Statistical Physics II (PHYS*4240)

Code and section: PHYS*4240*01

Term: Fall 2016

Instructor: Xiaorong Qin


Course Information

Calendar Descriptions

A continuation of PHYS*2240 including a discussion of the grand canonical distribution, quantum statistics, and transport theory.

Prerequisite: (PHYS*2240 or PHYS*3240), PHYS*3230


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Xiaorong Qin MacN 449 53675


Day Time Location
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30 am – 12:20 pm. MacN 118

Course Materials


No text required - PHYS*4240 Lecture Notes, by E. Poisson. ( )


  • “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 (around 20/Oct.) 35% 25%
Final Exam (10/Dec., 7-9 pm) 40% 50%

Note: We take the best evaluation result for you. The assignment mark 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

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.

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 independently) and not a copy of someone else's work.

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.