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PX366 - Statistical Physics

  • Module code: PX366
  • Module name: Statistical Physics
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module will illustrate the important concepts of modern statistical physics using simple examples. It should give an appreciation of the fundamental role played by fluctuations in nature.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should: Have been reminded about those aspects of equilibrium thermodynamics most often referred to in this module; Understand the physics of diffusive processes. Know the origin of the Langevin and Diffusion equations and the key elements of these two descriptions; Have been introduced to the statistical mechanics of long chain molecules (polymers).Appreciate that this is an example of a system driven by configurational entropy rather than energy; Appreciate the importance of phase transitions via simple examples, primarily the paramagnetic-ferromagnetic transitIon; Understand the motivation behind the Ginzburg-Landau theory of continuous symmetry breaking phase transitions and have seen how it is solved; Understand the origin of the law of equipartition of energy and see how it may be used to solve real problems where we are interested in the statistics of fluctuations.

Timetabled teaching activities

15 Lectures

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year3/px366

Other essential notes

Fluctuations play an essential role in nature. Statistical mechanics is, in essence, a description of the role played by these fluctuations. The module studies the physics of such seemingly diverse problems as diffusion, phase transitions and Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics. It also uses examples from Polymer physics where the behaviour of the polymer chains is driven by configurational entropy, rather than energy.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX366-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1.5 hour exam (Summer) 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessment visiting/exchange PART-YEAR ONLY 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year) (F301) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 5
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year) (GF14) - Year 4