Statistical Physics

Module code: PA2720
Module co-ordinator: Dr Mark Wilkinson

In this module you will study probabilistic and statistical methods for dealing with physical problems primarily in thermodynamics and quantum or solid state physics. Tools from statistical physics can be used to explain many fundamental properties of physical systems, from the collective behaviour of atoms in liquids and gasses, to magnetism, superconductivity and turbulence.

Topics covered

  • Kinetic theory of gasses
  • Maxwell relations
  • Maxwell Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi Dirac distributions
  • The partition function
  • The free electron gas, densities of states and conductivity
  • Magnetic materials


  • 24 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of practicals/workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (70%)