Advanced Statistical Mechanics I (PH635/715, Spring, 2020)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course is now taught online.
check "Message from the Instructor" and "Course Schedule" frequenctly since the course situation may change rapidly.
Please also prepare for upcoming ZOOM lectures. See the instruction here.

Lecture notes and videos are available here.

Day and Time: Tue. & Thu. 12:30PM-1:45PM
Room: PH 394 (Del Square)
Instructor: Dr. Ryoichi Kawai
phone: (205) 934-3931
Office Hour: Wed. 2-3pm
Course Website:

Required Textbook

Statistical Mechanics (3rd Ed.)
by R. K. Pathria and P. D. Beale
Academic Press, 2011

Course Description:

Through this course students will learn advanced topics in statistical mechanics including computer simulation methods.

Learning Objectives:

  • Classical Mixed States: Phase Density and Liouville Equation
  • Quantum Mixed States: Density Operator and Liuoville-von Neumann Equation
  • Entropy and Information
  • Ensemble Theory of Thermal Equilibrium
  • Critical Phenomena, Landau Theory, Renomalization Group
  • Linear Response Theory, Fluctuation Dissipation Theorem, Onsager Relation
  • Stochastic Dynamics, Langevin Equation, Fokker-Plank Equation
  • Monte Carlo Simulation, Metropolis Algorithm
  • Fluctuation Theorem, Jerzyinski Equality
  • Information and Maxwell Demon
  • The Origin of Statistical Physics: Quantum Typicality

Course Schedule
Past Exams

Messages from the Instructor


MATLAB is used in lectures. The use of MATLAB is not required but recommended. UAB has a site license and students are elligible to install MATLAB on their computer. Installation instruction is given at


Python is another popular computer language. Although we use MATLAB execlusively in lectures, Phython source codes are provided. It is not required to use Python. However, if you wish to learn Python, Anadonda package is recommended for Microsoft Windows and Mac. The instructor uses Python 3.x (Not Python 2.x). Download Anaconda at If you use Linux and don't know how to install Python and related tools, consult the instructor.


Homework must be turned in electronically by email.  Allowed formats are PDF and Latex. Photograph taken by cell phone is not acceptable. All homework is due on May 1 at 5pm.


Attendance is required. To pass the course you must attend at least 75% of lectures. Excessive absence will result in administrative withdraw.


Midterm exam: 30 pts, Final exam:30 pts, homework: 40 pts. The total maximum possible points is 100 pts. All students must complete two exams and 75% of homework, and must attend more than 75% of lectures. Otherwise, F is given regardless of the total scores. Letter grades are determined by the rule given in the table.

Grade Total Score
A 90 or above
B 80 or above
C 70 or above
F Otherwise

About Instructor

Office Hour: Wed. 2-3pm
Tel: (205) 934-3931
Fax: (205) 934-8042
Email:   (My PGP public key)


Campbell Hall 309
Department of Physics
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1300 University Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35294

© Dr. Ryoichi Kawai, 2021 All Rights Reserved. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.