Statistical and Thermal Physics

#### Textbooks:

This is the **required text** for the course; it is available through the USM Bookstore, as well as the usual online sources.

This course deals with the physics of systems containing upwards of 10^{23} particles. The subject matter of Statistical and Thermal physics is much different than that of other courses you’ve taken in that there are no overarching equations (like Newton’s Second Law, Maxwell’s equations, or Schrodinger’s Equation) that govern the behavior of the system. Instead, we use phenomenological reasoning without reference to the microscopic features of the system, and for this reason, this course is often more difficult than the more tool-based structure of other physics courses.

We will begin with a qualitative investigation between the microscopic and macroscopic viewpoints as a way to frame the semester and then we will engage in a study of classical thermodynamics—where we see that the macroscopic behavior of the system is independent of the microscopic details of the constituents.

Next, we study probability theory and see how it applies in everyday life, and finally we move onto a detailed study of statistical physics. The remainder of the course will examine topics such as magnetic (Ising) systems, and many-particle systems such as Fermi and Bose gases.

**Requirements: **

Physics 121, 123, and Physics 211 or consent of instructor

**Syllabus**

**Problem Sets**

Problem Set I Problem Set II Problem Set III Problem Set IV Problem Set V

Problem Set VI Problem Set VII Problem Set VIII Problem Set IX Problem Set X

**iPython Notebooks and python scripts**

Monte Carlo simulation of an ideal gas in a box: IdealGasInABox.ipynb

**Rough Schedule of topics**