15 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: PHY21005

Aims/Description: Statistical mechanics at an intermediate to advanced level, including the concepts of micro and macro states, different ensembles, and mathematical formulation of calculating average values physical quantities that can be measured in experiments. Contemporary topics such as Quantum Statistical Mechanics, Phase transitions and critical phenomena and Mean field theory will be covered.Statistical physics is a probabilistic description of systems with many degrees of freedom and provides the microscopic basis of thermodynamics. The  course focuses on understanding the ergodic hypothesis, classification of micro and macro states and calculation of thermodynamic quantities e.g., pressure, volume, free energy etc. of a system in the micro-canonical, canonical and grand canonical ensemble, quantum statistical mechanics, including Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics and Landau theory of phase transitions. Advanced topics such as mean field theory and critical phenomena will also be covered.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Problem solving, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Physics and Astronomy):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK