Statistical Mechanics II
2nd year in Department of Physics
Statistical mechanics begins with an in-depth look at classical thermodynamics. The key concepts behind thermodynamic equilibrium and the ideal gas will naturally lead into the topic of entropy and the probabilistic nature of thermodynamics. This new framework will enable us to easily derive the heat capacity and thermodynamic potentials of solids and magnetic systems.
In the second course students will be introduced to the concepts of different statistical ensemble, and how such frameworks can lead to more general descriptions of complex systems. This will progress into quantum statistical mechanics, and the introduction of exotic topics such as degenerate electron pressure and Bose-Einstein condensation. Advanced topics, such as how to deal with interacting systems (such as non-ideal gases), will naturally bring lead into higher level topics such as field theory and condensed matter physics in later years.