# 2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

## PHYS3440 Statistical Mechanics

### 10 creditsClass Size: 50

**Module manager:** Dr P D Olmsted**Email:** p.d.olmsted@leeds.ac.uk

**Taught:** Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

**Year running** 2005/06

### Pre-requisites

PHYS2190 (Thermal & Statistical Physics)**This module is approved as an Elective**

### Objectives

Upon 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.

**Skills outcomes**

Logical thought.

Problem solving.Logical thought.

Problem solving.

### Syllabus

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.

### Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour.### Private study

Study: 66 hours;Self-study examples: 12 hours.

### Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Self-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 information

1 x 2 hour written examination at the end of the semester: 100%.### Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library websiteLast updated: 19/04/2005

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- Undergraduate module catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate module catalogue
- Undergraduate programme catalogue
- Taught Postgraduate programme catalogue

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