Statistical Physics 2 (PHYS*4240)

Code and section: PHYS*4240*01

Term: Fall 2015

Instructor: Xiaorong Qin


Course Information

Calendar Descriptions

A continuation of PHYS*3240 including a discussion of the grand canonical distribution, quantum statistics, and transport theory.
Prerequisite: PHYS*3240 (Statistical Physics I); PHYS*3230 (Quantum Mechanics I)


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Xiaorong Qin MacN 449 53675


Day Time Location
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30 am – 12:20 pm. MCKN 226

Course Materials

No required text PHYS*4240 Lecture Notes, by E. Poisson.
(see the web page,


  • “Introductory Statistical Mechanics” (2nd Edition), by R. Bowley and M. Sanchez, Oxford University Press, 1999. (ISBN 0-19-850576-0)


Assessment Scheme 1 Scheme 2
Assignments 25% 25%
Mid-term 35% 25%
Final Exam 40% 50%

Note: We take the best evaluation result for you. The assignment is due on the given due date, marks will be deducted for lateness (10% per day).

Major Lecture Topics

We’ll cover contents in the PHYS*4240 Lecture Notes (by E. Poisson), Chapters 1-3, 5-7 (see the detailed topics there) with the following main titles:

  • Review of thermodynamics
  • Statistical mechanics of isolated systems
  • Statistical mechanics of interacting systems
  • Paramagnetism
  • Quantum statistics of ideal gases
  • Black-body radiation

Course Policies

Collaboration versus Copying

You are encouraged to discuss with others as you learn the material and work on the assignments. However, the work you submit must be your own (your understanding written in your own way) and not a copy of someone else's work.

Medical Certificate

Not generally required. However, if you miss a TEST or EXAM, then you should see your College Counselor and get a note from him/her.

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 endeavors. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar.