transitions.
- Define the stability criteria of macroscopic thermodynamic systems.
Problem solving.Logical thought.
1. Statistics and large systems, classical and quantum phase space, ergodicity.
2. Ensembles (microcanonical, canonical, grand canonical), Boltzmann and Gibbs distributions, entropy. Examples from magnets, order-disorder transition, polymers, electron gas and black-body radiation.
3. Interacting systems. Liquids, Debye theory of heat capacity.
4. Phase Transitions.
- Phase coexistence and phase separation.
- Mean field theory: van der Waals gas, Curie-Weiss/Bragg-Williams.
- Symmetry and Landau Theory of Phase Transitions. Examples may be drawn from liquid-gas, magnets, liquid crystals, superconductors, membranes, or crystals.
Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for informationLectures: 22 x 1 hour.
Private studyStudy: 66 hours;
Self-study examples: 12 hours.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackSelf-study examples sheets with worked example sheets to follow.
Methods of assessment
Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information1 x 2 hour written examination at the end of the semester: 100%.
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 19/04/2005
Browse Other Catalogues
- Undergraduate module catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate module catalogue
- Undergraduate programme catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate programme catalogue
Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD