Statistical physics course

Statistical Physics Course


  1. Name of Course: Statistical Physics


  1. Lecturer and Instructor: Professor Dr. Mohammed M. Shabat


  1. No. of Credits:   3 hours


  1. Semester or Time Period of the course: 14 weeks, followed by a couple of sessions of student presentations.


  1. Prerequisites: Heat and Thermodynamics, Modern Physics, Mathematical Physics.


  1. Course Level: Undergraduate level.


  1. Course Outline:


  1. Brief review of thermodynamics: work, heat, first law, second law, entropy.
  2. Review of classical thermodynamics, Thermodynamic description of Phase transitions, Phase space, Ensemble,        Liouville's theorem, Classical Statistical Mechanics; Postulates. Micro canonical ensemble, Entropy of an ideal gas, Gibb's paradox.
  3. Fundaments of statistical physics (microscopic approach and macroscopic).
  4. Quantum statistics for identical particles, Distinguishable and indistinguishable particles.
  5. Maxwell Boltzmann statistics, Fermi-Dirac Statistics, Bose-Eniestein statistics, Partition Functions, Applications.


  1. Text book:
  1. A. J. Pointon, An Introduction to Statistical Physics for Students, Longmans, 1967.
  2. S. J. Blundell and K. M. Blundell, Concepts in Thermal Physics, Oxford press, UK, 2006.
  1. Teaching format: lectures combined with classroom discussions through blackboard and power point presentations.



  1. Office Hours: Saturday, Monday, Tuesday 14-15 pm or ask through email:


  1.  Recommended textbooks:
  1. K. Huang: Statistical Mechanics, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1987
  2. L. Landau & I. Lifshitz: Statistical Physics (Vol. 5), Pergamon Press
  3. F. Reif: Fundamentals of statistical and thermal physics, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1965
  4. A. Sommerfeld: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Academic press, New York, 1956.
  1. Advanced texts:


  1. N. Goldenfeld: Lectures on Phase transitions and the Renormalization Group, Frontiers in Physics, Addison Wesley, Reading Massachusetts, 1994.
  2. P. Chaikin and T. Lubensky, Principles of Condensed Matter Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1995
  3. L. Landau & I. Lifshitz: Statistical Physics II (Vol. 9), Pergamon Press
  4. R. P. Feynman: Statistical Mechanics – A set of lectures, Frontiers in Physics, Benjamin/Cummings, Reading Massachusetts, 1982



  1.  Assessment  and Course Grade:

Your grade will be based on

  • one midterm exam (20%),
  • one final exam (50%),
  • homework (15%). Homework problems to be handed in at the start of the week.
  • 15% a 20 minutes presentation of a short book section or research article, chosen by the instructor. To be delivered after the end of the lecturing period.