Physics 127b – Stat. Mech. of interacting systems, 

and Critical Phenomena


Gil Refael

Office: 117 Sloan annex


Ext.: 4705

Scott Geraedts

Office Hours : TBD

Thom Bohdanowicz
Office Hours : TBD

Syllabus (and tentative program):

Week 1 - First order phase transitions and the Van der Waals equation.

Week 2 - Critical phenomena, broken symmetries, and scaling  - general introduction.  

Week 3 - 1D Ising model: exact solution, transfer matrices, correlation length.

Week 4 - Mean field theory.

Week 5 - Landau theory of phase transitions.

Week 6 - Non-uniform Landau theory, path integral approach, Hubbard-Stratonovich transformation.

Week 7 - Fluctuations, correlations, Mermin-Wagner theorem.

Week 8- Scaling, renormalization group (RG) approach: real-space RG, percolation.

Week 9- Epsilon expansions, Wilson-Fisher fixed point.  


Main textbook:

“Lectures on Phase Transitions and the Renormalization Group”, Goldenfeld.  

Also see: 

"Statistical mechanics of Fields", Kardar

Other recommended books:

“Scaling and Renormalization in Statistical Physics”, Cardy.

“Statistical Physics”, Landau and Lifshitz.

“Introduction to RG Methods in Physics”, Crezwick, Farach, Poole.

“Modern Theory of Critical Phenomena”, S. K. Ma.