SI2520 Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics 7.5 credits
Statistisk mekanik för icke-jämviktssystem
Nonequilibrium situations are far more common in nature than equilibrium ones. This course gives an introduction to the common ideas and different approaches for studying systems in statistical mechanics that are not in equilibrium, i.e.- with a time dependence in the description of the system. We begin with a review of the origin of irreversibility and the second law of thermodynamics, which are at the foundations of equilibrium statistical mechanics. Then various different techniques for studying non-equilibrium situations follows, which treat the problem on different levels of detail. The main part of the course considers effective descriptions in terms of stochastic processes, closely related to simple random walk problems. We also discuss the Boltzmann equation, which provides a microscopic framework for studying transport in dilute systems, and leads up to coarse-grained hydrodynamic descriptions on longer length scales. Finally, we discuss the linear regime close to equilibrium, where it is possible to obtain the linear response of the system from its equilibrium fluctuations, via the fluctuation-dissipation theorem.