Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems
Statistical Mechanics (SM)

  • Fundamental notions:
    • microcanonical, canonical and grandcanonical ensembles (derived from maximum entropy principles).
  • Boltzmann, Bose and Fermi statistics.
  • Quantum statistical mechanics.
  • Properties of the free energy and phase transitions.
  • The Ising model.
  • Transfer matrix in 1D + field etc..
  • Landau argument; ad hoc methods to solve the 1D system.
  • The transfer matrix: a general method to solve 1D and 2D striped systems.
  • Weiss approach.
  • Critical exponents.
  • Variational principles and mean field.
  • Infinite range model.
  • Scaling relations, Widom hypothesis, finite size scaling.
  • Selected topics in out of equilibrium statistical mechanics.


The successful and proficient attendance of the course will be evaluated through an oral exam.


  • K. Huang, Statistical Mechanics, any edition
  • J. Yeomans, Statistical Mechanics of Phase transitions
  • N. Goldenfeld, Lectures On Phase Transitions And The Renormalization Group
  • G. Parisi, Statistical field theory