8.333 | Fall 2013 | Graduate

# Statistical Mechanics I: Statistical Mechanics of Particles

## Calendar

The table below provides information on the course’s lecture (L), recitation (R) and exam (E) sessions.

SES # TOPICS KEY DATES
I. Thermodynamics
L1 Fundamental Definitions, The Zeroth Law, The First Law
L2 The Second Law, Carnot Engines and Thermodynamic Temperature, Entropy
L3 Approach to Equilibrium and Thermodynamic Potentials, Useful Mathematical Results
L4 Stability Conditions, The Third Law
II. Probability
L5 General Definitions, One Random Variable, Some Important Probability Distributions
R1 Recitation
L6 Many Random Variables, Sums of Random Variables and the Central Limit Theorem, Rules for Large Numbers, Information, Entropy, and Estimation Problem set 1 due
III. Kinetic Theory of Gases
L7 General Definitions, Liouville’s Theorem
L8 The Bogoliubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon Hierarchy, The Boltzmann Equation
L9 The H-Theorem and Irreversibility, Equilibrium Properties
R2 Recitation
E1 In-class Exam 1
R3 Recitation
L10 Conservation Laws Problem set 2 due
L11 Zeroth Order Hydrodynamics, First Order Hydrodynamics
IV. Classical Statistical Mechanics
L12 General Definitions, The Microcanonical Ensemble, Two-Level Systems
R4 Recitation
L13 The Ideal Gas, Mixing Entropy and Gibbs’ Paradox, The Canonical Ensemble Problem set 3 due
L14 Examples, The Gibbs Canonical Ensemble, The Grand Canonical Ensemble
V. Interacting Particles
L15 The Cumulant Expansion
R5 Recitation
E2 In-class Exam 2
L16 The Cluster Expansion
L17 The Second Virial Coefficient and Van der Waals Equation, Breakdown of the Van der Waals Equation, Mean Field Theory of Condensation
L18 Variational Methods, Corresponding States, Critical Point Behavior
VI. Quantum Statistical Mechanics
L19 Mean field theory of condensation, Corresponding states, Critical point behavior (from L17 & L18)
R6 Recitation
L20 Dilute Polyatomic Gases, Vibrations of a Solid, Black-body Radiation Problem set 4 due
L21 Quantum Microstates, Quantum Macrostates
VII. Ideal Quantum Gases
L22 Hilbert Space of Identical Particles
R7 Recitation
R8 Recitation Problem set 5 due
E3 In-class Exam 3
L23 Canonical Formulation, Grand Canonical Formulation
L24 The Degenerate Fermi Gas
R9 Recitation
L25 The Degenerate Bose Gas Problem set 6 due
L26 Superfluid He4
E4 Final Exam