FYS2160 – Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
Changes in the course due to coronavirus
Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.
Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.
The course introduces the student to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Statistical mechanics is the microscopic foundation of thermodynamics. The student is introduced to the fundamental concepts of microscopic many-particle systems and how they are connected to the macroscopic concepts of thermodynamics. The theories are applied to a range of systems like gases, liquids, mixtures and solids and how these are used in materials science, chemistry, biology, geoscience and technology. The student learns to build models based on interactions between microscopic particles and find the collective, macroscopic behavior of many particles. The models are studied using simple, analytical theory, numerical models, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods and experimental data.
After completing this course:
- you can master basic statistical methods and concepts like probability, random variables, expected value, variance, estimators and common probability distributions; you can apply methods of combinatorics to statistical problems
- you can construct models to analyze simple systems in the microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles; you master the use the models for spin systems, ideal gas, the Einstein crystal and know their applications; you know how the models can be used to describe systems with realistic interactions
- you master the relation between microscopic and macroscopic description through statistical mechanics; know and can apply the laws of thermodynamics and principles of free energy; describe thermodynamic processes and heat engines and master the use of the chemical potential to describe diffusive equilibrium, phase equilibrium and chemical processes
- you master the statistical mechanical description of Fermi- and Bose-statistics for electron-, photon- and fonon-gases; you know the Fermi energy and can use the density of states to find particle number and energy analytically and numerically
- you have training in finding the most important interactions in a system, formulate simplified models and analyse the macroscopic behavior using theoretical and numerical methods with special emphasis on Monte Carlo methods and molecular dynamics
- you know of applications of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics in other disciplines like materials science, chemistry and biology
Admission to the course
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.
Special admission requirements
In addition to fulfilling theHigher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:
- Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2
And in addition one of these:
- Physics (1+2)
- Chemistry (1+2)
- Biology (1+2)
- Information technology (1+2)
- Geosciences (1+2)
- Technology and theories of research (1+2)
The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies(in Norwegian).
Formal prerequisite knowledge
The following courses must be taken earlier than the first mandatory laboratory in FYS2160:
Recommended previous knowledge
- MAT1100 – Calculus
- MAT1110 – Calculus and Linear Algebra
- MAT1120 – Linear Algebra
- MAT-INF1100 – Modelling and Computations
- IN1900 – Introduction to Programming with Scientific Applications
- FYS-MEK1110 – Mechanics
- FYS1120 – Electromagnetism
- FYS2130 – Oscillations and Waves
- FYS2140 – Quantum Physics
- 10 credits overlap with FYS2169 – Statistisk mekanikk og termisk fysikk - Seminarvariant.
The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to attend, the Department of Physics has to be informed no later than the same day (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), or else you will lose your place in the course.
The course is taught during a full semester with 4 hours lectures and 2-4 hours group/computer exercises per week.
Four compulsory exercises, of which 75% must be completed and approved to be allowed to sit the exam. Two weeks will be dedicated laboratory exercises with compulsory reports.
Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.
To attend mandatory laboratory classes it is required that the following courses must be taken earlier than the first compulsory laboratory in FYS2160:
As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.
75% of the compulsory exercises plus reports from the two laboratory exercises must be completed and approved to be allowed to sit the exam.
- Final written exam, 4 hours, which counts 100% towards the final grade
Examination support material
- Approved calculator
- Rottman: "Matematisk formelsamling"
- Øgrim and Lian or Angell and Lian: "Fysiske størrelser og enheter"
- One A4 sheet with notes (2 pages)
Language of examination
You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Resit an examination
This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more: