THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2011/2012
- ARCHIVE for reference only
THIS PAGE IS OUT OF DATE

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Statistical Physics (PHYS11024)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website http://www2.ph.ed.ac.uk/teaching/course-notes/notes/list/70 Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is a course on the statistical physics of interacting particles. We begin by reviewing the fundamental assumptions of equilibrium statistical mechanics focussing on the relation between missing information (or entropy) and probability. We then consider the statistical mechanics of interacting particles and develop important approximation schemes. This leads us to review phase transitions and the unifying phenomenology. We study in detail a simple, microscopic model for phase transitions: the Ising model. We then consider a general theoretical framework known as
Landau Theory. Finally we discuss the issue of dynamics: how does a system approach and explore the state of thermal equilibrium? How does one reconcile microscopic time reversibility with the macroscopic arrow of time?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements At least 80 credit points accrued in courses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsTutorial2-11 15:00 - 17:00
First Class First class information not currently available
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Statistical Physics2:00
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
King's BuildingsTutorial2-11 15:00 - 17:00
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 09:00 - 09:50, Zone: King's Buildings. Room 6301 - JCMB
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Statistical Physics (VS1)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course it is intended that a student will be able to:

1) Define and distinguish between the Boltzmann and Gibbs
entropies

2) Derive the principal ensembles of Statistical Physics
by using the method of Lagrange multipliers to maximise the Gibbs entropy

3) Discuss the many-body problem and be able to formulate and motivate various approximation schemes.

4) Describe the phenomenology of phase transitions
in particular Bose-Einstein condensation, liquid-gas transition and ferromagnetic ordering.

5) Formulate the Ising model of phase transitions and be able to motivate and work out various mean-field theories

6) Articulate the paradox of the arrow of time.

7) Formulate mathematical descriptions of dynamics such as Fermi's master equation, Langevin equations and the diffusion equation; solve simple examples of such descriptions such as random walks and Brownian motion

8) Discuss and formulate fluctuation-dissipation relations and linear correlation and response theory
Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 100%
Visiting Student Variant Assessment
Degree Examination, 100%
Special Arrangements
None
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus I Derivation of Statistical Ensembles
& Maximising the missing information or Gibbs entropy
& Derivation of the principal ensembles: microcanonical; canonical; grand canonical
& Quantum systems: Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein, classical limit
& Bose-Einstein Condensation

II The Many-Body Problem
& Interacting systems
& Phonons and the Debye theory of specific heat of solids
& Perturbation theory and cluster expansion
& Breakdown of perturbation theory
& Non-perturbative ideas: Debye-H\"uckel Theory

III Transitions
& Phenomenology of phase transitions
& The Ising Model
& Solution in one dimension
& Correlation functions and correlation length
& Mean-field theory
& long range order in two dimensions, lack of in one dimension
& Landau Theory
& Order Parameter
& Critical exponents and Universality

IV The Arrow of Time
& Hamiltonian dynamics and phase space
& Liouville's theorem
& Coarse graining
& The master equation
& Random walks and the diffusion equation
& Detailed balance
& Brownian motion and the Langevin equation
& Dynamics of fluctuations
& Fluctuation-dissipation relations and Linear Response

Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsStatP
Contacts
Course organiserProf Arjun Berera
Tel: (0131 6)50 5246
Email: ab@ph.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
Email: paw@roe.ac.uk
Navigation
Help & Information
Home
Introduction
Glossary
Search DPTs and Courses
Regulations
Regulations
Degree Programmes
Introduction
Browse DPTs
Courses
Introduction
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Timetab
Prospectuses
Important Information
 
© Copyright 2011 The University of Edinburgh - 16 January 2012 6:41 am