Prof. Harold Baranger
Class Time: MWF 10:30-11:20
Class Room: room 158 Physics
The goals of this course are, first, to explain
the foundations of statistical mechanics - the physics of large number
of particles - and, second, to work through most of the classic examples
of statistical mechanics, as well as some current ones, so that the student
develops familiarity and facility with the topic.
The course is basically divided into 3
A more detailed syllabus can be found by following
the link above.
Foundations and Fundmentals of Statistical
Mechanics (preceded by a review of prerequisite material) [topics 1-16
in the syllabus]
Classic Examples no educated physicist can
do without [topics 17-29]
Other fun examples and Advanced Topics [topics
There are two required texts for
Unfortunately, the book by Pippard is out
of print. However, there are 2 copies on reserve at the library, and
several other copies around, so hopefully this won't cause too much inconvenience.
Also, perhaps used copies are available.
R. K. Pathria, Statistical Mechanics,
2nd edition. This is the main text for the course: you will be asked to
read a large fraction of the book and do many problems from it.
A. B. Pippard, Classical Thermodynamics.
book will be used for the section on thermodynamics at the beginning of
the course. It is a lovely and elegant treatment.
In addition, there are two supplemental
both of which are on reserve at the library:
C. Kittel and H. Kroemer, Thermal Physics,
2nd edition. This is one of the standard undergraduate texts. It has many
good problems, some of which I will assign.
Landau and Lifshitz, Statistical Physics,
part 1, 3rd edition. Excellent on many, though not all, topics. One of
my main sources for lecture material.