Graduate Statistical Physics 1 (PHYS*7040)

Code and section: PHYS*7040*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Dmitry Pushin (UW)


Homework: every 2 weeks (roughly).

Course outline

  • Thermodynamics: Thermal equilibrium, the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Probability Theory: Probability densities; central limit theorem; laws of large numbers.
  • Kinetic Theory: Phase space densities; Liouville's theorem; the Boltzmann equation.
  • Classical Statistical Mechanics: Microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles.
  • Interacting Systems: Virial and cluster expansions; van der Waals theory.
  • Quantum Statistical Mechanics: Quantization effects in molecular gases; phonons, photons; density matrix formulation.
  • Identical Particles


  1. M. Kardar, Statistical Physics of Particles.
  2. K. Huang, Statistical Mechanics.
  3. L.D. Landau & E.M. Lifshitz, Statistical Physics.

Course Policies


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. For more information, contact SAS at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email  

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph takes a serious view of academic misconduct and will severely penalize students, faculty and staff who are found guilty of offenses associated with misappropriation of others' work, misrepresentation of personal performance and fraud, improper access to scholarly resources, and obstructing others in pursuit of their academic endeavours. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Course and Instructor evaluation

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching. 

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students or by choosing \I agree" in question 14 (online process). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards. 

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.  


The University will not require verification of illness (doctor's notes) for the fall 2020 or winter 2021 semesters.