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

and Critical Phenomena

**Instructor: **

Gil Refael

Office: 117 Sloan annex

Email: refael@caltech.edu

Ext.: 4705

TA's:
Scott Geraedts
sgeraedt caltech.edu Office Hours : TBD Thom Bohdanowicz |

**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.

**Books:**

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.