Statistical Mechanics

James Binney, Michaelmas Term 2002

The course introduces statistical mechanics at the level required for the Part A Theory Option. Option 6 in Part B assumes knowledge of this material. The course introduces the principle of maximum entropy as a general law of deductive reasoning and treats statistical mechanics as a series of applications of this general principle.

Two problem sets will be issued

1 What's it all about?

2 The principle of maximum entropy

3 The canonical distribution

4 The Grand Canonical Distribution

5 The Microcanonical distribution

6 Strongly interacting systems

7 Mean-field theory