Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2023 - 2024 Y N
Course Code PHYS7550
Date2024/06/23 22:30
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS7550 Graduate statistical mechanics (6 credits) Academic Year 2023
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr K M Lee, Physics < kmlee1@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr K M Lee,Physics)
Course Objectives This graduate level course covers advanced topics in equilibrium statistical physics.  This is an elective course for the theoretical physics theme.
Course Contents & Topics Topics include: Ensemble theory; theory of simple gases, ideal Bose systems, ideal Fermi systems; statistical mechanics of interacting systems; statistical field theory; some topics in the theory of phase transition may be selected.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 discuss the various classical ensembles and quantum ensembles
CLO 2 solve the statistical mechanics problems using ensemble theory
CLO 3 explain the connection between classical statistical mechanics and quantum statistical mechanics
CLO 4 understand the phase transition, criticality, symmetry breaking, renormalization
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in (PHYS3550 and PHYS4351) or PHYS4550
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2023 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2023 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2023 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2022 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2022 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2022 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2023 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2023 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2022 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2022 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2021 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2021 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2020 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2020 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2019 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2023 - 2024 Y        2nd sem    Examination May     
Offer in 2024 - 2025 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Communication-intensive Course N
Course Type Lecture-based course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Lectures 36
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self study 80
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 50 CLO 1,2,3,4
Examination 3-hour written exam 50 CLO 1,2,3,4
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Lecture notes provided by Course Coordinator
Kerson Huang: Statistical Mechanics (2nd Edition, Wiley)
R.K. Pathria: Statistical Mechanics
M. Plischke and B. Bergersen: Equilibrium Statistical Physics
Kardar: Statistical Physics of fields
Parisi: Statistical field theory
Course Website http://moodle.hku.hk
Additional Course Information NIL
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