Successful completion the 1st year of the BSc program in physics. In particular: Classical Mechanics (a), Electromagnetic Fields, Analysis 1&2, Linear Algebra 1
Statistical Physics builds a bridge between the microscopic world of atoms, molecules, objects, and the resulting collective behavior at the macroscopic level, be it a material, an organism, the universe. Using probability theory we will develop the notion of entropy. The principle of maximum entropy allows us to develop the statistical physics of systems in equilibrium, and define temperature as a physical quantity. Thermodynamics will be presented as emergent description of the concepts of statistical physics. The concepts are applied to gases, and to other examples in solid materials, biophysics, and astonomy.
After finishing the course you are able to analyze unknown problems by applying statistical physics concepts:
probability theory, phase space
entropy, thermal equilibrium
microcanonical ensemble, canonical ensemble, grand canonical ensemble
classical and quantum harmonic oscillator
thermodynamic potentials, energy representation
Helmholtz free energy, Gibbs free energy
ideal gas law, heat engine, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution
mean field approximation, Ising model
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For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different
Mode of instruction
Lectures, self-study of written material, self-study of video material, tutorial sessions, weekly homework sets. The course is taught in English.
Written exam with open questions. Bonus points are earned from homework problems.
R.H. Swendsen, 'An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics', Oxford University Press.
From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.
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Lecturer:Prof. dr. T Schmidt