Statistical Physics

Module code: PA2720

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

As part of this module you will take part in active problem solving sessions in workshops and seminar classes as well as attending lectures. You will develop mathematical and problem skills, and communicate complex scientific ideas to your peers.

Topics covered

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

Learning

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

Assessment

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