|Fees||Look up fees|
This subject provides an advanced introduction to non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The subject focuses on collective phenomena in complex many-body systems with an emphasis on diffusive processes, stability and the emergence of long-range order, with examples drawn from physics, chemistry, biology and economics. Specific topics include diffusive stochastic processes (Fokker-Planck equations), birth-death processes (master equations), kinetic transport, and spatio-temporal pattern formation in unstable nonlinear systems (bifurcations, chaos, reaction-diffusion equations).
Intended learning outcomes
The objectives of this subject are:
- to challenge the students to expand their knowledge of fundamental physical principles;
- to broaden their appreciation of how statistical mechanics integrates into the discipline of physics overall;
- to develop their capacity to explain the emergence of long-range order in complex, many-bodysystems;
- to appreciate the distinction between equilibrium and far-from-equilibrium dynamics in these systems;
- to solve quantitative problems using the canonical mathematical techniques of statistical mechanics;
- to provide the foundation for more advanced studies in statistical mechanics.
At the completion of this subject, students should have gained skills in:
- analysing how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
- applying abstract concepts to real-world situations;
- solving relatively complicated problems using approximations;
- participating as an effective member of a group in discussions and collaborative assignments;
- managing time effectively in order to be prepared for group discussions and undertake the assignments and exam.
Last updated: 2 December 2019