8.334: Statistical Physics of Fields

Spring 2014


Welcome to the Spring 2012 Homepage for Physics 8.334

The course is taught by Prof. Mehran Kardar.

Lectures and Recitations: MWF 2:30-4:00, in room 2-105.


Catalogue Description: A two-semester course on statistical mechanics. Basic principles are examined in 8.334: the laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of temperature, work, heat, and entropy. Postulates of classical statistical mechanics, microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical distributions; applications to lattice vibrations, ideal gas, photon gas. Quantum statistical mechanics; Fermi and Bose systems. Interacting systems: cluster expansions, van der Waal's gas, and mean-field theory. Topics from modern statistical mechanics are explored in 8.334: the hydrodynamic limit and classical field theories. Phase transitions and broken symmetries: universality, correlation functions, and scaling theory. The renormalization approach to collective phenomena. Dynamic critical behavior. Random systems.


General course information:


Check these pages often for updates:

From these pages you can access copies of all handouts distributed in class.


- last update 1/21/14 by M. Kardar