Course Description: | This course explores statistical mechanics, the microscopic basis of classical thermodynamics. It is one of the core areas of physics, finding wide application in solid state physics, astrophysics, plasma physics, and cosmology. Topics include ensembles and the basic postulate; the statistical basis of the second and third laws of thermodynamics; canonical, micro-canonical and grand-canonical ensembles, and associated statistical and thermodynamic functions; ideal quantum gases; black body radiation; the classical limit and an introduction to real gases, and applications to solid state physics. |