# Statistical Physics

Course Code : | 1001WETSTF |

Study domain: | Physics |

Academic year: | 2017-2018 |

Semester: | 1st semester |

Sequentiality: | Credit for Math. methods for physics I, II & III, Gen. physics I, & II, Experimental physics I & II, Introduction to anal. mechanics, Introduction to quantum mechanics and Probability theory and statistics. |

Contact hours: | 30 |

Credits: | 3 |

Study load (hours): | 84 |

Contract restrictions: | No contract restriction |

Language of instruction: | Dutch |

Exam period: | exam in the 1st semester |

Lecturer(s) | Jacques Tempere |

### 1. Prerequisites *

an active knowledge of

specific prerequisites for this courseThe course notes are in Dutch

You should know basic thermodynamics and mechanics. An introduction to quantum mechanics, including the Schrodinger equation for a particle in a box, is also prerequisite knowledge. Finally, you need some math: basic calculus, statistics, and probability calculus.

### 2. Learning outcomes *

- You understand the major concepts in statistical physics of systems in equilibrium (ensemble theory, distributions, partition sum, ergodicity,...), and you are able to explain these, using textbook examples.
- Given a microscopic theory (energy levels of the particles), you are able to calculate macroscopic thermodynamic quantities (specific heat, magnetisation,...).
- You know which statistics (classical or quantum mechanical; Boltzmann, Gibbs, Fermi-Dirac, or Bose-Einstein) is suitable for the description of a given physical system.
- You can apply quantum statistics on fermionic and bosonic systems, and you can calculate macroscopic properties for these systems starting from the microscopic description.
- You are aware of the limitations and assumptions inherent in statistical physics for equilibrium systems.

### 3. Course contents *

In the first, introductory part we introduce Boltzmann statistics, for distinguishable particles or particles in individual wells. Then we move to the theory of gases by developing Gibbs's ensemble theory and the thermodynamic potentials. This is used in a third part to describe the properties of the ideal mono-atomic and di-atomic gases. The next part focuses on taking into account the quantum mechanical nature of the particles: we introduce quantum statistics, and consequently apply it to (ideal) Bose gases and Fermi gases. Finally, we conclude with a guest lecture by an invited speaker (if available) working in the field of statistical physics.

### 4 International dimension*

### 5. Teaching method and planned learning activities

Personal work

Project

**5.3 Facilities for working students ***

Others

Separate contact moments are possible after making an appointment. The exercises done in self-study can be discussed after appointment.

### 6. Assessment method and criteria

Continuous assessment

### 7. Study material *

#### 7.1 Required reading

Course notes (Dutch), and your own notes during class.

**7.2 Optional reading**

The following study material can be studied voluntarily :J. P. Sethna, *Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity* (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008).

D. Landau en L.F. Lifschitz, *Statistical Physics Part 1 *(Pergamon Press Ltd., 1980).

D.A. McQuarrie, *Statistical Mechanics *(Harper & Row, 1976).

R. Kubo, *Statistical Mechanics* (North-Holland, 1965).

### 8. Contact information *

Prof.dr. Jacques Tempere

Departement Fysica, CDE, lokaal N0.17

Universiteit Antwerpen

tel: 03/265.3526

e-mail: jacques.tempere@ua.ac.be