Statistical Mechanics I: Statistical Mechanics of Particles

Course Description

This is a two-semester course on statistical mechanics. Basic principles examined in this course are: The laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of temperature, work, heat, and entropy, postulates of classical statistical mechanics, microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical distributions; applications to lattice vibrations, ideal gas, photon gas, quantum statistical mechanics; Fermi and Bose systems, interacting systems: Cluster expansions, van der Waal's gas, and mean-field theory.

Topics from modern statistical mechanics are explored in the next course in this sequence, 8.334 Statistical Mechanics II. These include: The hydrodynamic limit and classical field theories; phase transitions and broken symmetries: Universality, correlation functions, and scaling theory; the renormalization approach to collective phenomena; dynamic critical behavior; random systems.

Copyright Information

Mehran Kardar. 8.333 Statistical Mechanics I: Statistical Mechanics of Particles, Fall 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 4 Apr, 2016). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
Statistical Mechanics I: Statistical Mechanics of Particles
A schematic representation of the gas filled volume used in the kinetic theory calculation of pressure. The box contains N molecules, each with mass m. The direction of molecular motion (shown by the arrows) is random. (Source: University of Reading)
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Video Lectures & Study Materials

Visit the official course website for more study materials:

# Lecture Play Lecture Notes & Slides
I. Thermodynamics
1 Thermodynamics I: The Zeroth & First Laws (1:26:25) Play Video Lecture Notes
2 Thermodynamics II: The Second Law & Carnot Engines (1:23:38) Play Video Lecture Notes
3 Thermodynamics III: Thermodynamic Potentials (1:23:44) Play Video Lecture Notes
4 Thermodynamics IV: Third Law of Thermodynamics (1:18:53) Play Video Lecture Notes
II. Probability
5 Probability I: Randonm Variables and Probability Distributions (1:21:30) Play Video Lecture Notes
6 Probability II: The Central Limit Theorem (1:24:53) Play Video Lecture Notes
III. Kinetic Theory of Gases
7 Kinetic Theory of Gases I: Liouville's Theorem (1:18:39) Play Video Lecture Notes
8 Kinetic Theory of Gases II: The Boltzmann Equation (1:15:56) Play Video Lecture Notes
9 Kinetic Theory of Gases III: H-Theorem and Irreversibility (1:25:36) Play Video Lecture Notes
10 Kinetic Theory of Gases IV: Conservation Laws (1:25:18) Play Video Lecture Notes
11 Kinetic Theory of Gases V: Zeroth & First Orders of Hydrodynamics (1:22:23) Play Video Lecture Notes
IV. Classical Statistical Mechanics
12 Classical Statistical Mechanics I: The Microcanonical Ensemble (1:25:39) Play Video Lecture Notes
13 Classical Statistical Mechanics II: Mixing Entropy and Gibbs' Paradox (1:22:35) Play Video Lecture Notes
14 Classical Statistical Mechanics III: The Gibbs & Grand Canonical Ensembles (1:25:17) Play Video Lecture Notes
V. Interacting Particles
15 Interacting Particles I: The Cumulant Expansion (1:25:42) Play Video Lecture Notes
16 Interacting Particles II: The Cluster Expansion (1:22:06) Play Video Lecture Notes
17 Interacting Particles III: Van der Waals Equation (1:23:18) Play Video Lecture Notes
18 Interacting Particles IV: Critical Point Behavior (1:24:22) Play Video Lecture Notes
VI. Quantum Statistical Mechanics
19 Interacting Particles V: Mean field theory of Condensation (1:19:18) Play Video Lecture Notes
20 Quantum Statistical Mechanics I: Vibrations of a Solid (1:23:32) Play Video Lecture Notes
21 Quantum Statistical Mechanics II: Microstates & Macrostates (1:23:48) Play Video Lecture Notes
VII. Ideal Quantum Gases
22 Ideal Quantum Gases I: Hilbert Space of Identical Particles (1:20:31) Play Video Lecture Notes
23 Ideal Quantum Gases II: Grand Canonical Formulation (1:23:42) Play Video Lecture Notes
24 Ideal Quantum Gases III: The Degenerate Fermi Gas (1:23:42) Play Video Lecture Notes
25 Ideal Quantum Gases IV: The Degenerate Bose Gas (1:22:55) Play Video Lecture Notes
26 Ideal Quantum Gases V: Superfluid He4 (1:21:05) Play Video Lecture Notes


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