**Physics
210A**** : Course Description**

__Subject
Matter and Course Materials__

The subject matter of Physics 210A is statistical physics. We will
cover the following material: (1) statistical ensembles, (ii)
thermodynamics, (iii) quantum statistics, (iv) classical interacting
systems, and (v) mean field theory of phase transitions.

I will largely be following my lecture notes.
At the beginning of each chapter of my notes, I list some recommended
texts. There are too many to place on reserve in the S&E Library,
but if you are having trouble finding a book please contact me. While
there is no official course text, I would recommend you purchase at
lease one of the following books, which you can order through
amazon.com :

1) Luca Peliti, "Statistical Mechanics in a Nutshell" (Princeton)

2) Michel Le Bellac, Fabrice Moressagne, and G. George Batrouni, "Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Statistical Thermodynamics" (Cambridge)

** Course
Web Site**Lecture
notes and reading assignments, important announcements, homework
assignments and solutions will all be available through the course web
site. Please check it before each lecture to see if there have been any
recent updates. The notes themselves are essentially complete (I am
working
on a final chapter on renormalization, which we will not cover anyway),
but I may make some editorial changes or additions as we go along. On
the lecture notes page,
you will find links to chapter summaries and to worked example problems.

On the course home page, I have included a number of links to potentially useful websites.

__Problem Sets__

I will try to assign one problem set per week, due at the beginning of the following Tuesday's
class. Problem sets will not be printed out for you, but rather will be available
through the course website. *You are encouraged to discuss the problem sets
with your fellow students*.
I suggest that you initially try to do the problems by yourselves, so
that you can more accurately identify your confusions and honestly
assess your weaknesses. Then, before you write up your assignment, get
together with some of your fellow students to talk over the problems
and hammer out the details. Solutions to problem sets will be posted on
the course website. Hopefully the solutions and your graded assignments
will be made available in a timely manner, but invariably there are
lags from time to time.

**Discussion/Problem Sessions**

We are fortunate to have a TA/grader for this class, Jonathan Lam. Jonathan
will be leading the problem sessions (TBA). During these sessions, you will
break up into groups to discuss/solve the homework assignment.

__Office hours__

My office hours are scheduled for Wednesdays, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm in MH
5438. Jonathan's office hours are TBA.

__Course grade__

The magic formula: 40% problem sets, 50%
comprehensive final, 10% intangibles (e.g. personal hygiene, taste in music, sense of humor [= laughing at my jokes], etc.).