Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y N
Course Code PHYS7550
Date2019/11/17 20:30
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS7550 Graduate statistical mechanics (6 credits) Academic Year 2019
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Prof J Wang, Physics < jianwang@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Prof J Wang,Physics)
Course Objectives This course intends to introduce some advanced topics in the field of equilibrium statistical physics.
Course Contents & Topics Ensemble theory: the micro-canonical ensemble, the canonical ensemble, and the grand canonical ensemble. Quantum mechanical ensemble theory. Theory of simple gases, ideal Bose systems, ideal Fermi systems. Statistical mechanics of interacting systems. 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 explain the concept of density matrix
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in PHYS4550
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2019 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Physics (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2019 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2019 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2018 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2018 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y        2nd sem    Examination May     
Offer in 2020 - 2021 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.
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 15 CLO 1,2,3,4
Examination 3-hour written exam 70 CLO 1,2,3,4
Test 15 CLO 1,2,3,4
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Lecture notes provided by Course Coordinator
R.K. Pathria: Statistical mechanics
M. Plischke and B. Bergersen: Equilibrium statistical physics
Course Website
Additional Course Information NIL
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