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.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar (Class)


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

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 54 hours of contact time and about 96 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: