Sitabhra Sinha

*A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression that classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts.
*
- Albert Einstein

**Class Schedule: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (9:30-11:00)**

**23/1/06: Introduction**

**25/1/06: Discrete Probability Distributions**

**30/1/06: Continuous Probability Distributions**

**1/2/06: Central Limit Theorem**

**3/2/06: Review of thermodynamics: entropy and temperature**

**20/2/06: Information Theory and Entropy: Shannon Entropy and Mutual Information, Statistical Mechanics of Cellular Automata**

**22/2/06: Canonical Ensemble and Boltzmann distribution**

**24/2/06: Application of Canonical Ensemble concepts: Ideal Gas**

**27/2/06: Application of Canonical Ensemble concepts: Blackbody Thermal Radition, Electrical Johnson Noise**

**1/3/06: Grand Canonical Ensemble: Chemical Potential**

**Assignments**

**Essential web resources for statistical mechanics:**
**
Winners of the Boltzmann medal, the top prize in statistical mechanics**
**
A Mathematical Theory of Communication, the seminal paper by Claude
Shannon linking entropy and information**
**
History of the Lenz-Ising Model: From Ferromagnetic to Cooperative Phenomena
by Martin Niss, Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol 59 (2005)
267-318**
**
Spin, Statistics, CPT and All That Jazz, an essay by John Baez on
plausible elementary arguments for the Spin-Statistics Theorem, i.e.,
why particles with half-integral
spin are Fermions.**
**Periodic Table
of the Elements (Los Alamos)**
**The Molecular Universe
: A treasure trove of information about structure of materials, surfaces
and interfaces, biological molecules, etc.**