Statistical Mechanics III
### Statistical Mechanics III (Fall '12)

This course will discuss some advanced topics in statistical physics,
e.g. phase transitions, critical phenomena, the renormalization group and
so on, first reviewing various more basic aspects of statistical physics.
I will not use any single book as such, but a blend of various
material.

Books (text+reference): Feynman, Lectures on Statistical Mechanics; K.
Huang, Statistical mechanics (2nd edn);

Landau, Lifshitz, Statistical Physics (vol.1), [Course of theoretical
physics]; Cardy, Scaling and renormalization in statistical physics;
Goldenfeld, Lectures on phase transitions and the renormalization group;
...

Course outline (broadly):

Review of statistical physics, partition functions and thermodynamics
[e.g. multiple decoupled harmonic oscillators; blackbody radiation;
lattice vibrations, phonons, specific heat; Pauli exclusion principle and
fermion systems; ground state and Fermi surface; chemical potential;
Bose-Einstein condensation; fermions and electronic specific heat];

Aspects of superconductivity [basic descriptions of the phenomena, London
equation and the Anderson-Higgs mechanism, Landau-Ginzburg effective
action, Cooper pairs and barebones of the BCS theory],

Spin systems and the Ising model, the 1-D Ising model and the
Jordan-Wigner transformation to free fermions, phase transitions and
critical phenomena, phenomenology and scaling laws, Landau mean field
theory, rudiments of block spins, the Wilsonian renormalization group and
scaling towards the Fermi surface etc.

Assignments (sometimes incorporated into class): 25%

Midsem exam, 35%,

Endsem exam, 40%.

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