CHM 421/621 Statistical Mechanics

Instructor: Dr. Varadharajan Srinivasan(Room AB-2 225)

Office Hours: Fridays 2-3 pm

Email: vardha [at] iiserb . ac .in

TA: Subarna Biswas

Email: subarna17 [at] iiserb . ac . in

Lectures: M (2-2:55 pm) T (2-2:55 pm) and W (2-2:55 pm) in Studio AIR


This is a compulsory course for 4th year BS-MS major, integrated Ph.D. stduents and is an elective for Ph.D. students in the Chemistry department. It is an open elective for 4th and upper year students from other departments meeting the pre- requisites below. Statistical mechanics is a theoretical framework that allows establishing a bridge between the microscopic world and the behavior of macroscopic material which is amenable to experiment. The main objective of this course is to develop an understanding of the statistical nature of the laws of thermodynamics and calculate the physical properties of systems starting from the interactions between the constituent particles. We will discuss the basic principles of statistical mechanics and its applications to various physical and chemical processes in many-body systems.

Prerequisites: CHM 222, CHM 322 (or CHM 428), CHM 325

Text Books:

  1. Callen, H. B., Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics, Ed. 2nd, Wiley, 1985.
  2. McQuarrie, D. A., Statistical Mechanics, University Science Books, 2000.
  3. Jackson, E. A., Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics, Dover Publications, 2000
  4. Widom B., Statistical Mechanics: A Concise Introduction for Chemists, Cambridge University Press, 2002
  5. Chandler, D., Introduction to Modern Statistical Mechanics, Oxford University Press, 1987


This course will feature assignments (10%), 2 quizzes (10%), a mid-semester exam (30%) and an end-semester exam (50%).




[05.08.2019]   Welcome Back!

[26.08.2019]   Assignment 1 uploaded. Due on 03/09/2019 in class.

[04.09.2019]   Solution to Assignment 1 uploaded.

[21.09.2019]   Assignment 2 uploaded. Due on 03/10/2019 in class.

[06.10.2019]   Assignment 3 uploaded. Due on 16/10/2019 in class.

[07.10.2019]   Assignment 4 uploaded. Due on 23/10/2019 in class.

[24.10.2019]   Solutions to Assignments 2 and 3 uploaded.

[29.10.2019]   Solutions to mid-semester exam uploaded.

[04.11.2019]   Solutions to Assignment 4 uploaded.

[10.11.2019]   Assignment 5 uploaded. Due on 16/11/2019.