Search course

Use the search function to find more information about the study programmes and courses available at Chalmers. When there is a course homepage, a house symbol is shown that leads to this page.

Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF305 - Statistical physics  
Statistisk fysik
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-14 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPHS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Application code: 85121
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs

MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Andreas Isacsson

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Linear algebra and analysis, mathematical statistics, complex analysis, thermodynamics, classical mechanics, introductory quantum physics.


 Statistical physics comprises several general concepts and very powerful tools to study the properties of many-degree-of-freedom systems as well as the influence of the external world on systems. The latter leads to stochastic fluctuations, i.e., different forms of noise. The methods of statistical physics have a wide range of applications such as in astrophysics, biophysics, materials science, quantum information, economy, and even social sciences. The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to some of the most commonly used concepts and tools of statistical physics and demonstrate how they find their use in a very broad range of application areas.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Be able to explain and demonstrate a qualitative understanding of the elements listed in the Content section below. The student should also possess the ability to apply these concepts and methods in a quantitative way to at least one subdiscipline of physics.


- Brownian motion and phase space dynamics (single-particle vs ensemble description)
- Density matrix approach (quantum statistical physics)
- Phase transitions and interacting systems
- Entropy irreversibility and information
- Master equation and detailed balance
- Linear response, susceptibilities, noise, fluctuation-dissipation theorem


The course will have two lectures and one problem-solving session per week during the first seven weeks of the course. During the eighth and final week, there will be compulsory student-led seminars, where each student gives an oral presentation. 


Suggestions for literature (it is not necessary to purchase all books):

- James P. Sethna: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity (2018), Oxford (freely available on the web).

- Linda E. Reichl: A Modern Course in Statistical Physics, 4th Edition (2016).

Examination including compulsory elements

Examination and grading will be based on the solutions to the hand-in problems, participation in the final seminar and performance on the final oral examination.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.