SI1161 Statistical Physics 6.0 credits
Statistisk fysik
"Statistical physics" covers thermodynamics, statistical physics and quantum statistics, which in different ways describe systems with a large number of particles. The systems can be e.g. atoms and molecules in gases, liquids and solids or electrons in metals and semiconductors. The subject is basic to all branches of physics and has applications in most branches of technology.
Education cycle
First cycleMain field of study
Physics
Technology
Grading scale
A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Course offerings
Autumn 17 for programme students

Periods
Autumn 17 P2 (6.0 credits)

Application code
50298
Start date
30/10/2017
End date
15/01/2018
Language of instruction
Swedish
Campus
AlbaNova
Tutoring time
Daytime
Form of study
Normal

Number of places
No limitation
Schedule
Course responsible
Anatoly Belonoshko <anatoly@kth.se>
Teacher
Anatoly Belonoshko <anatoly@kth.se>
Part of programme
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course you will
 know the definition of, and be able to use, the most important concepts in thermodynamics and classical, as well as quantum mechanical, statistical physics.
 know, be able to analyze and apply theories and models of thermodynamic processes and statistical distributions, with particular emphasis on the validity of approximations used.
 be familiar with the relation between the phenomenological thermodynamics and the microscopic description in statistical physics.
 be able to independently treat problems in thermodynamics and statistical physics.
 know, and be able to develop, applications in physics and other natural sciences based on thermodynamic and statistical physical principles.
 have a certain knowledge of technical applications of thermodynamics and statistical physics.
Course main content
Thermodynamics is a phenomenological macroscopic theory of energy conversions. Heat, which is an energy form with special properties, is particularly considered. The fundamental laws of thermodynamics, relating to energy and entropy, describe the conditions for various processes. The applicability of thermodynamics is due to the general character of its concepts. This part of the course constitutes a more deeply penetrating continuation of the course on thermodynamics for F1.
Statistical physics provides the microscopic molecular background of thermodynamics. By a statistical description based on the microscopic states of a system, averages of microscopic entities can be determined and constitute thermodynamic macroscopic entities. Modern statistical physics is formulated in terms of so called ensemble theory. Ideal gases and noninteracting spinsystems are among systems treated.
Quantum statistics demonstrates how the symmetry properties of quantummechanical wavefunctions influence the thermodynamic and statistical properties of a system. One distinguishes Bose Einstein statistics for systems described by symmetric wavefunctions and FermiDirac statistics for systems described by antisymmetric wavefunctions. Quantum statistics is applicable to electrons in metals and semiconductors, electromagnetic radiation, lattice vibrations, a.o.
Eligibility
Recommended prerequisites: Differential and integral calculus (in particular partial derivatives and functions of several variables), Mathematical statistics, Quantum mechanics and Thermodynamics (for F1).
Literature
S.J. Blundell and K.M. Blundell: Concepts in thermal physics (Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2010). Chapter 18,1130 and 3537 included in the course.
Examination
 TEN1  Examination, 6.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
Requirements for final grade
Written exam (TEN1; 6 university credits: problemsolving similar to that trained in the course).
Offered by
SCI/Undergraduate Physics
Contact
Anatoly Belonoshko (anatoly@kth.se)
Examiner
Anatoly Belonoshko <anatoly@kth.se>
Version
Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2010.
Examination information valid from: Autumn 2007.