A1: Statistical Physics

Currently, there is strike action planned that would affect our lectures on 20-21 Feb (Thursday and Friday) and 26 Feb (Wed). Please check back here on the mornings of those dates to see if there have been any changes to these plans. If you are interested in what has prompted the strike, please see here for a joint statement by the University and College Union and the National Union of Students.

The material that would have been covered during these three lectures can be found in Alex Schekochihin's lecture notes linked below. In particular, you should read independently Secs. 14.5-14.6 on inhomogeneous systems, the chemical potential, and thermodynamic potentials, as well as all of Sec. 15 on multi-species systems.

I highly recommend Prof. Alex Schekochihin's lecture notes on kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. A more advanced treatment of kinetic theory that is a bit of a standard for more involved study can be found in the book by Chapman and Cowling, with other nice resources covered in this reading list.
Here are the recommended problem sheets for kinetic theory and for statistical mechanics (courtesy Alex Schekochihin and Steve Blundell).

Supplementary material

Kinetic Theory Lecture 1: statistical averages and the thermodynamic limit.
Kinetic Theory Lecture 2: kinetic calculation of pressure and derivation of Maxwell's distribution.
Kinetic Theory Lecture 3: effusion rate, velocity distribution of effusing beam, and simple expression for collisional mean-free-path.
Kinetic Theory Lecture 4: particle distribution function and its relation to particle, momentum, and energy density; the kinetic equation; local vs. global equilibrium for inhomogeneous systems; random walk estimates of thermal conductivity and viscosity.
Kinetic Theory Lecture 5: transport equations for particles, momentum, and heat via conservation properties; flux-gradient relationships.

Statistical Mechanics Lecture 1: Microstates vs macrostates and the Principle of Maximum Entropy.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 2: Principle of Maximum Entropy (continued) and the method of Lagrange multipliers. Application to isolated systems (microcanonical ensemble) and to systems connected to a heat bath (canonical ensemble).
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 3: Physical interpretation of Gibbs entropy and beta; relationship between the partition function and the free energy; additivity of entropy; thermal equilibrium.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 4: Thermal, dynamical, and mechanical equilibria for composite systems.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 5: Stability of thermodynamic equlibria; beginning of treatment of classical, monatomic ideal gas.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 6: Classical ideal gas (continued); continuum approximation; density of states; Gibbs paradox; validity of the classical approximation.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 7: Thermodynamics for the classical ideal gas; distinction between Gibbs' and Boltzmann's constructions of statistical mechanics.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 8: Formulation of statistical mechanics for open systems; grand canonical distribution, grand partition function, and grand potential; chemical potential, its physical interpretation, and its role in particle equilibrium.
Statistical Mechanics Lecture 9: Construction of thermodynamics for classical and quantum ideal gases in open systems; Pauli exclusion principle; bosons + Bose-Einstein statistics and fermions + Fermi-Dirac statistics.