Introductory statistical thermodynamics

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam

Oral exam


the class is for the third year students in Biology (the final grade will include also the class in Introductory quantum physics). prerequisites are their previous SNS courses in Maths and Physics


1. Thermodynamic systems

2. Entropy

3. Temperature, pressure and chemical potential

4. Boltzmann distribution and canonical partition function

5. Thermodynamic processes

6. Thermodynamic potentials

7. Quantum statistics

8. Transport processes


Educational aims

Become familiar with the basic concepts of statistical physics, also in relation to the principles of thermodynamics.

Learn how to use the main thermodynamic potentials and the Boltzmann distribution to describe thermal equilibrium.

Understanding the most elementary aspects of quantum statistics and the simplest transport processes in conditions of near equilibrium.

Bibliographical references

Kittel-Kroemer:  “Thermal physics”

Dill- Bromberg: “Molecular driving forces”

handouts will be provided by the teacher