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763620S Statistical physics, 10 ECTS cr 
Code 763620S  Validity 01.01.1950 -
Name Statistical physics  Abbreviation STATISTICAL PHY 
Scope10 ECTS cr   
TypeAdvanced Studies Discipline3253 Theoretical Physics 
  Grading1 - 5, pass, fail 
Unit Field of Physics 

ECTS Credits 

10 ECTS credits

Language of instruction 



First and second period, 3rd - 5th year

Learning outcomes 

To recognize the basics of statistical physics and to apply them to thermodynamics, noninteracting classical-, Bose- and Fermi gases, to perturbation theory of interacting systems and to phase transitions.


Statistical physics studies how the microscopic properties of particles are connected to the macroscopic properties of matter. The course begins with an overview of the classical thermodynamics, and continues with quantum mechanical concepts of statistical physics: the density operator, partition function etc. The statistical properties of non-interacting fermions and bosons form a central part of the course, after which some methods for studying interacting systems are introduced. The course finishes with a description of the phase transitions and critical phenomena.

Mode of delivery 

Face-to-face teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods 

Lectures 50 h, exercises 30 h, self-study 187 h

Target group 

Theoretical physics students and students interested in the microscopical foundations of the properties of matter. Also for the other students of the University of Oulu.

Prerequisites and co-requisites 

Quantum mechanics II (763313A) and Thermodynamics (766328A), also recommended is Advanced quantum mechanics (763622S).

Recommended optional programme components 

No alternative course units or course units that should be completed simultaneously.

Recommended or required reading 

J. Arponen: Statistinen fysiikka (in Finnish).

L.E. Reichl: A Modern Course in Statistical Physics.

Lecture notes.

Assessment methods and criteria 

One written examination.

Read more about assessment criteria at the University of Oulu webpage.


Numerical grading scale 0 – 5, where 0 = fail

Person responsible 

Matti Alatalo

Working life cooperation 

No work placement period


Current and future instruction
No instruction in WebOodi

Future examinations
No examinations in WebOodi