The course is intended for graduate students in physics who have already had an introductory (undergraduate level) course in thermal physics and thermodynamics, at the level of texts like:
Thermal Physics, by C. Kittel and H. Kroemer, W. H. Freeman, New York, (1980);
Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics, by H. B. Callen, John Wiley & Sons (1985).
An Introduction to Thermal Physics, by Daniel V. Schroeder, Addison-Wesley, (2000).
The presentation here is at the graduate physics level. The student is expected to have a fairly good grasp of many of the basic concepts of thermodyanics, as well probability theory, and an aquaintence with classical mechanics (coordinates, momenta, Hamiltonian, Lagrangians) and quantum mechanics (states, energy levels, degeneracy, Schrödinger equation, eigenvalues).
For more course information, including style of homework submission and
grading,
go here:
Fall 2020 Physics 971 Syllabus.
Prof. Gary M. Wysin, wysin@phys.ksu.edu.
Office hours: Remotely by appointment, email & via zoom.
Copyright 2020 (Gary M. Wysin) as to this website contents, including the syllabus, exams, problems and lecture notes. See syllabus for further legal statements about the course and its content.
The textbook for the course is the well-known book by Pathria and Beale,
Statistical Mechanics, Third Edition, by R.K. Pathria & Paul D. Beale, Elsvier, Ltd., (2011).
This book is very good but you may find that you have to read between the lines and fill in a lot of the details of the calculations. Also, the writing is very full (perhaps too many words, 733 pages!) so please alot sufficient time for reading carefully.
There are too many other texts that may be more concise and somewhat lower level, but possibly from a different perspective, such as.
Fundamentals of Thermal and Statistical Physics, by F. Reif, McGraw-Hill, New York, (1965).
Also wordy but clear explanations. Mix of undergrad and grad level topics.
Statistical Mechanics, by Donald A. McQuarrie, University Science Books (2000).
Much more concise than Pathria, clear shorter explanations, but geared more towards chemistry.
Statistical Thermodynamics, by Lukong Cornelius Fai & Gary Matthew Wysin, CRC Press (2012).
Gives longer explanations of the postulates and connection from statistices to thermodynamics, includes
an introduction to path integrals.
access since 2005/08/25.