Introduction To Statistical Mechanics

By Prof.Girish S. Setlur   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 145
This is an introductory course in classical and quantum statistical mechanics which deals with the principle of ensembles, Classical, Fermi and Bose ideal gases, Pauli paramagnestim, Debye and Einstein’s theory of specific heat and the 1D Ising model.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: M.Sc. and beginning Ph.D. students and other interested individuals
PREREQUISITES:          Thermodynamics, Classical mechanics, Quantum mechanics
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 20 Feb 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 20 Feb 2023
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 2
Level : Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Review of thermodynamics, Hamiltonian mechanics of classical and quantum systems.
Week 2: Microcanonical ensemble and the concept of entropy. Examples of systems with finite and 
               infinitely many degrees of freedom. Counting of states and entropy in quantum systems.
Week 3: Canonical ensemble and the concept of temperature. Relation between canonical and microcanonical
               ensembles and partition functions. Thermodynamic potentials and Legendre transformations. Examples 
               from classical and quantum systems.
Week 4: Other ensembles and their related thermodynamic potentials Concept of fugacity, pressure of an ideal gas.
               Equation of state of an ideal classical gas.
Week 5: Equation of state of ideal Bose and Fermi gases. Bose Einstein condensation and Fermi degeneracy pressure.
Week 6: Non-ideal gas: Van der Waals equation of state. Concept of phase diagram
Week 7: Magnetic insulators: Ising model, Potts model Solution on 1D lattice using transfer matrix method. Solution in 
               large dimensions using mean field theory.
Week 8: Pauli paramagnetism and temperature dependent susceptibility, electronic contribution to specific heat of solids.
               Deybe and Einstein theory of specific heat of solids

Books and references

1. Heat and thermodynamics, Zemansky and Dittman, 7th edn.
3. Statistical mechanics, Pathria and Beale, 3rd Edn.
4. Statistical and Thermal Physics: An Introduction 1991 by Lokanathan and Gambhir
5. Fundamentals of Statistical Mechanics1 January 2012 by B.B. Laud

Instructor bio

Prof.Girish S. Setlur , he works in the field of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics. He is interested in understanding and accounting for the properties of everyday bulk materials from a knowledge of the fundamental constituents of the substance and the fundamental physical laws governing those constituents. He was the inventor of a new technique called 'non-chiral bosonization' which is uniquely suited to study strongly inhomogeneous Luttinger liquids. He also invented the notion of a non-local particle hole creation operator and showed that it may be used to diagonalize interacting Fermi systems in any dimension. He is also interested in topological materials, specifically their nonlinear optical properties.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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