Subject: Physics
Credit units: 3
Offered: Either Term 1 or Term 2
Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
College: Graduate and Postdoc Studies
Department: Physics and Engin Physics


As part of basic training of graduate students, this core course aims to reinforce the student's understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques of statistical mechanics, and to advance the student's general knowledge of phase transitions and critical phenomena. The course will not only broaden the student's general knowledge of statistical physics, but will also expose the student to a variety of current research topics. In this course, three basic ensembles (microcanonical, canonical, grandcanonical) are first reviewed for both classical and quantum-mechanical statistical mechanics, and the classical limit of ideal gas is discussed. The quantum-mechanical collective phenomena in Fermi and Bose systems are examined. Finally, the techniques for analysing quantum critical phenomena and the Landau theory of phase transition are studied in detail, along with their applications to various physical systems.

Prerequisite(s): An undergraduate course in Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics.

Upcoming class offerings

For full details about upcoming courses, refer to the class search tool or, if you are a current student, the registration channel in PAWS.


Examples of current or recently-offered class syllabus material can be found on the Open CourseWare website.

The syllabus is a public document that provides detail about a class, such as the schedule of activities, learning outcomes, and weighting of assignments and examinations. Please note that the examples provided in Open CourseWare do not represent a complete set of current or previous syllabus material. Rather, they are presented solely for the purpose of indicating what may be required for a given class.

For more information about syllabi, visit the Academic Courses Policy.