Thermal and Statistical Physics


Dr Judith A McGovern

The course:

This course is core for all students on second year Physics programmes.

The first part of this course is classical thermodynamics, and builds mostly on A-level physics, though first year maths-for-physicists is also essential. We will then see how the classical laws can be derived from underlying microscopic considerations. Unlike first-year Properties of Matter, we primarily use quantum ideas here, so basic quantum mechanics is also a prerequisite.

Textbooks and websites

The main website accompanying this course is here. It was prepared when I gave the course over 10 years ago, but should reflect the current course pretty well. However the final section (variable particle number) is not examinable.

Details of other resources are here.

The course course Blackboard site site is used as a repository for material which will not be made publically available.

The Bluebook entry for the course gives the current syllabus.


Examples for this course are issued with the weekly second-year tutorial sheets, available in the Braddick library and on the Blackboard tutorial site.


The format of the exam is unchanged from last year. Past exams, along with bottom line answers and feedback are available in the on Physics UG virtual common room on Blackboard.

PDF files

Download all the examples and solutions and the course website in single files.