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Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF305 - Statistical physics
Statistisk fysik
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-11 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPHS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Application code: 85125
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B

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

In programs

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


Andreas Isacsson

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

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


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 mechanics and their application in different fields 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. The eighth and final week is devoted to self-studies.


Suggestions for literature:

- James P. Sethna: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity, (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 and performance on the final oral examination.

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.