EP3210 Statistical Physics

Course Details

Recapitulation of thermodynamics. Microstates and macrostates. Thermal equilibrium. Microcanonical ensemble, fundamental postulate of statistical mechanics. Boltzmann's formula. Statistical definition of temperature. Closed systems: canonical ensemble. Partition function, free energy. Calculation of thermodynamic quantities. Equation of state of a classical ideal gas. Energy fluctuations and specific heat. Open systems: grand canonical ensemble. Number fluctuations. Bosons, fermions and the elements of quantum statistics. Ideal fermi gas at absolute zero; application to electrons in metals and semiconductors. Electronic specific heat. Pauli paramagnetism. Blackbody radiation, derivation of Planck's Distribution Law. Radiation pressure. Elements of phase transition phenomena. First order and continuous phase transitions, critical point. Mean field theory: Van der Waals fluid, Weiss molecular field theory of ferromagnetism.

Course References:

1. F.Reif, Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics (McGraw-Hill International StudentEdition, 1965).
2. F.Mandl, Statistical Physics (ELBS Edition).
3. D.Chandler, Introduction to Modern Statistical Physics (Oxford University Press, 1987).
4. K.Huang, Statistical Mechanics (Wiley).
5. M.Pilschke and B.Bergerson, Equilibrium Statistical Physics, (World Scientific, 1994).