Physics 603


The scoresheet and solutions for this year's final exam are now posted on the password-protected page. With a few minor adjustments of points (as advertized on the blackboard during the exam), the total possible was 110, the average 74, the standard deviation 12, the highest score 101, the lowest 46. Grades have now been submitted: 1 A+, 3 A, 4 A-, 3 A-- (A- for UMD, A-- on Physics records), 4 B+, 3 B, 1 B-, 1 I. . The border between A and B is not as sharply defined as I would like, but at least plus and minus now count, so this boundary is not so crucial. Have a great summer. Hope it will give you time to read the sections in PB that we did not have time to cover.

Last updated: May 17, 2013


Also listed as CHPH 718F

Instructor: Prof. Theodore L. Einstein
Room: 2310 Physics
Phone: 301-405-6147

Tuesdays, Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 am
Room 1201, Physics Bldg.

Office hours: Mondays 10:50 - 11:45 , Tuesdays 3:00 - 3:55 pm, and by arrangement.

Teaching assistant (1/2-time): Sungwoo Hong

Office hour: to be announced.

Prerequisite: An undergraduate course on thermal physics or thermodynamics and statistical physics.

Course Text: R.K. Pathria and P.D. Beale, Statistical Mechanics, 3rd ed., Academic Press, 2011; pb [978-0123821881]. For your information, here is its table of contents. Please report any typos you find. Here is a list of those currently known.

Strongly Recommended (on official list at bookstore): Mehran Kardar, Statistical Physics of Particles, Cambridge, 2007 [978-0521873420]. The lecture notes on which the book is based can be freely downloaded from here .

See also a long list of references at various levels, as well as the reference list for PHYS 704 last year, an online compilation, and list of references on the philosophy of statistical mechanics.

The midterm from Spring 2012 (with space for answers removed and minor patches made) is posted here.

Schedule: A tentative schedule is posted, keyed to the various texts. Expect several updates as the semester progresses. Topics covered in multiple texts are very likely to be covered, while those only in Pathria & Beale may be skipped.


Homework will be assigned regularly (every few lectures) by posting on the Homework Assignments page below. It will count ~30% of the total score for the class. Students are welcome to discuss problems with other classmembers after thinking about them alone, but must write them up independently. Homework should thus not be viewed as a take-home exam, but each student should develop a personal command of the material. Cases of copied homework will be treated harshly. Solutions will be posted on the password-protected website on the next lecture day ("deadline date") after the due date. Thereafter, no late problem sets can be accepted for credit.

There will be a midterm test on March 12 and a final exam officially slated on May 13.  The tests will count about 30% and 40%, respectively, of the total score on which grades will be based. These tests will emphasize parts of stat mech problems from previous qualifier exams as well as variants of homework problems. The only acceptable excuses for missing a test are those established by the university: religious holiday [which I have avoided, to the best of my knowledge], illness, or an official university event.


Link to site for Informal Statistical Mechanics Seminar, Tuesdays, 1:15pm, IPST Rm. 1116 (will update when available)


Link to site for CNAM Colloquium (Condensed Matter Seminar), Thursdays, 2pm, Physics Rm. 1201


Joint Quantum Institute Seminar, Mondays, 12:30 pm, Physics Rm. 1201

Academic Integrity: The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

Physics Department, University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742-4111
Phone: 301.405.3401 Fax: 301.314.9525
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