Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity

Graduate Statistical Mechanics 6562, Spring 2017
MWF, 10:10-11:00, Clark 294D
Jim Sethna sethna@lassp.cornell.edu, PSB 418, 5-5132, office hours Fri 11-12:30.
TA: Jaron Kent-Dobias, jpk247@cornell.edu, (425)999-1948,
PSB 425 (right-most door, on left), office hours Sun 3-5.

  • Aimed broadly at grads in physics, computer science, engineering, biology, mathematics, and the social sciences
  • Quantum mechanics will be important only for two weeks during the course. Previous statistical mechanics is not required, but extra work to catch up would be necessary. A high level of scientific sophistication, however, is expected.
  • Will use a 'flipped classroom' format, with activities during class hours and content covered in the reading.
  • Text is Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity, available both for sale and as a pdf.
This course focuses on those topics in statistical mechanics of interest to scholars in many fields. Topics will include random walks and emergent properties; temperature and equilibrium; phase space dynamics and ergodicity; entropy; free energies; quantum statistical mechanics; calculation and computation; order parameters, broken symmetries, and topology; correlations, response, and dissipation; abrupt phase transitions; and continuous phase transitions, fractals, and the renormalization group.

Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity

Available at Oxford University Press, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.

Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity, now available at Oxford University Press (USA, Europe).

Last modified: December 21, 2016