Physics 540:
Statistical Mechanics I

Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 am till 9:50am,
Vladimir Korepin, Professor
Room: Harriman Hall 116
Web page:
Office Hours: Monday 1pm-2pm & Friday 3pm-4pm in the office D-147
TA: Konstantinos Roumpedakis

Course description

The course will start with the laws of thermodynamics and brief reminder of probability theory [and convex functions].
It will include: Thermodynamic potentials. Thermal engines and refrigerators. Entropy. Maxwell demon.
Gases: van der Waals, mean-field lattice gas, Bose, Fermi and non-ideal gases [Lieb-Liniger].
Gibbs and canonical ensembles. Theory of large deviations.
Solid states: crystals and quasi-crystals.
Phase transitions and critical phenomena, second order phase transitions.
Bose condensation, super-fluidity and super-conductivity.
Thermodynamic equilibrium. Black body radiation.
Quantum and classical statistical mechanics. Renormalization group approach. Generalized entropies.
Applications to condensed matter, information theory, chemistry and astro-physics.
Models of classical statistical mechanics, including six vertex model [model of ice] .
Magnetism: non-interacting spins, ferromagnetism and paramagnetism, Ising model, XY, XXX, XXZ spin chains AKLT and VBS spin models.
Density matrix. Fractional statistics and anyons.

Tentative Syllabus

Course requirements

Only enrolled students can attend lectures. Attendance is expected. Homework assignments should be turned on time, late homework will not be accepted. There will be two midterms and a final exam. Absence at a midterm can be justified by a medical problem of a student [or a legal dependent] supported by medical papers in English (the doctor will be contacted to verify the note). Taking the final exam is a requirement.

Grading and exams

Midterm I on March 3
Midterm II on March 24
Midterm III on April 21
Final exam on May 10
The final grade is calculated from
Quizes --- 5%
Home Work --- 5%
Midterms --- 20% each
Final exam --- 30%

Main textbooks