8.333: Statistical Mechanics of Particles

Fall 2021

NB. This outline is subject to change as term progresses.

Tentative outline

  1. Thermodynamics- Thermal equilibrium, the laws of thermodynamics; temperature, energy, entropy, and other functions of state. (4 Lec.)
  2. Probability theory- Probability densities, cumulants and correlations; central limit theorem; laws of large numbers. (2.5 Lec.)
  3. Kinetic theory- Phase space densities; Liouville's theorem, BBGKY hierarchy, the Boltzmann equation; transport phenomena. (4.5 Lec.)
  4. Classical Statistical Mechanics- Postulates; microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles; non-interacting examples. (3 Lec.)
  5. Interacting systems- Virial and cluster expansions; van der Waals theory; liquid-vapor condensation. (4 Lec.)
  6. Quantum Statistical Mechanics- Quantization effects in molecular gases; phonons, photons; density matrix formulation. (3 Lec.)
  7. Identical particles- Degenerate quantum gases; Fermi liquids; Bose condensation; superfluidity. (5 Lec.)

  • 8.333  Course Outline - last update 8/1/2021 by M. Kardar