Advanced Topics in Statistical Mechanics (ATiSM | INU7076U)

Year: 4 | Semester: B | Level: 7 | Credits: 15

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This module will suit students who wish to explore applications of the ideas of statistical physics. It offers exposure to the advanced mathematics used to describe the dynamics of random events such as diffusion, barrier crossing and first order phase transformations. A particular aim of the module is to convey a modern understanding of entropy and the second law, and the cutting edge results known as fluctuation relations. It is complementary to module INR7007U Statistical Mechanics in that emphasis is on nonequilibrium phenomena and irreversibility, and SPA7013U Phase Transitions in that illustrations will be taken from the field of soft molecular matter rather than magnetic systems. Module INK7004U Dynamical Analysis of Complex Systems covers similar mathematics of stochastic processes, but the approach used in this module, and the prerequisites, are intended to be suitable for physics students rather than those with a more formal mathematical background.