Graduate School

Selected topics in Statistical Physics

This course is part of the programme:
Physics (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

This course will give an overview of selected topics in statistical physics, going in detail on phase transitions, solutions, chemical reactions and transport phenomena.

The objective is to introduce students of the physical background to a range of Statistical Physics topics of fundamental and applicative nature.

Prerequisites

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Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Transport phenomena: Collisionless and hydrodynamic regimes. Non-viscous hydrodynamics. Sound waves. Diffusion. Heat conduction. Viscosity. Navier-Stokes equation.
  • Solutions: Systems containing different particles. The phase rule. Weak solutions. Osmotic pressure. Solvent phases in contact. Equilibrium with respect to solute. Evolution of heat and change of volume on dissolution. Mixture of ideal gases.
  • Chemical reactions: The condition for chemical equilibrium. The law of mass action. Heat of reaction. Ionization equlibrium. Equilibrium with respect to pair production.
  • Phase transitions: Deviation of gases from the ideal state. Expansion in powers of density (virial expansion). Van der Waals formula. Virial coefficient and scattering amplitude. Conditions of phase equilibrium. The Clapeyron-Clausius formula. The critical point. The law of corresponding states. First order vs second order. Size scaling.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

By the end of the course the students will have specifically addressed the models, methods in approaches used to describe certain topics in Statistical Physics.

Readings

1. Huang, K. Introduction to Statistical Physics. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2001.

2. Landau, L. & Lifshits, E. Statistical Physics. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1988.

3. Huang, K. Statistical Mechanics. John Wiley & Sons, 1987.

Assessment

Oral exam and seminar presentation. (60/40)

Lecturer's references

Assistant professor of Physics at the University of Nova Gorica.

1. BADASYAN, Artem, MAVRIČ, Andraž, KRALJ CIGIĆ, Irena, BENCIK, Tim, VALANT, Matjaž. Polymer nanoparticle sizes from dynamic light scattering and size exclusion chromatography : the case study of polysilanes. Soft matter. 2018, vol. 14, issue 23, str. 4735-4740, ilustr. ISSN 1744-6848.

2. BADASYAN, Artem, TONOYAN, Sh. A., GIACOMETTI, Achille, PODGORNIK, Rudolf, PARSEGIAN, Vozken Adrian, MAMASAKHLISOV, Yevgeni S., MOROZOV, Vladimir. Unified description of solvent effects in the helix-coil transition. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, ISSN 1539-3755, 2014, vol. 89, iss. 2, str. 022723-1-022723-10

3. BADASYAN, Artem, MAMASAKHLISOV, Yevgeni S., PODGORNIK, Rudolf, PARSEGIAN, Vozken Adrian. Solvent effects in the helix-coil transition model can explain the unusual biophysics of intrinsically disordered proteins. The Journal of chemical physics. 2015, vol. 143, iss. 1, str. 014102-1-014102-7

4. BADASYAN, Artem, GIACOMETTI, Achille, PODGORNIK, Rudolf, MAMASAKHLISOV, Yevgeni S., MOROZOV, Vladimir. Helix-coil transition in terms of Potts-like spins. The European physical journal. E, Soft matter, ISSN 1292-8941, 2013, issue 5, art.no. 46, 9 str.

5. BADASYAN, Artem, TONOYAN, Sh. A., GIACOMETTI, Achille, PODGORNIK, Rudolf, PARSEGIAN, Vozken Adrian, MAMASAKHLISOV, Yevgeni S., MOROZOV, Vladimir. Osmotic pressure induced coupling between cooperativity and stability of a helix-coil transition. Physical review letters, ISSN 0031-9007. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 109, iss. 6, str. 068101-1-068101-5.

6. BADASYAN, Artem, TONOYAN, Sh. A., MAMASAKHLISOV, Yevgeni S., GIACOMETTI, Achille, BENIGHT, A. S., MOROZOV, Vladimir. Competition for hydrogen-bond formation in the helix-coil transition and protein folding. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, ISSN 1539-3755, 2011, vol. 83, no. 5, str. 051903-1-051903-9.

University course code: 3FIi30

Year of study: 1

Lecturer:

ECTS: 6

Workload:

  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures and seminars presented by the students and prepared under teacher supervision.