Course SPCMT-1, 2006-2007
We use the book Equilibrium Statistical Physics by Plischke and
Bergersen (world scientific)
Since the use of canonical ensemble theory is so central,
I give a brief
review of this foundation of statistical physics.
Like the rest of the chapters 1 and 2 this is expected to be known
In the course we study first the content of chapter 3: Mean field and Landau
theory. This chapter is treated in its entirety, though section 3.8 is
replaced by another example for the role of symmetry. This alternative
material will appear here, as well as a brief summary of the chapter.
This is followed by chapter 5 and 6 on critical phenomena.
The material should not only be studied as a text, but it can only be
properly digested by making exercises. During the course a number of
exercises are given designed to
comprehend the important concepts. They should be considered integral
part of the course. Also
the book gives a number of problems which may be considered as
The requirements for the exam are listed here.
Some additional material replacing 3.8, concerning symmetry.
The written examination will be held December 18 at 13.30 in room C.203.
Example of an examination
brief hints to the expected answers
About the course in previous years.
This may give you an impression of other useful books, as well as of the
level of difficulty of the tests.