Thermal and Statistical Physics (F3224)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

Topics covered include:

  • Review of kinetic theory of gases and first law of thermodynamics.
  • Basics of statistical mechanics. Microstates, entropy, second law.
  • Classical thermodynamics. Engines and refrigerators.
  • More statistical mechanics. Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions.
  • Blackbody radiation.
  • Elements of phase transitions.


81%: Lecture
19%: Practical (Workshop)


20%: Coursework (Problem Set)
80%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 54 hours of contact time and 96 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.