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Statistical Physics


Wednesday, 9 October 2019 to Saturday, 21 December 2019
Total hours: 60
Hours of lectures: 40
Hours of supplementary teaching: 20

Examination procedure

  • Written test
  • oral exam


III Year


Basic notions of Thermodynamics. Principles of Statistical Mechanics. Microcanonical and canonical ensembles. Ideal gases and van der Waals gas. Phase equlibrium. Grand canonical ensemble. Bose and Fermi gases. Diamagnetism and paramagnetism. Ferromagnetism: variational method and mean field. Two-dimensional Ising model: Kramers-Wannier duality. An introduction to Conformal Invariance.


Educational goals:

Exposing students to a detailed description of equilibrium Statistical Physics, with emphasis also on its formal links with Quantum Mechanics, while also exploring important applications to atoms, molecules and other systems. The examples will touch upon ideas and results to be revisited in more advanced courses, and will occasionally highlight the limits of our current understanding.

Bibliographical references

L.D. Landau and E. Lifshitz, Statistical Physics, part 1 and 2; K. Hwang, Statistical Mechanics;  Chandler, Introduction to Modern Statistical Mechanics.