TFY4230 - Statistical Physics


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Written examination 100/100 4 hours C

Course content

Probability distribution of microstates in thermal equilibrium. Microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical emsembles. Connection to thermodynamics. Ideal gas, interacting classical gases. Simple spin systems, one-dimensional Ising model in an external field. Lattice vibrations, photons, and Planck's law of radiation. Quantum statistics. Non-relativistic and relativistic fermions and bosons at high and low temperatures. Bose-Einstein condensation. First and second order phase transitions. Critical indices and scaling laws. Use of numerical packages for simulation and analysis of selected models from statistical physics.

Learning outcome

The course provides an introduction to statistical physics, mainly for systems in thermal equilibrium. The student should understand quantum and classical statistical mechanics for ideal systems, and be able to judge when quantum effects are important. The student should understand the connection between microphysics and thermodynamics.

The student should be able to perform quantitative calculations on ideal systems, be able to formulate models of more realistic systems, and be able to use standard numerical packages for simulation and analysis of such.

General competence:
The student should have acquired a foundation for advanced courses in physics, specially those involving many-particle systems. The student should be able to analyze and debate society problems of energy, environment and climate based on fundamental principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and compulsory exercises.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

The re-sit examination (in August) may be changed from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

Main book: J. O. Andersen: Introduction to Statistical Mechanics 2008.
Additional literature: R. K. Pathria: Statistical Mechanics, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd (1996).

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIF4056 7.5


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Written examination

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Spring ORD Written examination 100/100 C
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.