Physics 210A
Time/Location: | M W 9:30 – 10:50am; Mayer Hall Addition 5623 F 2-2:50pm (extra lecture as needed); MHA 5623 TA Discussion session: M 4-4:50pm; MHA 5623 |
Lecturer: | Prof. Terry Hwa phone: 4-7263; e-mail: |
TA: | Brian Vermilyea e-mail: |
Office Hours: | instructor (Urey 7222): Tuesday 2:30-3:30pm or by appointment [no email consultation on HW the day before due] TA (MHA 5651): Monday: 5-6pm; Thursday: 2-3pm |
Course URL: | this page (https://matisse.ucsd.edu/s24-stat-mech/) |
Grade | 4 problem sets (40%); in-class mid-term (10%), and in-class final (50%). Scheduled final time: 8-11am, Wednesday 6/12 |
Prerequisite: | undergraduate thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; or equivalent. |
Course outline
- Introduction; review of thermodynamics and entropy
- Classical ensemble theory and applications
- Quantum statistical mechanics
- Statistical mechanics of interacting systems
- Phase transition and critical phenomena
Reference Books:
There are many textbooks on this classical subject. You may wish to consult some of the standard textbooks, e.g., those by Pathria, Huang, Landau & Lifshitz for classical and quantum stat mech, and the book by Kardar for phase transition and critical phenomena.
Course schedule (tentative):
Date | Topics | assignment | |
L1 | Mon, Apr 1 | Intro to stat mech; review of thermodynamics and entropy [note] | HW1 due Mon Apr 15 |
Wed, Apr 3 | no class | ||
L2 | Mon, Apr 8 | thermodynamic relations and potentials; microcanonical ensemble [note] | |
L3 | Wed, Apr 10 |
entropy and density of states; partition function [note] | |
L4 | Fri, Apr 12 (2-3pm) |
partition function and Legendre transform; Helmholz free energy [note] | |
L5 | Mon, Apr 15 |
canonical ensemble and partition function [note] | HW1 soln |
L6 | Wed, Apr 17 |
maximal entropy principle; simple applications of canonical ensemble [note] | HW2 due Wed May 1 (before class) |
L7 | Mon, Apr 22 |
paramagnetism; intro to theory of polymer: entropic elasticity [note] | |
Mon, Apr 22 (4-5pm) |
TA discussion: review HW #1; help on HW#2 | ||
L8 | Wed, Apr 24 |
mapping to path integral; confinement cost & delocalization; excluded-volume interaction [note] | |
L9 | Mon, Apr 29 |
polymer scaling theory; Grand canonical ensemble [note] | practice problems |
Mon, Apr 29 (4-5pm) |
TA discussion: HW #2 | soln to practice problems | |
Wed, May 1 | TA review session (HW2 & practice problems) | ||
Fri, May 3 (2-2:50 pm) |
in-class mid-term (test starts promptly at 2pm; you can bring 2 pages of notes hand-written by you) | midterm soln | |
L10 | Mon, May 6 | Grand canonical ensemble; equation of state; chemical equilibrium [note] [video] | HW2 soln |
L11 | Wed, May 8 | Quantum Stat Mech: quantum many-body state; quantum distribution functions [note] | HW3 due Fri May 24 |
L12 | Mon, May 13 |
weak degeneracy; Virial expansion; strong degeneracy; Sommerfeld expansion [note] | |
L13 | Wed, May 15 |
degenerate electron gas: Fermi energy; pressure and specific heat at low temp [note] | |
L14 | Fri, May 17 (2:00-2:50pm) |
degenerate Bose gas: Bose-Einstein condensation; thermodynamic properties of Bose gas [note] | |
L15 | Mon, May 20 |
interacting classical gas: van der Waals eqn of state; liquid-gas transition [note] | |
L16 | Wed, May 22 |
Intro to ferromagentism; Ising model; Weiss mean-field theory [note] | |
L17 | Fri, May 24 (1:30-2:50pm) |
mixing entropy and Bragg-Williams MFT [note] |
HW4 due Fri Jun 7 |
Mon, May 27 | No class (Memorial Day) | HW3 soln | |
L18 | Wed, May 29 |
variational mean-field theory; Potts model | |
L19 | Mon, Jun 3 |
spatial correlation in the mean-field approximation | |
L20 | Wed, Jun 5 |
validity of mean-field theory; Ginzburg’s criterion; |