University of Pittsburgh
· *Department of
Physics &
Astronomy *

## PHYSICS 2541: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (I)

## Spring Term 2012

## Instructor: W. Vincent Liu, associate professor

**Time of Class:** 9:30-10:45am Tue Thu

**Place:** 105 Allen Hall

### Course Plan

- Thermodynamics:
- Fundamental thermodynamic laws
- Carnot engines; entropy; approach to equilibrium and thermodynamic potentials

- Probability:

- Random variables
- Central limit theorem
- Information, entropy and estimation*

- Kinetic theory of gases:
- Liouville's theorem

- Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon hierarchy*
- Boltzman equation
- H-theorem and irreversibility
- Conservation laws, and hydrodynamics

- Classical statistical mechanics
- Microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles

- Two-level systems
- Idea gas
- Mixed entropy and the Gibbs paradox

- Interacting particles
- Cluster expansion
- Variational methods
- Critical point behavior

- Quantum statistical mechanics
- Dilute polyatomic gases
- Debye model for solids
- Black-body radiation

- Ideal quantum gases
- Fermi gases
- Bose gases
- Superfluid He-4*

* In case of a class that needs stronger coverage of basic subjects
(or if time is too short for any other reason),
the subjects marked with a* would be sacrificed.

**Textbook**

Mehran Kardar, Statistical Physics of Particles, Cambridge University Press, 2007. (required)

**Supplementary texts:**

- Mehran Kardar, Statistical Physics of Fields, Cambridge University Press, 2007 (recommended)
- L.D. Landau and E. M. Lifshitz, Statistical Physics --- a valuable reference
- R.K. Pathria and P. D. Beale, Statistical Mechanics, 3rd edition, 2011 --- a widely used textbook.